DEC 2017 - JUNE 2018  

All lectures begin at 11.00 am in the Lecture Room

Exception:  the lecture on 15 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 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.

Sunday 18 February, The Great Velásquez at Court in Madrid
Dr Jacqueline Cockburn

When Velásquez moved to Madrid, the centre of the Spanish court, his life changed and so did his art. The lecture will discuss his time serving the court, his subjects and his development as a great artist. It ends with an exploration of his most celebrated work, Las Meninas. The painting with its extraordinary use of perspective will be unravelled in terms of the artist’s own life and wishes and his relationship with the Monarchy.

Dr Cockburn specialises in Spanish Art and lectures at the V&A, Christies Education and the Art Fund. She now runs residential courses in Southern Spain on the art and culture of the region.

Sunday 18 March, Impressionists in London, French Artists in Exile (1870-1904)
Dr Caroline Corbeau-Parsons

The devastation caused by the Franco-Prussian war and the insurrection in Paris drove artists to seek refuge in Britain. Their experiences in London and the friendships that developed not only influenced their own work but also contributed to the British art scene. The current exhibition ‘Impressionists in London, French artists in exile (1870–1904)’ at Tate Britain is the first to map the connections between French and British artists, patrons and art dealers. The works by Monet, Tissot, Pissarro and their compatriots are a fascinating insight into how London was perceived by these visiting artists.

Dr Corbeau-Parsons specialises in art of the late 19th and early 20th century and is the curator of the exhibition.

Sunday 15 April   (at 11.30am following AGM)
Art and Revolution: The Life and Death of the Russian Avant-Garde
Dr Rosamund Bartlett

Before the Bolsheviks stormed the Winter Palace in 1917, Russian artists staged a daring revolution of their own by changing the language of art, and became the leaders of the European avant-garde.  At the time of the Revolution, some artists chose to remain in exile, but others, like Kandinsky, Chagall and Malevich, went on to play a leading role in early Soviet culture, amidst utopian hopes for a bright future. This lecture will explore the major developments in Russian art in the early revolutionary years.

Dr Bartlett is a distinguished Russian scholar, writer and translator with expertise in Russian art, literature and music. She has written biographies of Chekhov and Tolstoy, and her new translation of Anna Karenina was published to acclaim in 2014. We are delighted to welcome Dr Bartlett once more to Kenwood.

Sunday 13 May,
Making hay while the sun shines: the agricultural cycle and the marking of time in the Middle Ages

Dr Cathy Oakes

In illuminated medieval calendars and other visual media the months were represented by the signs of the zodiac and by the various labours which marked the turning of the year for those who worked the land. This talk will consider these images and ask how they were viewed, and how far they give us an authentic insight into the lives of the labouring classes of the period.

Dr Oakes is an associate professor in Art History at the University of Oxford. She is a medievalist and has published books and articles on French and English Romanesque, Marian iconography and English visual culture in the sixteenth century.

Sunday 17 June, Within Walls: The Archaeology of Magical Building Protection
Brian Hoggard

This lecture explores the material evidence for witchcraft beliefs which has been discovered in fabric and buildings throughout Britain and far beyond. Such objects as witch-bottles, dried cats and horse skulls as well as written charms and markings which have been carved onto surfaces are all testimony to these strong beliefs which were once commonplace.

Brian Hoggard’s degree dissertation on folk beliefs and ritual has developed into a major project on the archaeology of witchcraft in the early modern period which he is still exploring. The fruits of his research so far are the subject of the lecture.



Thursday 1 February, An Evening at The College of Arms

130, Queen Victoria Street, London, EC4V 4BT at 6.15pm
CollegeOfArmsA new venture – our first evening visit with guided tour, wine and supper - will be held at the atmospheric College of Arms. The elegant college building dates from the 1670s, rebuilt after its predecessor burnt down in the Great Fire of 1666.

This venerable institution was founded in in the 15th century when the chief function of the heralds was the organisation of tournaments. The knights taking part were recognised by the arms they bore on their shields and the crests they wore on their helmets. Heralds soon acquired an expert knowledge of these and became responsible for recording arms, and then later for controlling their use. Subsequently, the heralds have created and maintained registers of arms and pedigrees. They grant new coats of arms, register family trees, undertake genealogical and heraldic research and advise public bodies and private individuals on all aspects of heraldry. They also assist the Earl Marshal in matters ceremonial, such as Coronations, State Funerals and the State Opening of Parliament. At the core of the College of Arms is a vast manuscript archive of heraldic and genealogical material which has been gathered and preserved over the centuries.

Our visit will be guided by John Petrie, Rouge Croix Pursuivant. After giving us a brief history of heraldry, the role of the heralds today and how they run their practices, we shall have about an hour in the Record Room looking at a selection of historic records, including material relating to the Mansfield and Iveagh families.

Friends should note that access is by a flight of steps, lavatories are on the 3rd floor and we shall be on our feet in the Record Room for an hour.

The total cost of the visit, including wine and buffet supper is £38.

Please complete a booking form which can be downloaded here.

Wednesday 7 March, Turner’s House, Sandycombe Lodge

Sandycombe Lodge, 40 Sandycoombe Road, Twickenham TW1 2LR at 1.45pm

SandycombeLodgeIn summer 2017, J.M.W. Turner’s country villa in Twickenham was opened to the public to great acclaim for the imagination and sensitivity of the major restoration and refurbishment that had begun in April 2016.  Sandycombe Lodge was completed by 1813 to Turner’s designs as a quiet retreat for himself, away from the pressures of the London art world. It also provided a home for his father, old William, in retirement from his trade as a barber and wigmaker in Covent Garden. However, with old William’s declining health and changes in his own life, Turner decided to sell the house in 1826.

Restoration involved removing the additions and extensions made to the house by later owners and returning the house to Turner’s design. A major discovery was that the house had not originally been stuccoed, as was thought, so all the stucco was removed to reveal a handsome brick building. The house has been imaginatively furnished with objects from the early 19th century, using contemporary accounts as sources and information on the old-fashioned items listed in the inventory of his London house, taken after his death in 1851.

Our guided tour will enable us to appreciate the scholarship and craftsmanship that has gone into restoring this gem of a house and to learn more about the life and work of J.M.W. Turner.

The cost is £8 for admission and tour. 

Please complete a booking form which can be downloaded here.


Tuesday 17 April, 10.30 am, Kenwood’s Ancient Woodlands


A walk with Kenwood’s Head Gardener. Meet at North Front of Kenwood House.

This walk is 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 January to June  2018


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