Lectures Prepared and Published by The Arts Society

At the beginning of April 2020 The Arts Society launched a series of lectures called the Arts Society Connected, with a new one published every fortnight. Several of them are published here, with easy links to view each in turn.You may benefit from seeing the lecture on full screen by clicking the icon in the bottom right of the picture.


An Artist of Note: Turner and the new £20 - an Arts Society lecture by Nicola Moorby

J.M.W. Turner is the first British artist to appear on a banknote. This film will discuss the background to the new £20 note and examine how the Bank of England’s design represents the various aspects of Turner’s life, work and legacy.

This lecture is just 32 minutes long – time well spent. You will never look on the £20 note in quite the same way again. Together with an animated ‘Fighting Temerare’, it has the fountains of Trafalgar Square and the lighthouse at Margate – which lights up! Yes on the bank note.!


Antiques Roadshow specialist Marc Allum selects three defining objects from his own collection and explains their importance in personal, artistic and historical terms whilst outlining some of the psychological and emotional aspects that make collecting such an important facet of the human psyche.  

This lecture is just 19 minutes long, and shows how a childhood interest can take over a man’s career. Viewers get a good nosey into the Allum’s home. Minimalist it is not.

The Anatomy of Collecting at Home - lecture by Marc Allum

Rescuing unwanted diaries! A Lecture by Irving Finkel


Finkel talks about his extraordinary discoveries of some of the most personal, intimate and detailed historical objects. Focusing on the diaries of ‘real people’ – as opposed to the published memoirs of politicians and other people of public interest – he discusses how we can learn about the past by allowing the voices of the past to speak to us through the ages. Be prepared for a passionate appeal to preserve diaries for future readers and learn how you can contribute to our understanding of the past.

Enjoy 30 minutes in the company of a wonderfully eccentric curator of the British Museum



Venice: Dressed and Undressed - Lecture by Sarah Dunant

 Sarah Dunant is a writer and historian who gives an interesting insight into the Venice of 1500 as she speaks about just two paintings  – the Doge by Bellini and the Venus of Urbino by Titian.

The lecture is just 16 minutes long, and is a small consolation for those who are missing their visit to Italy in 2020. There are some lovely shots of the Grand Canal and the Doge’s Palace.

This talk is a section of a longer lecture outlining Velázquez’s arrival in Madrid from Seville and his gradual rise at Court. In this lecture Jacqueline pays attention to one painting, probably the artist’s most famous ‘Las Meninas’ 1656, which she unravels for the viewer and considers the possible reasons why he painted it and what he hoped to gain from it.

This painting of the Ladies in Waiting, hangs in the Museo del Prado, in Madrid and is one of the most famous masterpieces in art history, The lectures is 17  minutes long,

Las Meninas by Velazquez - An Arts Society Lecture by Dr Jacqueline Cockburn

The 1960s: Revolutions in Glass by Mark Hill

Antiques expert, TV presenter, author and publisher Mark Hill invites viewers to his home for a lecture on the revolution of glass design in the 1960s. Looking at two objects from his own collection, Mark explores how factory and studio glass burst onto the arts scene, changing the way we look at – and enjoy – glassware. 

This is a fascinating lecture that is 24 minutes long which invites you to look at all glass through a different prism.


Viv Lawes is a lecturer, curator, author and journalist, with over twenty years’ experience in the art market. She works at several prestigious Higher Education institutions in London, leading the Modern and Contemporary unit of the Asian Art & Its Markets semester course at Sotheby’s Institute and the History of Decorative Style (c.1400-1970) course at the City & Guilds of London Art School.  

This lecture is 32 minutes long and will particularly interest anybody involved in conservation and restoration.




Viv Lawes speaking on the topic of 18th century hand-painted Chinese export silks: trade and technique - with a live painting demonstration.