DECEMBER 2018 - JUNE 2019  

All lectures begin at 11.00 am in the Lecture Room

Exception:  the lecture on 14 April  begins at 11.30 am, following the AGM

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 9 December, Sienese Art in the 'Golden Age'
Dr John Renner

The lecture will explore the reasons for the flowering of art in the Tuscan city-state of Siena during the republican rule of the 'Nine Governors and Defenders' (1287-1355). This period of unprecedented stability and prosperity fostered the careers of artists such as Duccio, Simone Martini and the Lorenzetti brothers, whose works were in high demand even in Florence, Siena's traditional rival. Long overshadowed in art history by the Florentine school of Cimabue, Giotto and their followers, the equally revolutionary achievements of the Sienese artists have only recently been fully recognised. They transformed the painting of religious and secular subjects in works of a figural complexity, a narrative richness, and even a physical scale, previously unknown in medieval Europe.

Dr Renner is an Associate Lecturer at the Courtauld Institute of Art, where he teaches Italian art of the Late Middle Ages and Early Renaissance. He is also a Visiting Lecturer at the V&A and Birkbeck College.


This lecture is followed by our Christmas Drinks Party



Sunday 13 January,  Turner’s Watercolour Technique
Nicola Moorby

J.M.W. Turner was arguably the greatest of all watercolourists and his achievements still represent the benchmark for artists working today. However, he left frustratingly few written records of his processes and was notoriously reticent about his methods. This lecture examines his practice in detail, unlocking the mysteries behind his exceptional effects. We shall also look at his experimental approach to techniques and some of his tools and materials.

Nicola Moorby makes a welcome return to Kenwood. She is an art historian specialising in nineteenth century and early twentieth century British art. She was a curator and researcher at Tate Britain, where she curated several exhibitions on Turner’s art and is currently part of the team preparing Tate’s new online catalogue of Turner’s work.


Sunday 17 February, Book and paper conservation of the Andover Albums: a collaborative project
Lorraine Bryant

Lady Elizabeth Andover assembled an extraordinary collection of drawings and other memorabilia. This rare record of eighteenth century amateur art making is an important but little-known facet of the collection at Kenwood, making Kenwood a key resource for the study of eighteenth century art. The albums were in poor condition and at risk of further deterioration. Lorraine Bryant was the conservator and she will give an insight into their conservation, the work of the book conservator, the techniques used to repair and re-mount the drawings in the albums and the storage solution. We hope to have the volume on display at the lecture.

Lorraine Bryant is an independent paper conservator working for museums, galleries and private collectors in the UK and France. She is Consultant Paper Conservator at Sir John Soane’s Museum and specialises in the conservation of watercolours, drawings and prints as well as the preparation of works for exhibition and loan to museums.


Sunday 17 March, Elizabethan Treasures: Miniatures by Hilliard and Oliver
Catharine MacLeod

England in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries was and is famous primarily for its literary culture; in terms of the visual arts, it has been seen as something of a backwater. However, there was one art form in which English artists gained international fame and admiration: portrait miniature painting, or as it was known at the time, limning. Described as ‘a thing apart from all other painting or drawing’, it was brought to astonishing heights of skill by two artists in particular: Nicholas Hilliard (1547? – 1619) and Isaac Oliver (c.1565 – 1617). This lecture coincides with the first major exhibition on early English portrait miniatures for thirty-five years.

Catharine MacLeod is Senior Curator of Seventeenth-Century Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery. She has written on a wide range of sixteenth and seventeenth-century topics and curated a number of exhibitions, including The Lost Prince: the Life and Death of Henry Stuart (2012).


Sunday 14 April, Sargent and the Portrait Charcoals              (at 11.30am following AGM)
Richard Ormond

After giving up painting portraits in oils, John Singer Sargent offered to draw his patrons in charcoal. There are approximately 650 such portrait charcoals, British and American, drawn in the last two decades of the artist's life.

Richard Ormond is currently cataloguing these portraits and is curating an exhibition of them for the Morgan Library, New York (opening October 2019). He has curated many major exhibitions on the works of Sargent in recent years and is the co-author of the monumental Sargent Catalogue Raisonné, 9 volumes, Yale University Press, 1998-2019. He is a former director of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.


Sunday 19 May, From Berlin to Belsize Park: Emigré Architects and Emigré Homes in the 1930s
Dr Alan Powers

When artists and intellectuals left Germany, Austria and Czechoslovakia in flight from the Nazis, many of them came to the Hampstead area, already noted as an artists’ quarter. Alan Powers will focus on emigre architects and their work in Hampstead, including work by Ernö Goldfinger, Ernst Freud, Hermann Zweigenthal and others, as well as filling out the map of other émigré residents and their meeting places.

Dr Powers is one of Britain’s leading architectural historians. He has written widely on art, architecture and design in the mid-twentieth century in Britain, and in spring 2019, Thames and Hudson will publish his book, Bauhaus Goes West: Modern Art and Design in Britain and America. He was born and grew up next to Hampstead Heath.


Sunday 16 June, Belonging and not Belonging: The Immigrant Experience in Modern British Art
Monica Bohm-Duchen

British art has been enriched by the presence of artists from elsewhere for many centuries. This lecture will examine an important yet often overlooked aspect of modern cultural history: the experience, reception and contribution of émigré artists to this country from the late nineteenth century to the present day. The diverse backgrounds of these artists notwithstanding, certain leitmotifs recur: the initially ambivalent, often hostile response of the “host” culture; issues of “otherness”, displacement, dislocation and loss; xenophobia versus internationalism; the creative tensions between assimilation and separatism, integration and isolation, mainstream and margins; and the more recent concepts of globalisation, multiculturalism and cultural hybridity.

Monica Bohm-Duchen is a freelance lecturer, writer and exhibition organiser. She is an Associate Lecturer at Birkbeck College, lectures for Tate, the Royal Academy of Arts, Sotheby's Institute of Art, the Arts Society and the Courtauld Institute of Art. She is the creative director of a nationwide arts festival taking place throughout 2019, entitled Insiders/Outsiders: Refugees from Nazi Europe and their Contribution to British Culture

© Ben Uri Gallery and Museum


Thursday 24 January, The Vintners’ Company

Vintners’ Hall, 68 Upper Thames Street, London EC4V 3BG at 10.45 am

VintnersHallThe Vintners’ Company, one of the Twelve Great Livery Companies of the City of London, is the spiritual home of the wine trade. It has its origins in the twelfth century and its first charter, granted in 1363, gave them the monopoly and regulation for the wine trade, immensely important to the medieval economy. Nowadays much of the Vintners’ function is charitable and ceremonial. Most popular with the public is the ceremony of ‘swan-upping’ along the River Thames. The Vintners’ and the Dyers’ Company, along with the Queen, own the mute swans on the river and these are counted and checked annually. The Vintners’ current headquarters dates from the 1670s, rebuilt after the Great Fire, and their Court Room is the oldest in the City of London. 

The Vintners’ Hall is very rarely open to the public. Our visit to this historic building is led by liveryman and City guide, Guy Firbank, whose father was a Master of the Company. We shall learn about the history and traditions, functions and ceremonies of the Vintners, and their role today.  We shall see some of their treasures, including paintings, medieval tapestries, a collection of eighteenth-century drinking glasses, historic wine labels and much more.

The cost is £13 for admission and the tour.

Please complete a booking form which can be downloaded here.

Wednesday 6 March, Two Temple Place

2, Temple Place, London WC2R 3BD at 10.45 am

TwoTemplePlaceTwo Temple Place, a late Victorian mansion on the Embankment, was built for the fabulously wealthy American William Waldorf Astor after he emigrated to Britain in 1891. It is an exceptionally opulent architectural triumph in a neo-Gothic style completed in 1895, designed by John Loughborough Pearson originally for use as an estate office, but which became Astor’s London residence, reflecting his aesthetic and literary tastes. No expense was spared in the quality of the materials employed in the decoration of the interior and the extraordinarily high standard of craftsmanship. The floor of the Staircase hall is of inlaid marble in the Cosmati style, based on the floor at Westminster Abbey and illuminated by stained-glass windows. Astor’s favourite American and British literary and historic figures appear in statuary throughout the building, including characters from Shakespeare, Walter Scott, James Fennimore Cooper and Washington Irving. The most impressive interior of all is the Great Hall, Astor’s private office. It has a mahogany hammer-beam ceiling and is entered through a massive door, which on the inside has nine low-relief panels in silver-gilt by George Frampton, depicting heroines of the Arthurian legends.

Our tour will concentrate on the building’s art, architecture and history, but there is also a temporary exhibition which we are free to see in more detail on our own afterwards. John Ruskin: The Power of Seeing marks the bicentenary of the birth of John Ruskin (1819-1900) and celebrates the legacy and enduring relevance of his ideas and vision. There is a café for coffee before the tour and lunch afterwards. This is not included in the price.

The cost is £14 for admission and the tour. 

Please complete a booking form which can be downloaded here.


Wednesday 10 April, 10.30 am, The Fact or Folklore of Plants at Kenwood

A walk with Kenwood’s Head Gardener.

Meet at 10.30am, North Front of Kenwood House.

Walks are free for Friends of Kenwood; non-members £5.00.

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

You can also download an events sheet for September 2018  to January  2019


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