MAY 2017 - JAN 2018 

All lectures begin at 11.00 am in the Lecture Room

Seating is limited in the Lecture Room due to fire regulations. Once the Lecture Room is full, we have to refuse admittance and apologise for any disappointment this may cause.  The Lecture Room is open from 10.30am. 


Sunday 28 May, Music in Regent Street, 1820-1940: Business, Culture and Power
Dr Leanne Langley

In his designs for Regent Street, the architect John Nash gave music a prime spot and professional musicians a dedicated space to pursue their art. The area would eventually embrace more than 200 music businesses and institutions besides three successive concert halls – all feeding a high-cultural identity for Regent Street now long since forgotten. How did music come to shape this part of the West End so decisively in the 19th century, and what does the connection reveal about a distinctively British approach to culture?  This lecture will explore music associated with Regent Street, the audiences who flocked to hear it, and the urban and social changes revealed by this study.

Dr Leanne Langley is a social and cultural historian of music, a Lifetime Fellow of the University of London and a Council Member of the Royal Philharmonic Society.

Sunday 25 June, Vermeer and the Illusion of Reality?
Dr Richard Williams

Vermeer's paintings look so astonishingly realistic that some scholars believe he used lenses or other optical equipment to create effects resembling photography. But is this true? Richard Williams takes a closer look at Vermeer's approach to painting and asks whether we are being shown an accurate view of Dutch interiors or something far less reliable and yet more intriguing.

Dr Williams received his doctorate from the Courtauld Institute of Art and a post-doctoral fellowship from Yale University. After many years as a specialist in Northern European art in the Department of History of Art at Birkbeck College he joined Royal Collection Trust as Learning Curator, based at Windsor Castle.

Sunday 17 September, City Moderns: Painterly Impressions of Fin-de-siècle Paris and London
Dr Simon Sleight

Engaging with the terms 'modern' and 'modernity' in two turn-of-the-century settings, this lecture explores how artists responded to the shifting conditions of urban living, often mirroring the acceleration of change with an acceleration of technique. It accounts for the centrality of Paris as urban imaginary, investigates trans-urban links with London, and examines the role of outsiders and insiders in representing the city. Lesser and better known artists are compared: De Nittis features alongside Pissarro, O’Connor alongside Caillebotte and Streeton alongside Van Gogh. The discussion aims to showcase period understandings of the possibilities and perils of city life.

Dr Sleight is Senior Lecturer in Australian History at King’s College London, Co-founding Director of the ‘Children's History Society’ and Deputy Director of the ‘Menzies Centre for Australian Studies.’  

Sunday 15 October, Charles I, Van Dyck and Titian
Dr Per Rumberg

Anthony Van Dyck (1599-1641) was a great admirer of Titian (c. 1488-1576), a passion he shared with his patron, King Charles I (1600-1649). This talk will explore how Van Dyck responded to Titian, in particular once he was appointed ‘principalle Paynter in Ordenarie to their Majesties’ in 1632.

Dr.Rumberg is Curator at the Royal Academy of Arts. He previously worked at the National Gallery, where he was one of the curators of the exhibition Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan (2011–12). He studied in London, Florence and Berlin and received his Ph.D. from the Courtauld Institute of Art. His expertise and interests range from the Italian Renaissance to the 21st century. 

Sunday 12 November, The Refurbishment of Leighton House
Daniel Robbins

Daniel Robbins is the long-serving and talented curator of Leighton House and Linley Sambourne House. He has been responsible for the masterly restoration of the interiors of Leighton House, which have won all kinds of plaudits for bringing back the beauty and character of the house, which mirrors the high aestheticism of its owner and his architect. The depth of research and the high calibre of craftsmanship that went into the project are extremely impressive. Leighton House has now embarked on a third phase of its development plan, which Daniel Robbins will once again be leading, and we will be given a glimpse of what is in store. 

Sunday 10 December, The Making and Meaning of Plaster Casts in the 19th century: their Future in the 21st century
Dr Holly Trusted

In 1873 both Cast Courts were first unveiled at the V&A and have been continuously admired, inspiring for artists and visitors alike. The lecture focusses on the history of these spaces and the collections they house, and the ways in which attitudes to casts have evolved over more than 150 years. In 2014, the Italian Cast Court was re-opened to great acclaim with casts after masterpieces by Donatello, Michelangelo and many others. Now the other Cast Court, housing not only Trajan’s Column, but the monumental Pórtico de la Gloria from Santiago de Compostela as well as other major sculptures, is being refurbished. The aim is to renovate the Courts for the 21st century, while retaining their Victorian atmosphere.

Dr Trusted is Senior Curator of Sculpture at the V&A. She has published widely on sculpture, including the V&A’s own collection and curated ‘The Return of the Gods’ exhibition at Tate Britain, 2008.
This lecture is followed by our Christmas Drinks Party


Sunday 14 January, Literary Highgate: Walking with Ghosts
Isabel Raphael

Isabel Raphael will take you on an entertaining armchair walk around Highgate, looking at famous writers who have lived there during the past 400 years. They are a distinguished group, with fascinating stories and illustrations to match, and her research will spread westward across Hampstead Heath as far as Kenwood itself.

Isabel, who studied Classics and English literature, lived in Highgate Village for 23 happy years, was Headmistress of Channing School and the first woman President of the Highgate Literary & Scientific Institution where she is still much involved.



Tuesday 26 September, Ightham Mote

IghthamMote Following the recent illuminating lecture by Bernadette Gillow, this trip to the 14th century manor house will enable us to see how the painstaking programme of restoration has revealed so much of its 700-year history before it was acquired by the National Trust in 1985. The house has seen many changes as the successive owners who followed the medieval knight who built it, extended and embellished the house, according to changing fashions and the requirements for greater physical comfort. Fortunately, none of them could afford, or had the desire, to demolish and rebuild, so we can literally walk through its history. The moat, never really intended as a means of defence, sets off the building to perfection. Highlights include the Great Hall, the Tudor Chapel with painted ceiling, the crypt, the drawing room with a Jacobean fireplace, the Victorian billiards room, and of cause the Grade 1 listed dog kennel. The exhibition ‘Queen of Ightham Mote – An American interlude: Queen Palmer, John Singer Sargent and their Circle’ will also be one of the attractions. The Palmer family rented the house in the late 19th century and Sargent was a frequent guest.

Leave Kenwood at 8.45am and returning about 5pm

There will be time in the afternoon to take a guided garden tour, or simply enjoy the gardens at your leisure.

The cost is £35 for National Trust Members and £45 if you are not a member.

This includes coach travel, coffee/tea and biscuits on arrival and the guided tour. The café is available for lunch, or you can bring a picnic.

Download a booking form 


Tuesday 24th October, 10.30 am, Autumn Colour, Fruits and Other Interest


Meet in front of Kenwood House.

This walk is free for Friends of Kenwood; Non-members £3.00.

Please contact Elizabeth Inglis on 020 8450 8802 or via email efinglis@dsl.pipex.com


Monday 23rd October, 19.00 pm, A Russian Interlude


The evening starts at 7pm with drinks, followed at 7.45pm with a talk by Guest Speaker Julius Bryant, Keeper of the Department of Word and Image at the Victoria and Albert Museum, about the tenure at Kenwood of Grand Duke Michael Mikhailovich and its historical background. From 1910 – 1917 Kenwood was lived in by the Grand Duke, grandson of Tsar Nicholas I of Russia, and his wife Sophie, Countess of Merenburg, great-granddaughter of the Russian poet Pushkin. How they came to be at Kenwood, integrated into local society and saw out the war years there makes an intriguing story.

The second part of the evening will be a recital by the Solem Quartet of Borodin’s String Quartet No. 2 in D. The evening will end at 9.15pm. Full details are in the APPLICATION FORM.

Please make your application for tickets to Elizabeth Inglis at the address provided, together with your cheque. All tickets will be allocated on a first come first served basis. The deadline for applications is 2 October.

You can also download an events sheet for September 2017 to January 2018


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