London of the 21st Century is irreversibly cosmopolitan, with a mix of cultures, religions and ethnicities. From 2000, the city boomed with new and exciting buildings and for the Millennium the O2 opened, and later provided a concert and exhibition centre; and the Bankside Power Station was developed into Tate Modern, now counting about 5.8 million visitors a year.

The Docklands area continued to grow and the regeneration project extended from Tower Bridge to the Thames Estuary and was followed by more regeneration projects stretching west along the river Thames. The Eurostar moved to Stratford and  London became the host city for the 2012 Olympic Games with the main Olympic site in the Lower Lea Valley.

The Shard opened in 2013 and the area around it and London Bridge station was developed. London now has more than 40 theatres, two opera houses, and five symphony orchestras, plus an enormous number of fringe theatre companies, arts events, dance groups, musicians, stand–up comedians and performance poets.

In this, the final year of our History of London Through Its Artists & Craftsmen course we will be looking at the first two decades of this new century, but also glancing backwards at some of the artists and craftsmen that we have not yet managed to investigate and enjoy.  

     

DAY 1    4 October 2021          LONDON’S FORGOTTEN RIVERS & CANALS.

                                                  Lecturer Roger Butler

                                                    Afternoon visit:  A canal side walk  

DAY 2    25 October 2021         LATE 20th C  LONDON ARCHITECTURE.

                                                   Lecturer Colin Davies    

                                                    Afternoon visit:    An architecture walk

DAY 3    15 November 2021      FLEET STREET.

                                                   Lecturer Geri Parlby

                                                    Afternoon visit:   tbc

DAY 4    6 December 2021       MODERN JEWELLERY.

                                                  Lecturer Andrew Prince

                                                  Afternoon visit:The Jewellery Gallery, V& A                                             

DAY 5    3 January 2022          BIRTH & GROWTH of LONDON’S AUCTION HOUSES

                                                  Lecturer Grant Ford

                                                  Afternoon visit:   An auction house visit 

DAY 6    24 January 2022        ART IN THE CITY

                                                  Lecturer Alexandra Epps

                                                  Afternoon visit:   A walk in the City

DAY 7    7 February 2022        THE QUEEN’S PAINTINGS ON DISPLAY.

                                                  Lecturer Linda Collins

                                                  Afternoon:  third lecture in the afternoon

DAY 8  21 February 2022       THE ROYAL MAIL.

                                                 Lecturer John Francis

                                                 Afternoon visit:   A visit to the Postal Museum & Mail Rail

DAY 9   7 March 2022             21st CENTURY LONDON ARCHITECTURE.

                                                Lecturer  Colin Davies

                                                Afternoon visit:    An architecture walk                    

DAY 10  28 March 2022         THE ROYAL OPERA HOUSE.

                                                 Lecturer Nigel Bates

                                                 Afternoon visit:  The Royal Opera House    

DAY 11 12 April 2021             LOOKING AT LONDON - A SUMMARY 

                                                Lecturer: Rosalind Whyte 

                                                Afternoon visit:  The Sky Garden

THE ARTS SOCIETY ACCREDITED LECTURER

Mr Andrew Prince

Andrew Prince has had a passion for jewellery since he was a small child. In fact his enthusiasm can be traced back to the time when, at the age of three, he swallowed one of his mother’s pearl earrings having found her jewel box hidden from him in a cupboard. The very first piece of jewellery he created was a ring made of copper wire pulled from the back of a television. He presented it to his grandmother (it turned her finger green and gave her a rash). He then created a necklace for his mother using beads taken off her wedding dress (she was not at all happy).

In 1980, when he was nine, Andrew's mother took him to the Princely Magnificence exhibition at the V&A, exhibiting Renaissance jewels dating from 1500 to 1630. It proved a revelation. Dazzled by the splendour and opulence of the jewels on show, Andrew decided then and there that creating jewellery was what he wanted to devote his life to. His passion for jewellery grew when, in 1984 on his first ever visit to Bond Street, Andrew viewed an exhibition by Castellani and Giulianoe at Wartski & Co’s. While there, he was allowed to handle beautiful 18th century gold boxes and magnificent imperial Russian pieces by Fabergé. In 1987, just before leaving school, he took time off to visit Geneva to view the astonishing Sotheby’s auction of the Duchess of Windsor's jewellery collection. Here, for the first time, he held pieces created by some of the world's greatest jewellers, fashioned from only the finest of stones and set in designs of outstanding quality. For the young Andrew, it was a life-changing experience.

In August of that year, two weeks after his 16th birthday, Andrew started work in London’s Bond Street, working for The Antiques Roadshow expert Ian Harris. Under his guidance, Andrew developed an appreciation for jewels that were valued for their quality of design and craftsmanship, rather than for how much the stones in the piece were worth. He then joined the renowned contemporary jeweller Elizabeth Gage and worked with her on the design and production side. Through her and her private collection, Andrew was able to see and handle rare and extraordinary stones with names such as Sphene, Andalusite, Spinel and Dioptase, many of which are far rarer than diamonds. Elizabeth Gage was to have an enormous influence on Andrew's sense of what was possible within the realm of jewellery design.

Andrew's taste for fine 'costume jewellery' can be traced back to an antique market, where he came across a late Victorian brooch set with what he initially thought were emeralds and diamonds. They were, in fact, crystal and green glass set in silver and gold. He realised that beautiful jewellery didn't require expensive stones, and that it was the elegance of the design and the quality of the workmanship that truly mattered. Private commissions then started to trickle in. The trickle turned into a flood, as celebrities such as Michael Jackson (a large crystal and pearl shoulder jewel) and Shirley Bassey (necklaces) were seen wearing Andrew's creations.

In 2002, the V&A commissioned a collection of jewels to accompany the resplendent Tiaras, Past and Present exhibition which became one of their most popular exhibits. The exposure gained by the show then led to Andrew's jewellery appearing in film.

In 2005, he was asked to make tiaras and jewellery for Mrs Henderson Presents starring Judy Dench. In 2009, pieces were commissioned for The Young Victoria starring Emily Blunt and Miranda Richardson. In 2012, he was chosen by the creators of Downton Abbey to supply a large collection of jewellery for the third series. The characters played by Maggie Smith, Shirley Maclaine, Elizabeth McGovern and Michelle Dockery were all adorned with elegant tiaras, combs, earrings and necklaces designed and created by Andrew Prince.