Monthly Lecture Programme

Venue: The Trinity Arts Centre, Gainsborough




1.45 pm, first Thursday of the month  - February to June and September to December

Note: no meetings in January, July and August 


Summary of lectures for 2022 - for fuller details see below


February 3 - Helen Ritchie - British Studio Potttery: A Concise History

March 3 - Sally Dormer - The Wilton Diptych: Kingship and Politics in late 14th Century England

April 7 - Steven Barrett - Anatomy of a Masterpiece: Bathers at Asnières by Georges Seurat

May 5 - Eileen Goulding - Understanding Aboriginal Culture

July 7 - Paul Rabbitts - A Concise History of our Great British Public Parks

September 1 - Christopher Garibaldi - Italian Art and Architecture of the Risorgimento

October 6 - Charlie Forman - One Westminster, Six Royal Palaces

November 3 - Shauna Isaac - How to Steal a Million

December 1 - Ghislaine Howard - The Cuisine of Art and the Art of Cuisine



May 5, 2022

Eileen Goulding Goulding

Eileen has an MA from the Department of Archaeology at the University of London, is a published author and an authority on the ancient cultures of the world. She specialises in the History, Culture, Myths & Legends of the Ancient Worlds and is a keen Maritime Historian specialising in piracy in the Caribbean and the South Seas. She spends her time giving lectures to the Arts Society, on cruise ships and to various local organisations. Her first book “What Did the Poor Take with Them? “ is an academic treatise on Ancient Egyptian funerary goods, while her second book “Understanding Ancient Egypt” is a more accessible introduction to the subject. Eileen has recently featured as an Egyptologist in a documentary, Nefertari: The Life of an Egyptian Queen (full documentary) published on YouTube by the South African film producer Curtis Ryan Woodside during the summer 2020 covid lockdown.

Today's Lecture

Understanding Aboriginal Culture

The indigenous population of Australia occupied the land for over 60,000 years in relative isolation. Discover their ancient traditions and how they’ve adapted to modern times since the arrival of Captain Cook.

 July, 2022

(note that this has been changed from June 2 to avoid clashing with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee holiday)

Paul Rabbitts Rabbts

Paul Rabbitts graduated at Sheffield with a BA Honours in Geography followed by a Masters Degree in Landscape Architecture at Edinburgh. He is a qualified landscape architect and celebrated park manager and has worked for several local authorities across the UK, currently Head of Parks, Heritage and Culture at Watford. He is a passionate advocate for public parks and in particular, the Victorian and Edwardian bandstand and is a prolific author on the subject. His first of now 25 books were published in 2011 on the iconic bandstand and was followed rapidly by books on the Royal Parks, Great British Parks and ‘Parkitecture’, Grinling Gibbons and Sir Christopher Wren. He has just completed the first full biography of Decimus Burton, Gentleman Architect, due in late 2021.  Now a UK leading expert on bandstands he has been asked to assist in localised restoration projects nationwide and has been a regular and popular speaker on bandstands and public parks for many years.

Today's Lecture

A Concise History of our Great British Public Parks

This really is a fascinating insight into the history of one of our greatest ever institutions - our Great British Public Park. We have all enjoyed them at some time in our lives but what do we really know about them? What are their origins? This talk illustrates their origins from the great Royal Parks to the Pleasure Gardens of the eighteenth century, to their Victorian heyday. It discusses what makes a great park, it’s ‘parkitecture’ with examples of lodges, lakes, bandstands, fountains, lidos, palm houses and to their wonderful floral displays, to their great decline in the sixties, seventies and eighties. However, the subsequent revival has led to a major shift in interest in our parks and once again we are very much in love with them. This is a highly illustrative lecture accompanied by slides with examples of parks from across the UK and their designs and architecture and can be shaped to the locality of the lecture.


September 1, 2022

Christopher Garibaldg`r

Independent Researcher. 2010–2019 Director of Palace House, Newmarket (National Heritage Centre for Horseracing and Sporting Art: 2008–2010 Co-Director of the Attingham Summer School for the Study of Historic Houses and Collections. 1998–2003 Senior Curator & Assistant Keeper of Art (Decorative Art) at Norwich Castle Museum: co-curator of Flower Power – The Meaning of Flowers in Art and Eat, Drink and Be Merry, the British at Table 1600 to 2000. 1994–1997 Catalogued the silver in the Royal Collection at Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and other royal residences.

Today's Lecture

Italian Art and Artchitecture of the Risorgimento

This lecture examines a sometimes overlooked area of Italian art, architecture and culture - the nineteenth century. It traces the most important works of art and architecture and looks at the way in which they echoed the growing sense of national identity during the period before, during and after Italian unification. It looks at particular artists such as Francesco Hayez whose paintings embodying a romantic medievalism often contain hidden allusions to Italy’s growing national consciousness. The lecture aims in some small way to prove that the story of Italian art did not end with the Renaissance or the Baroque.


October 6, 2022

Charlie Forman for

As a London walking tour guide and lecturer, I highlight the social, architectural and artistic history of my home city. It is a city I am passionate about, not least because it has a historic core larger and richer than any other world city. A member of the City of Westminster Guide Lecturers Association, my talks focus on the forces that have shaped and changed this multi-faceted metropolis and the artistic and cultural heritage that this has given us. After many hundreds of walks and a four-decade long career in housing and regeneration I have absorbed a deep understanding and appreciation of the capital. I’ve had some fascinating vantage points like the seven years build-up to the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games where I played a role in channelling potential long-term benefits into surrounding East London communities. My publications include Spitalfields: A battle for land.

Today's Lecture 

One Westminster, Six Royal Palaces

Experience a thousand years of Westminster’s royal palaces. With just an occasional gap, monarchs have reigned from a Westminster base since the 1030s. This is a ‘walk-through’ of the six palaces that have been their home. Remarkably, only the first of these, the Palace of Westminster, was purpose built to house the monarch. Parliament still occupies that palace, but by 1530 the monarch had moved on to the largest palace in the Europe of its time - Whitehall. Almost burnt to the ground in the 1690s, the Banqueting House, jewel in its crown, is still with us today. That fire left the House of Hanover cramped up in St James’s palace for a century. It was not till the 1820s that George IV and two brothers commissioned a palace each by St James’s Park – alongside three existing palatial homes. This profligacy, led by that spendthrift-in-chief King George, did include his major upgrade to Buckingham House - still in service today. Despite much fire and one total demolition, the best elements of the other five are there to explore.


November 3, 2022

Shauna Isaac isa

Shauna Isaac has been active in World War II art restitution for several years and has worked with families and government organisations to recover Nazi looted art. She set up the Central Registry on Looted Cultural Property and served as a member of the Working Group for the Holocaust Era Assets Conference in Prague. Shauna studied at the Courtauld Institute of Art in the UK and Smith College in the USA. She is a regular lecturer at the Sotheby’s Institute of Art. Her publications include articles for The Art Newspaper, The Times Literary Supplement and Art Quarterly. She is a contributor to the book Insiders/Outsiders: Refuges from Nazi Europe and their contribution to British Visual Culture.

Today's Lecture

How to Steal a Million

We have all heard about audacious art heists that are more like blockbuster movies than run-of-the-mill burglaries. In this lecture, we are going to look at famous art thefts, discuss what motivates art thieves as well as examine what aspects the thefts have in common. We will also look at where the burglars made mistakes, which enabled investigators to swoop in and recover stolen masterpieces. In many cases, the police sting operations were just as daring as the thefts.


December 1, 2022

Ghislaine Howard How

A painter of national reputation named as a Woman of The Year 2008 for her contribution to art and society. She has published and exhibited widely, had work in the Royal Collection and had solo exhibitions at many prestigious venues including Manchester Art Gallery, Canterbury Cathedral and Imperial War Museum North. An associate lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University, she has lectured to a broad spectrum of people at her studio gallery or at more public venues such as cathedrals, art galleries and other institutions.

Today's Lecture

The Cuisine of Art and the Art of Cuisine

This lecture will be a feast for the eyes and tickle the taste buds, an inspiration for your cooking- and looking. It will feature the art, anecdotes and recipes of artists who loved their food. We will discuss Toulouse Lautrec, famous in his day for his truly fabulous meals and infamous cookbook, Renoir who introduced Paris to the pleasures of Provençal peasant cooking as well as Monet, Cézanne, Picasso and many others. We have prepared a special recipe booklet that can be posted on the internet- or bring a pen! 




Summary of lectures for 2023 - for fuller details see below

February 2 - Barbara Askew - 'Happy and Glorious' ; a lecture celebrating the Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 11 and Previous Coronations

March 2 - Nicholas Merchant - The Country Houses of Yorkshire

April 6 - James Butterwick - Alexander Bogomazov 1880-1930; the Lost Futurist of Ukraine

May 4 - Sandy Burnett - Shaken by an Earthquake: Igor Stravinsky, the Ballets Russes and the astonishing 1913 Premiere of The Rite of Spring

June 1 - David Cross - Beatrix Potter: Artist, Scientist and Philanthropist

September 7 - Lucia Gahlin - The Colossal Art and Architecture of Egypt's Boldest Pharaoh

October 5 - Ed Glinert - Music: The Beatles' Liverpool

November 2 - Jacqui Ansell - Pins and Poking Sticks: Decoding Dress in Shakespeare's Time

December 7 - Sarah Ciacci - Winter Wonderlands in Paintings


February 2, 2023

Barbara Askew

Historian and London Blue Badge Guide since 1988. Lecturer, Examiner and Course Director on Blue Badge Guide Training Courses and an acknowledged expert on Royalty and Windsor Castle. The only Blue Badge Guide accredited to guide the Albert Memorial. Has conducted tours for American museums and alumni groups for the past 25 years

Today's Lectureaskew

“Happy and Glorious” a Lecture in Celebration of the 70th Anniversaries  of the Accession to the Throne and the Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

2022 is the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and 2023 marks the 70th Anniversary of her Coronation, events which are unique in the history of our nation.

This lecture celebrates these events and looks at the evolution of the coronation ceremony from Saxon times to that of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. It examines the different stages of the ceremony from the Recognition through to the Homage and explains the significance of the different items of the Coronation Regalia.

Finally, the lecture gives an account of the ill omens and memorable mishaps which have occurred at coronations throughout the centuries and ends with the coronation of Her Majesty the Queen, the first to be genuinely witnessed by the people through the medium of television.


March 2, 2023

Nicholas Merchant Merchant

His career has mirrored his abiding interest in antiques. He has worked for some of the major auction houses in London as well as running his own book business devoted to the decorative and fine arts. His particular interest is English 18th century furniture and country houses; he enjoys discussing objects, particularly in their historical context. He lectures extensively in the USA, South Africa, Europe and UK, including the V&A, as well as for the principal cruise lines. Former Chairman of the West Yorkshire Art Fund. He arranges specialist short breaks for collectors and a range of prestigious clients including groups of The Arts Society who enjoy visiting the treasures of the UK.

Today's Lecture

The Country Houses of Yorkshire

Yorkshire is the largest county in Great Britain and contains within its boundaries some of the greatest houses in the British Isles. Not only for their architecture are these places well known but also because of their settings and most of all their contents. Not least of these is Newby Hall standing on the banks of the River Ure surrounded by its celebrated gardens and containing within its walls not only an unsurpassed collection of classical sculpture but also a unique room furnished with Gobelins tapestries. Of an earlier date is Burton Agnes, attributed to the famous Elizabethan architect Robert Smythson. This house with its unique fireplace in the Great Hall, contains in its Long Gallery an unrivalled collection of Impressionist paintings which form a dramatic contrast with their vibrant colours to the 16th century room in which they are housed. These, and other houses such as Harewood, Castle Howard, and Brodsworth, comprise some of the great houses of the county. These houses span the period from the 16th to the 19th century, when the region was in the forefront of events and enjoyed a thriving social and business life. A brief look to give some idea of the variety of houses in the county, stonebuilt, brick-built, or country retreat, along with those created by aristocratic wealth or ‘new’ money in the 19th century. 


April 6, 2023

James Butterwick bu

James Butterwick began collecting and selling Russian Art in 1985 and has established himself as one of the world’s leading experts. He moved to Moscow in 1994, becoming the only foreign member of the Russian Society of Private Collectors and began forming collections, taking part in museum exhibitions and lecturing on Russian Art, including at the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow in 2013 and the Museum of Russian Impressionism in June of this year.

In 2008 James became the only foreign member of International Confederation of Antique and Art Dealers of Russia and the CIS and in 2013 joined the Society of London Art Dealers.

James acts as a source of museum quality paintings with flawless provenance of both the Russian and European School and has access to all the leading experts, private collections and museums in any area of the arts. He travels regularly to Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan where, in October 2013, he opened an exhibition of leading Impressionist paintings.

In 2015 James became the first gallery dealing in early 20th century Russian Art to be invited to exhibit at TEFAF, Maastricht – selling four works to the Kröller-Müller Museum. The following year saw a much-heralded personal exhibition of the Ukrainian avant-garde artist, Alexander Bogomazov (1880-1930) with further sales to both Kröller-Müller and subsequently to the Arkansas Art Centre. James also exhibited at the first TEFAF New York fair in 2017.

His private gallery is in London. He speaks fluent Russian.

Today's Lecture

Alexander Bogomazov 1880-1930: The Lost Futurist  of Ukraine

Having never left the Russian nor Soviet empires in his lifetime, this Kyiv-based artist can only have heard about the new tendencies in Western Art through magazines or publications. Nonetheless, Bogomazov managed to create masterpieces no less exceptional or ground-breaking than those of his European contemporaries.

A difficult, at times tragic life, shaped by a passionate love story on a background of major historical upheaval – Alexander Bogomazov is an artist of revolutionary ideas and unique style. James Butterwick examines the legacy of the genius who many consider the national artist of the Ukraine and how his work is finally moving into the light.


May 4, 2023

Sandy Burnett sandy

Sandy is one of the UK’s most versatile music commentators, enjoying a career that combines broadcasting, performing and lecturing. After studying at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge and working as music director for the RSC, National Theatre and in London’s West End, Sandy Burnett spent a decade as one of the core team of presenters on BBC Radio 3. Combining engaging scholarship with hands-on expertise, he devises and leads cultural holidays all over the world, is the author of the Idler Guide to Classical Music, is a highly sought after double bassist on the London jazz scene, and was appointed the Academy of Ancient Music’s Hogwood Fellow for the 2018-19 season.

Today's Lecture

Shaken by an Earthquake – Igor Stravinsky, the Ballets Russes, and the Astonishing 1913 Premiere of The Rite of Spring

The story of one of the greatest creative collaborations of all:  Serge Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, whose team of dancers, choreographers, and costume and set designers transformed expectations of what a night in the theatre could be, and the circumstances behind its most notorious stage work of all. Sandy examines the build-up to the Rite of Spring’s premiere in Paris, takes a look at the original costumes, plays excerpts from this fascinatingly inventive score, and explores what divided opinions of that first-night audience quite so dramatically.  No, nothing could top the riot at the Rite in 1913…


June 1, 2023

David Cross cross

Hon. Research Fellow, Durham University. Founder of the Cumbrian Biographical Project. Past President of Cumbria DFAS. Author of biography of George Romney. Specialises in Lake District artists of all genres. Art history lecturer to undergraduate and adult classes at Universities. Catalogue of Paintings in Durham Castle (2002). In recent years has lectured on cruises in the Mediterranean and Baltic. He has edited two volumes of the illustrated letters of Percy Kelly (1919-1993). His volume in the national series on public sculpture is Public Sculpture of Lancashire and Cumbria and was published in 2017.

Today's Lecture

Beatrix Potter: Artist, Scientist and Philanthropist

As the daughter of socially aspirant parents, Beatrix suffered from professional constraint, but even before she published Peter Rabbit, she channelled her considerable intellectual energy into both drawing and biological research. Once financially independent, through writing and illustrating children's books, she concentrated on breeding Herdwick sheep. Successful in all these fields, she lived a simple life in the Lake District but accumulated a considerable estate of lakeland farms which she bequeathed to the National Trust. This lecture will outline her life and show the striking breadth of her scientific watercolours.


September 7, 2023

Lucia Gahlin gallon

Lucia is an Egyptologist who works in museums and on excavations in Egypt, but mostly lectures. Honorary Research Associate at University College London’s Institute of Archaeology. Has taught Egyptology at several UK universities. Works at the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology in London. Leads tours to Egypt. Former Director of Bloomsbury Summer School at UCL. Chairs the Friends of the Petrie Museum. Publications include Egypt: gods, myths, religion.

Today's Lecture

The Colossal Art and Architecture of Egypt's Boldest  Pharaoh

Ramesses II (c1279 – c1213 BC) is known to many as ‘Ramesses the Great’. He left his mark throughout Egypt, building extraordinary temples (notably Abu Simbel and the Ramesseum), and adorning them with colossal statues of himself and his wives. In this lecture we will explore the art and architecture of this particularly long reign, and piece together the great achievements of this bold ruler during a golden age of Egypt’s pharaonic history. 


October 5, 2023

Ed Glinert ed

I have written more than a dozen books for many major publishers including The London Compendium (Penguin, 2003), The Manchester Compendium (Penguin, 2008) and 111 Places in Yorkshire You Shouldn’t Miss (Emons, 2021). I have also edited the entire Sherlock Holmes canon for Penguin Classics. I give talks on cruise ships, and run tour companies in Manchester (New Manchester Walks), London (New London Walks) and Liverpool (New Liverpool Walks).

Today's Lecture

Music • The Beatles’ Liverpool

A lovingly-crafted talk through the history, homes and haunts of the Fab Four in their native city, from Penny Lane to Brian Epstein’s secret hideaway; from the Cavern to the Casbah.


November 2, 2023

Jacqui Ansell  ansell

Jacqui read History of Art and Theory at the University of Essex before going on to gain an MA in History of Dress from the Courtauld Institute. Formerly an Education Officer at the National Gallery, London, and a tutor and writer for the Open University, she has a wide range of teaching experience. She continues to lecture regularly on the public programmes of the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery and to publish on court dress, Grand Tour portraiture and Welsh Costume as well as dress as a cultural marker and indicator of class, gender, national and professional identity. Jacqui is a senior lecturer at Christie's Education, London.

Today's Lecture

‘Pins and Poking Sticks’ – Decoding Dress in Shakespeare's Time

A contemporary of Shakespeare informs us that ‘a ship is sooner rigged by far than a Gentlewoman made ready’. In The Winter’s Tale Autolycus peddles ‘pins and poking sticks of steel’, seductive smocks, perfumed gloves, bugle beads and other irresistible items. What were these objects and what was their role in the ‘art’ of dress?  Moral messages and secretive signals in emblematic jewellery and embroidery contributed to Elizabeth I’s image as the ‘Virgin Queen’. Elizabethan and Jacobean portraits will be decoded, focusing on the life (and untimely death) of Prince Henry, and the sartorial splendour of his sister’s wedding in 1613..


December 7, 2023

Sarah Ciacci ciccci

Sarah Ciacci has an MA in History of Art (Late 19th century French Painting and 20th Century Art) from University College London. She has been a Blue Badge Guide for London since 2008, specialising in art, museums and galleries, so relevant tours and visits for talks can be arranged. Since 2008 she has trained Blue Badge Guides in the National Gallery and is an art lecturer for trainee guides in Tate Britain, Tate Modern and for a period the National Portrait Gallery. She is a gallery educator and Adjunct Faculty at Richmond University (since 2008) teaching the History of British Art, the History of Museums in London and the History of London, and runs regular courses and independent lectures on a variety of art historical periods. 

Today's Lecture

Winter Wonderlands in Paintings

Snow transforms places that we know, and makes them strange and magical, so it is no surprise that snowy winter scenes have fascinated artists throughout the ages. We will look at how different artists have depicted snowy and wintery landscapes to explore the landscape as they saw it, or human emotions, or ideas about painting. We may not get our own winter wonderland this year, but we can look at paintings of them together and explore how artists responded to them over the centuries.