Past Lectures & Courses

My past lectures and courses are shown with the lecture or class notes when these are available.

Lecture: The Power of Beauty in Restoration England

Held at: The White House, 45 The Avenue, Hampton TW12 3RN
(free parking, café on site)
Lecturer: Dr. Laurence Shafe
Date: Wednesday 20 September 2017
Time: 14:30-16:30 (with a 20 minute break for tea/coffee)
Charity This talk is being held in aid of Sean’s House Hospice Support, which supports families of babies with life-limiting illness. It costs £12 to include refreshments and tickets can be obtained from:

Christine Crispin 020 3719 5201 or christine.crispin@phonecoop.coop.

Description: It is 1660, the English Civil War is over and the experiment with the Commonwealth has left the country confused. When Charles II was invited back to England as King he brought new French styles and sexual conduct with him. In particular, he introduced the French idea of the publically accepted mistress. Beautiful women who could attract the eye of the king could become his mistress and influence appointments at Court and political debate.

The new freedoms introduced by the Reformation Court spread through society. Women could act for the first time, write books and one was the first British scientist. However, it was a male dominated society and so these heroic women had to fight against established norms and laws. This talk examines the power and influence of one group of women and they way they were represented in art.  .

Lecture Notes: The Power of Beauty in Restoration England

Course: New Ways of Seeing—Modern British Art

Held at: The White House, 45 The Avenue, Hampton TW12 3RN
(free parking, café on site)
Lecturer: Dr. Laurence Shafe
Dates: Part 1: Wednesday 21 September 2016 – 30 November 2016
(10 classes with a half-term break the week of 24 October)Part 2: 4 January 2017 – 8 March 2017
(10 classes with no half-term break)
Time: 10:45-12:45 (with a 15 min coffee break)
Fee: £70 for 10 classes (paid by cheque at the first or second class)
Description: The course is an introduction to modern art and to British art from 1900 to the present day. The complete course is 20 two-hour talks split into two terms each of ten talks. No previous knowledge of art history is required.

The talks will put British art in the context of international developments and the talks will alternate between artists and themes. Artists covered in detail will include Stanley Spencer, Henry Moore, Lucian Freud, David Hockney and Grayson Perry, and the themes include Vorticism and abstraction, Surrealism, the World War artists, British sculpture, British figurative art, Pop art, the Young British Artists, Conceptual art, the Turner Prize, video and performance art, and Post-modernism. It is a full agenda but one that is packed with art works and anecdotes that show how artists had fun but were often engaged in serious social commentary.

The course starts by “climbing the mountain” of modern art using some of the most difficult works of art of the twentieth century. Each work raises fundamental questions about art and society and this creates a context for appreciating the work. Having climbed the mountain the rest of the course will explore the various vistas laid out before us.

  1. New Ways of Seeing
  2. Impressionism Post-Impressionism and Fauvism
  3. Cubism Abstraction and the British Avant Garde
  4. Vorticism and World War I Art
  5. Return to Order Stanley Spencer
  6. Dada Surrealism and Expressionism
  7. British Sculpture
  8. World War 2 Art
  9. British Figurative Art
  10. Summary 1900-1950
  11. British Art since 1950 Introduction
  12. Pop Art
  13. British Figurative Art since 1950
  14. David Hockney
  15. Feminist Art
  16. Conceptual Art & Minimalism
  17. Young British Artists
  18. Video and Performance Art
  19. Outsider Art & Grayson Perry
  20. Summary of Art since 1900

Lecture: The Power of Beauty in Restoration England

Held at: St. Lawrence School, Church Rd, Molesey, East Molesey KT8 9DR
Lecturer: Dr. Laurence Shafe
Dates: Wednesday, 1st February 2017
Time: 20:00-21:30 (following the AGM)
Description: It is 1660, the English Civil War is over and the experiment with the Commonwealth has left the country confused. When Charles II was invited back to England as King he brought new French styles and sexual conduct with him. In particular, he introduced the French idea of the publically accepted mistress. Beautiful women who could attract the eye of the king could become his mistress and influence appointments at Court and political debate.

The new freedoms introduced by the Reformation Court spread through society. Women could act for the first time, write books and one was the first British scientist. However, it was a male dominated society and so these heroic women had to fight against established norms and laws. This talk examines the power and influence of one group of women and they way they were represented in art.  .

Lecture Notes: The Power of Beauty in Restoration England

Course: The Politics of Early 19th Century Landscape

Held at: Camellia Room at Bourne Hall, Spring Street, Ewell, Surrey KT17 1UF
(free parking, café on site)
Lecturer: Dr. Laurence Shafe
Dates: Thursday 3 November
Time: 10:00-13:00 (with a 20 min coffee break)
Fee: £18 (enrol online at WEA)
Description: This short course covers the history and politics of rural unrest in early nineteenth century England and its impact on landscape art.

Late eighteenth-century and early nineteenth-century landscape painting including the work of J.M.W. Turner and John Constable. The history and politics of the rural unrest of the period including the enclosure acts and the Swing Riots. The changing role of the countryside as reflected in art. Social realism in art and English landscape painting.

Course Notes: The Politics of Early 19th Century Landscape

Lecture: Turner and Turnips: The Politics of Early 19th Century Landscape

Held at: Sunbury & Shepperton Arts Association
Lecturer: Dr. Laurence Shafe
Dates: Thursday 21 July 2016
Time: 20:00-21:45 (with a 20 min coffee break)
Description: The talk explores the interaction between some of the major landscape artists of the nineteenth century, such as John Constable and J. M. W. Turner, and the political and social exploitation of the countryside.

Turner and Turnips

Course: 300 Years of British Art: from Holbein to Hogarth, Part 1

Held at: The White House, 45 The Avenue, Hampton TW12 3RN
(free parking, café on site)
Lecturer: Dr. Laurence Shafe
Dates: Wednesday 23 September – 2 December 2015
(10 classes with a half-term break)
Time: 10:45-12:15 (with a 15 min coffee break)
Fee: £70 for 10 classes (pay by cheque on 23 September)
Description: The first ten weeks covers the art and architecture of the Tudor and Stuart periods, the English Renaissance, Inigo Jones, Rubens and Van Dyck and the Commonwealth Sale.

  1. Introduction: 1500-1660
  2. How Art Helped Establish the Tudor Dynasty
  3. The Hidden History of Hampton Court
  4. Hans Holbein at the Court of Henry VIII
  5. The Wholesale Destruction of English Art
  6. Images of Elizabeth I: Fashion or Propaganda?
  7. The Secrets of Tudor Art
  8. Van Dyck and the Early Stuart Painters
  9. Inigo Jones
  10. How the Royal Collection was Mis-sold

 Course: 300 Years of British Art: from Holbein to Hogarth, Part 2

Held at: The White House, 45 The Avenue, Hampton TW12 3RN
(free parking, café on site)
Lecturer: Dr. Laurence Shafe
Dates: Wednesday 6 January – 9 March 2016
(10 classes with no half-term break)
Time: 10:45-12:15 (with a 15 min coffee break)
Fee: £70 for 10 classes (pay by cheque on 6 January)
Description: The second ten weeks covers Restoration art, such as the ‘Windsor Beauties’ and the Georgian period including Hogarth and Gainsborough.

11 Introduction 1660-1800
12 The Windsor and Hampton Court Beauties
13 Wren and the English Baroque
14 Hogarth His Life and Society
15 Gainsborough and his Rivals
16 The Royal Academy
17 Zoffany and the Conversation Piece
18 The Romantic Age of English Painting
19 The Art of the Industrial Revolution
20 Summary 1500-1800

WEA Course: A Fresh Look at Nineteenth-Century Art, Part 1

Held at: St. Andrew’s URC, Walton-on-Thames
Lecturer: Dr. Laurence Shafe
Dates: Thursday 24 September – 3 December 2015
(10 classes with a half-term break)
Time: 10:00-12:0 (with a 15 min coffee break)
Fee: Contact the WEA to register
Description: The course gives an overview of nineteenth-century art and shows how it has been misunderstood. I explain the ways in which British art was innovative and how portrait and landscape art developed, the influence of the Royal Academy and how new scientific discoveries changed the way we see the world. The emphasis was on the major art controversies and on showing how the art reflected the political and social issues of the period.

  1. Introduction
  2. Academic Painting
  3. Portrait Painting
  4. Landscape Reimagined Part 1
  5. Landscape Reimagined Part 2
  6. Social Realism and Victorian Morality
  7. Photography and Art
  8. Women in Art – Part 1
  9. Women in Art – Part 2
  10. Summary

WEA Course: A Fresh Look at Nineteenth-Century Art, Part 2

Held at: St. Andrew’s URC, Walton-on-Thames
Lecturer: Dr. Laurence Shafe
Dates: Thursday 14 January – 24 March 2016
(10 classes with a half-term break)
Time: 10:00-12:0 (with a 15 min coffee break)
Fee: Contact the WEA to register
Description: The second part of the course covers the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, the Aesthetic Movement, Arts & Crafts and English Impressionism from the point of view of Victorian society and the multiple conflicting influences on the artist.
11 Introduction
12 Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood – Early Days
13 Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood – Later
14 Aesthetic Movement to Degeneration Part 1
15 Aesthetic Movement to Degeneration Part 2
16 The Arts & Crafts Movement
17 The Arts & Crafts Movement – William Morris
18 English Impressionism etc
19 Newlyn, Glasgow, Camden Town
20 Summary of course

Lecture: Social Realism in Victorian Painting

Held at: Esher Green Adult Learning Centre, KT10 8AA, opposite Christ Church, Esher, Surrey
Lecturer: Dr. Laurence Shafe
Dates: Friday 12 February 2016
Time: 10:00-12:00 (with a 15 min break)
Fee: £12 (contact 0300 200 1044 to book this lecture)
Description: The Victorians were starkly divided between two nations, the rich and the poor. The rich invented charity as a way of dealing with the existence of the poor. In 1846 Richard Redgrave painted The Sempstress highlighting one aspect of the problem of the poor and starting a new genre of painting—social realism. This lecture discusses the social issues and the development of social realism over the Victorian period.

Social Realism in Victorian Painting

Lecture: The Power of Beauty in Restoration England

Held at: Esher Green Adult Learning Centre, KT10 8AA, opposite Christ Church, Esher, Surrey
Lecturer: Dr. Laurence Shafe
Dates: Friday 4 March 2016
Time: 10:00-12:00 (with a 15 min break)
Fee: £12 (contact 0300 200 1044 to book this lecture)
Description: The Windsor and Hampton Court beauties are a group of society paintings of the influential women of the Restoration period. The Windsor beauties were painted by Sir Peter Lely and the Hampton Court beauties are the next generation captured by Sir Godfrey Kneller. The lecture takes us into the intriguing and sometimes shocking lives of these powerful women.

The Power of Beauty in Restoration England

Lecture: The Art of Victorian Photography

Held at: Esher Green Adult Learning Centre, KT10 8AA, opposite Christ Church, Esher, Surrey
Lecturer: Dr. Laurence Shafe
Dates: Friday 18 March
Time: 10:00-12:00 (with a 15 min break)
Fee: £12 (contact 0300 200 1044 to book this lecture)
Description: The invention and blossoming of photography coincides with the Victorian era and photography had an enormous influence on how Victorians saw the world. We will see how photography raised issues concerning the role and purpose of painting and how it was embroiled in debates about whether it was an art; artists used photography, photographers emulated paintings, photography put portrait painters out of business and many more people could afford images of exotic people and locations.

The Art of Victorian Photography

WEA Lecture: The Politics of Nineteenth-Century Landscape

Held at: United Reformed Church Centre, Guildford
Lecturer: Dr. Laurence Shafe
Dates: Friday 25 September 2015
Time: 10:00-13:00 (with a 30 min coffee break)
Fee: Contact the WEA to register
Description: The talk explores the interaction between some of the major landscape artists of the nineteenth century, such as John Constable and J. M. W. Turner, and the political and social exploitation of the countryside.

Notes: The Politics of Early 19thC Landscape

Lecture: Secret and Puzzling Tudor Art

Held at: Esher Green Adult Learning Centre, KT10 8AA, opposite Christ Church, Esher, Surrey
Lecturer: Dr. Laurence Shafe
Dates: Friday 6 November 2015
Time: 10:00-12:00 (with a 15 min break)
Fee: £12 (contact 0300 200 1044 to book this lecture)
Description: The Tudors loved verbal and visual puzzles often created as yet another way of praising the monarch. The lecture will show you how to decode some puzzling paintings and other images by examining their social and historical background. We will see, for example, why Elizabethan I was described as Astraea, the legendary virgin goddess of the Golden Age which was the first of Greece’s five ages of man.

Notes: Secret and Puzzling Tudor Art

Lecture: Cromwell’s Extraordinary Art Sale

Held at: Esher Green Adult Learning Centre, KT10 8AA, opposite Christ Church, Esher, Surrey
Lecturer: Dr. Laurence Shafe
Dates: Friday 4 December 2015
Time: 10:00-12:00 (with a 15 min break)
Fee: £12 (contact 0300 200 1044 to book this lecture)
Description: Of all the English monarchs Charles I was the greatest art collector and during his reign he amassed one of the largest art collections in Europe. Following his public execution the new Puritan Commonwealth Parliament decided to sell all the royal possessions. What followed was a tale of mismanagement, corruption and farce. The lecture will describe why tradesmen were paid in Titians and van Dycks and how some shrewd individuals made a fortune as many famous paintings were distributed across the courts of Europe.

Notes: Cromwell’s Extraordinary Art Sale or How the Royal Collection was Mis-sold

Lecture: Inigo Jones – Man, Masques and Mansions

Held at: Esher Green Adult Learning Centre, KT10 8AA, opposite Christ Church, Esher, Surrey
Lecturer: Dr. Laurence Shafe
Dates: Monday 29 June 2015
Time: 19:00-21:00 (with a 15 min coffee break)
Description: Inigo Jones was a powerhouse of innovation in the Jacobean court of the early seventeenth century. He was a man of many talents and was the first significant British architect of the early modern period as well as being responsible for staging over 500 performances, many with Ben Jonson. He laid out Covent Garden and designed the Banqueting House in Whitehall yet he is little known today. The lecture talks about the man and his personal relationships and describes how he brought the masque to life as an early form of theatre. He was familiar with Italy and Italian architecture and when he became Surveyor-General of the King’s Works he was able to apply classical and Renaissance ideas to the design of many key buildings in London.
Notes:  Inigo Jones

Lecture: Images of Elizabeth I – Fashion or Propaganda?

Held at: Esher Green Adult Learning Centre, KT10 8AA, opposite Christ Church, Esher, Surrey
Lecturer: Dr. Laurence Shafe
Dates: Friday 1 May 2015
Time: 10:00-12:00 (with a 15 min coffee break)
Description: When we see paintings and engravings of Elizabeth I we tend to accept the flat style as indicative of a medieval approach. Yet the Tudor court was alive with modern ideas from across Europe and her father, Henry VIII, had employed Hans Holbein who produced some of the greatest and most life-like portraits every painted. This suggests that Elizabeth and her advisers were controlling her image, but to what end? The lecture examines a number of Elizabeth’s portraits and suggests possible interpretations based on their style and the symbols used. The conclusion is that the paintings of Elizabeth were different from those of other monarchs across Europe because they were part of a carefully managed plan to construct an image of Elizabeth that reconciled her power and position with her gender.
Notes: Images of Elizabeth I: Fashion or Propaganda?

LECTURE: HOW TO READ PAINTINGS – CONTEXT, SYMBOLS AND FORM

Held at: Esher Green Adult Learning Centre, KT10 8AA, opposite Christ Church, Esher, Surrey
Lecturer: Dr. Laurence Shafe
Dates: Friday 27 February 2015
Time: 10:00-12:00 (with a 15 min coffee break)
Description: There are many ways to look at and analyse a work of art and these often become confused. One critic might discuss the works formal properties, such as its forms and colour while another examines it from a feminist standpoint. This talk provides a simple guide through these approaches and it enables any painting to be looked at in a new light. The tripartite approach of context, symbolism and form is used to bring order to the chaos and numerous works of art through the ages are used to illustrate how this approach works in practice. This approach is used to examine the symbolism of Renaissance paintings, the use of colour in French Impressionist paintings and the feminist interpretation of art.
Notes: Reading Paintings

LECTURE: VICTORIAN ART AND DARWINIAN BEAUTY

Held at: Esher Green Adult Learning Centre, KT10 8AA, opposite Christ Church, Esher, Surrey
Lecturer: Dr. Laurence Shafe
Dates: Monday 2 February 2015
Time: 19:00-21:00 (with a 15 min coffee break)
Description: Charles Darwin devoted two-thirds of his influential book The Descent of Man to an explanation of how beautiful characteristics, such as the peacock’s tail, evolved. This scientific explanation of beauty was published in 1871 at the same time as the ‘art for art’s sake’ movement proposed beauty as the sole purpose of art. The Aesthetic Movement embodied these ideas and by examining the work of various fine and decorative artists such as James McNeill Whistler, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and William Morris we can see how blue and white china and peacock feathers became the fashion in every trendsetting drawing room. The story of how science and art intermingled around the notion of beauty involves many surprising incidents and anecdotes that bring this dynamic Victorian period to life.
Notes: Victorian Art and Darwinian Beauty

COURSE: VICTORIAN ART AND SOCIETY

Held at: The White House, 45 The Avenue, Hampton TW12 3RN (free parking and café on site)
Lecturer: Dr. Laurence Shafe
Dates: Wednesday 7 January 2015-11 March 2015
Time: 10:45-12:15 (with a 15 min coffee break)
Description: The course covers the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, the Aesthetic Movement, Arts & Crafts and English Impressionism from the point of view of Victorian society and the multiple, conflicting influences on the artist.
Notes:

COURSE: NINETEENTH-CENTURY ART AND SOCIETY

Held at: The White House, 45 The Avenue, Hampton TW12 3RN (free parking and café on site)
Lecturer: Dr. Laurence Shafe
Dates: Wednesday 24 September– 3 December2014
Time: 10:45-12:15 (with a 15 min coffee break)
Description: The course gives an overview of nineteenth-century art and shows how it has been misunderstood. I explain the ways in which British art was innovative and how portrait and landscape art developed, the influence of the Royal Academy and how new scientific discoveries changed the way we see the world. The emphasis was on the major art controversies and on showing how the art reflected the political and social issues of the period.
Notes:

Leave a Reply