January 2021

What Have the Huguenots Ever Done for Us? Mass Migration and the Arts in Britain

Welcome to The Arts Society Canterbury Evening
Monday, January 18, 2021 -
19:30 to 20:30
Old Sessions House
Canterbury Christchurch University Longport CT1 1PL

Hugenots fled to the UK to avoid persecution. Learn how their work and culture has been absorbed into the British culture

The mass migration of the French Protestant Huguenots in the 16th and 17th centuries impacted the arts, the military and finance sectors of the countries to which they fled after suffering Catholic persecution in their homeland. It is estimated that upwards of 50,000 people settled in the British Isles, and that perhaps one in six of the country’s current population descends from Huguenot lineage. This lecture focuses on three areas of the arts impacted by the migration: the baroque style of Versailles that arrived in London through the great Huguenot designer, Daniel Marot, who worked for William and Mary at Hampton Court; the growth of the silk weaving industry in Canterbury, Spitalfields and later Sudbury and Macclesfield; and on the silversmiths and ceramicists who ushered the French Rococo style into Britain. This is put into the context of how their work changed material culture and was absorbed into British national identity. 


Ms Vivienne Lawes

Viv Lawes is a lecturer, curator, author and journalist, with over twenty years’ experience in the art market. She works at several prestigious Higher Education institutions in London, leading the Modern and Contemporary unit of the Asian Art & Its Markets semester course at Sotheby’s Institute and the History of Decorative Style (c.1400-1970) course at the City & Guilds of London Art School. She also lectures for the University of the Arts and IESA (Institut d’Etudes Supérieures des Arts), London. As Senior UK Consultant to Singapore gallery One East Asia since 2011, she has co-curated many exhibitions of Southeast Asian modern and contemporary art in London and Singapore. Her current project is a book is on themes in equine sculpture, commissioned by the Sladmore Gallery, London.