Become an instant expert with our Autumn Study Days

Become an instant expert with our Autumn Study Days

29 Aug 2019 - 15:03 BY The Arts Society

Plan ahead and discover new things on our Arts Society Study Days and courses – open to both Members and non-Members.



Ancient Persia and Modern Iran – the art of Persepolis, Isfahan and Shiraz
12 NOV, 10.30AM-3.30PM 

Tutor: Chris Bradley

This day charts the cultures that shaped the ancient city of Persepolis. It explores how calligraphy and Islamic architecture reached new heights in the 17th century, especially in Isfahan and Shiraz.

The Art Workers’ Guild, 6 Queen Square, Bloomsbury
£36 (coffee)
E: Susan Branfield –

Pleasures of the past: from the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens and the circus to music halls and picture palaces

19 NOV, 10.30AM-3.30PM

Tutor: Andrew Davies

Discover London’s historic pastimes, from Vauxhall and Ranelagh Pleasure Gardens to Astley’s Amphitheatre – regarded as the first British circus. The day will also look at venues, including Wilton’s Music Hall and the London Coliseum.
The Art Workers’ Guild (as before)
£36 (coffee and biscuits)
E: Tricia Savours –

Troy: myth and reality

28 NOV, 10AM-4PM

Tutor: Alexandra Villing

For over 3,000 years the legend of Troy has inspired generations of artists. This event includes a visit to the British Museum’s Troy: myth and reality exhibition, and a lecture from curator Alexandra Villing.

The British Museum, Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury
£31 (refreshments, lecture and exhibition entry)
E: Jean Schooling –

Palladio and the scholars

6 DEC, 10.30AM-3.15PM

Tutor: Margaret Knight

Explore the influences that shaped Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio, and chart the generations of architects that have been inspired by his work The Four Books on Architecture. 

Society of Antiquaries (see box, right)
£30 (no refreshments)
E: Jenny Mulholland –


7 JAN 2020, 10.30AM-3.30PM

Tutor: Clare Ford-Wille

Stretching from the Etruscan period to the present day, this event explores the cultural history of Bologna, from the Basilica of San Petronio and the Palazzo Magnani, to the work of artists including the Carracci family and Giorgio Morandi. 

Art Workers’ Guild (as before)
E: Susan Branfield –


10 JAN, 14 FEB, 13 MAR, 17 APR, 8 MAY, 19 JUN 2020, 10.30AM-3.15PM

Tutor: Margaret Knight

This course celebrates the variety of art produced by overlooked and newly established countries during the 19th century. The first session reveals the works selected for the international exhibitions in the second half of the century, and contemporary responses to them. The following sessions explore the art created in specific countries, looking at Scandinavia, Italy, Spain, Germany and America.

Society of Antiquaries (as before)
£150 (full course); £30 (individual sessions – subject to availability)
E: Jenny Mulholland –

The two faces of Russia – Moscow and St Petersburg
24 JAN 2020, 10.30AM-3.30PM

Tutor: Rosamund Bartlett

Exploring the art, architecture and differing ways of life in the cities of St Petersburg and Moscow, before and after the 1917 Revolution. 

The Linnean Society, Burlington House, Piccadilly
E: Tricia Savours –


The Anatomy of Collecting

17 OCT, 10AM-3.30PM

Tutor: Marc Allum

Learn about some of history’s greatest collectors – and what inspired their curiosity – with Antiques Roadshow expert Marc Allum. Uncover fakes and forgeries, and discover the importance of provenance. Bring your own antiques!

The Best Western Tiverton Hotel, Tiverton, Devon
£39 (coffee and buffet lunch)
E: Sarah Merchant – 

Am I Missing Something? Exeter History of Arts Course

17, 24, 31 JAN AND 7, 14 FEB 2020, 10AM-3.30PM

Tutors: Geri Parlby and Jeni Fraser

Expect secrets and surprises in this fresh look at art history. Examine Australian art from a European perspective, discover British art collectors and explore the works of the Etruscans, Imperial Rome and Christian art. The course also looks at the origins of medieval Europe, Gothic art and Giotto’s paintings.  
Exeter Library, Castle Street, Exeter
£130 (full course)
E: Carol Cathcart –

Am I Missing Something? Taunton History of Arts Course

20, 27 FEB AND 5, 12, 19 MAR 2020, 10AM-3.30PM

Tutors: Geri Parlby and Jeni Fraser

Uncover hidden messages and symbols in art. Learn about the history of propaganda and political satire, the symbolism of the colour red, Egyptian revivalism in the 19th and 20th centuries, the work of women artists across the ages, medicine in art and poisonous pigments. 

Museum of Somerset, Taunton Castle, Castle Green, Taunton
£130 (full course)

E: Dr David Yates –


Decoding Courtly Dress in Tudor and Restoration England

5 OCT, 10AM-1PM

Tutor: Jacqui Ansell

From emblematic jewellery and embroidery to perfumed gloves and poking sticks, delve into the fashions of the Tudor period and the props and accessories that feature in the works of Sir Peter Lely and Anthony van Dyck.

The Clockhouse, Milford, Surrey
£18 (refreshments and Tudor biscuits)
E: Liz Coult –


Cultural revolution in the heart of Europe: Prague, Ljubljana and Budapest

25 NOV, 10AM-2.30PM

Tutor: Gavin Plumley

Explore how Prague, Ljubljana and Budapest used culture to shape their national identities, through art, architecture, literature and music.

Little Baddow Memorial Hall, Little Baddow, Chelmsford
£35 (refreshments and lunch)
E: Megan Bashir meganbashir@ 


Heritage Highlights – The Whole Art of the Book

2 OCT, 10.30AM-3PM

Tutor: Dominic Riley

From the invention of bookbinding on the Nile 2,000 years ago, explore the evolution of the craft. Learn how to make a traditional hardbound book and watch a demonstration of techniques. Bring along your own books! 

The King’s Church, Raans Road, Amersham
£37 (sandwich lunch and refreshments)
E: Felicity Sykes  

Heritage Highlights – Art in the City

15 NOV, 10.30AM-3PM

Tutor: Alexandra Epps

Unearth more than 2,000 years of history in this celebration of the City of London’s heritage. Marvel at the stained glass to be found within the City churches, discover 
hidden works of public art and learn how the Thames has inspired artists.  

The King’s Church (as before)
£37 (sandwich lunch and refreshments)
E: Felicity Sykes 
T: 01296 620830


Truth and Beauty in Art – an exploration of how the concept of truth and beauty in art has changed over time and between cultures

22 JAN 2020 Tutor: David Rosier; 26 FEB 2020 Suzanne Perrin; 24 MAR 2020 Chantal Brotherton–Ratcliffe

A course on how the concepts of value, truth and beauty in art have varied between cultures throughout history. 

Headley Lecture Theatre, Ashmolean Museum, Beaumont Street, Oxford
£114 (full course); £38 (individual sessions)
E: Hilary Reid Evans – 


The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden – the inside view

26 NOV, 10AM-3.30PM

Tutor: Nigel Bates

Filled with stories – and secrets – this day reveals what life is like backstage at the famous arts venue. Learn about costume and set designs, and the history and architecture 
of the building, and enjoy performance clips.

Michael Herbert Hall, Wilton, Salisbury
£25 (coffee and sandwich lunch)
E: Ann Danby – 


Sir Stamford Raffles – art collector and discoverer of Singapore

8 NOV, 10AM-1PM

Tutor: Denise Heywood

Sir Stamford Raffles was known as the founder of modern Singapore. To mark the 200th anniversary of his arrival there, this day looks at the country’s architectural heritage and Raffles’ legacy.

The Yehudi Menuhin Hall, Cobham Road, Stoke d’Abernon, Cobham
E: Jo Edna Corbyn –
T: 07758 097003


Perfectly Palladian, coolly classical, gloomily Gothic – the Georgian country house in North West England and beyond

17 OCT, 10.30AM

Tutor: Roger Mitchell

Set at historic Lytham Hall, this day showcases the influence of the British country house, including discussions on the architectural styles of the 18th century and a guided tour of the property.

Lytham Hall, Ballam Road, Lytham, Lancashire
£42 (lunch, refreshments and guided tour)
E: Sue O’Brien –  



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