Study Days and Courses

Study Days and Courses

Plan ahead and discover new things on an Arts Society special interest day or course


Due to the current crisis, many Study Days and Courses organised by The Arts Society centrally are being held online


Tuesdays 23rd, 30th March, 6th April 2021, 11.00am - 12.00pm
Lecturer: Julian Halsby

This series of 3 lectures aims to give an account of the achievements and developments of painting in Britain from the Pre-Raphaelites to the First World War. It was a dynamic period with the Pre-Raphaelites, the square brush painters of Newlyn and Glasgow, the London Impressionists, the Camden Town School and Roger Fry’s explosive Post-Impressionist exhibitions in London in 1910-12. Some art historians see this period of British painting as backward looking and conventional. Hopefully this study course will change your views on this!

Price: £10 per lecture or £25 for all three

Contact: Alison Watson on


14th and 15th April, 2021, 10.15am to c15.00pm
Lecturer: Chloe Sayer

Two days looking at the culture and art of the peoples from Mexico, ancient and modern, Peru, the Incas, and the Maya

Price: £15 per day

Contact: Julie Price on or 01380 816510

Castles – Ancient & Modern Creating Windsor Castle – A Step-By-Step Guide

7th May 2021, 10:30am
Tutor: Dr. Jonathan Foyle

Architectural historian Dr. Jonathan Foyle will explore the shifting associations in castle design and purpose over the last 1000 years and how they became palatial residences during the 16th and 17th century. He will also break down the evolution of Windsor Castle into seminal moments from William the Conqueror’s mound to the 19th century transformation as a picturesque composition under George IV.

Price to be advised.
Contact: Jo Edna Corbyn - E: T: 07758 097003, or visit the website 


12 October 2021 - Marie Conte-Helm

  • An introduction to the Arts of China: Tradition, continuity and change
  • Travellers Among Mountains and Streams: Masterpieces of Chinese Landscape Painting
  • Sunken Treasures from the East: Tales of Chinese Shipwreck porcelain


16 November 2021 - David Rosier

  • China's First Emperor and his terracotta afterlife (221 to 209 BC)
  • The Emperor Qianlong (1736-1796)
  • The Dowager Empress Cixi (1835 to 1908)


18 January 2022 - Viv Lawes

  • The Honourable East India Company and East west trade: Chintz, Chinese Export and Chinoiserie 1600-1800 15 February 2022 am Patrick Conner
  • Tea, Opium and Hong Kong
  • The Imperial Gardens of China pm Jon Cannon
  • Sacred Art of Ancient China


15 March 2022 - David Rosier

  • Origins, Evolution, 21c Legacy: Chinese imperial art collection


Price £15 per day (for 3 lectures)


Please note that due to the current crisis these events are subject to change


We have lined up Special Interest Mornings for 2021 - subject to confirmation closer to the date. For more information, please go to: 


Beethoven at 250 - and a half!

5th July 2021, 10.00am - 2.30pm
Lecturer: Sandy Burnett

Sandy will guide us through the life andnd work of this brilliant, cantankerous, visionary composer who tore up the rule book of classical music. Visual illustrations include a selection of contemporary portraits, while the musical examples will include piano sonatas, quartets and symphonies and from the opera Fidelio. Beethoven was a true Romantic artist who described himself a "poet in sound."

Venue: Little Baddow Memorial Hall, Little Baddow, Chelmsford CM3 4TA
Price: £38 to include morning coffee at registration and a light lunch with soft drinks.

Contact: Megan Bashir - Tel: 01277 374 314

Hampshire and Isle of Wight

The Phoenix at the Fall of Empire

16 Apr 2021, 10.30am - 3pm
Lecturer: Anne Haworth

In Ancient China, the phoenix, a bird of myth and legend, symbolised the Empress, consort to the Dragon Emperor. This study day focuses on three Empresses who lived in the Forbidden City from the 18th century to the end of empire in 1911. Empress Xiaoxian was consort to the Qianlong Emperor, one of China’s greatest art collectors. The formidable Dowager Empress Cixi ruled the Empire ‘from behind the curtain’ during the 19th century. Empress Wanrong, known as Elizabeth, married Puyi, the last Emperor of China.

Venue: The Discovery Centre, Jewry St, Winchester (limited numbers) and also online via Zoom
Price: £30 for attendees in the venue (pre-booked lunch available at additional cost); £15 for online attendees

Contact: Vivienne Jarvis - E: T: 01264 358065 or visit


From Holbein to Hockney: A History of British Portrait Painting

Friday 23 April 2021, 10.00am – 3.30pm
Lecturer: Valerie Woodgate

Historically, portrait painting has been more prolific here in Britain than anywhere else in Europe. This study day will explore the reasons for this, and consider how the artist reveals information about their sitters and, frequently, about the social and political circumstances in which they were painted. At the same time the immense artistic changes in portraiture over several centuries will be explored. 

Venue: Buckfast Abbey Conference Centre, Buckfastleigh, Devon TQ11 0EG
Cost: £39 (including coffee & buffet lunch)

Contact: Sarah Merchant – T: 01398 341973. For more details visit


30 April, 7, 14, 21, 28 May 2021, 10.30am – 3.30pm
Lecturers: Geri Parlby & Jeni Fraser

The birth and flowering of the Renaissance Period from Duccio in early C14th Sienna through to the Elizabethan period in the C16th covering France, Germany and England. Also lectures on Fifty Shades of Blue and Mass & Form - sculpture from Rodin to the present day.

Venue: Exeter Library, Castle Street, Exeter EX4 3PQ
Price: £130 (full course)

Contact: Carol Cathcart - For more details visit


30 June 2021, 10.00am–3.30pm
Lecturer: Valerie Woodgate

Portrait painting has been more prolific in Britain than anywhere else in Europe. Explore the reasons for this and consider how the artist reveals information about their sitters and the social and political circumstances in which they were painted. Artistic changes in portraiture over several centuries will also be explored.

Venue: Buckfast Abbey Conference Centre, Buckfastleigh, Devon TQ11 0EG
Cost: £39 (including coffee & buffet lunch)

Contact: Sarah Merchant – T: 01398 341973. For more details visit


From Magic Lanterns To Metro Goldwyn Mayer: The Birth of the Silver Screen and the Artists it Inspired.

Tuesday 4 May 2021, 10am to 3pm
Lecturer: Geri Parlby

The development of the Motion Picture Industry, how it changed the face of entertainment and inspired the greatest artists the early 20th century.

Venue: The Ark, Mount Lane, Turners Hill, West Sussex. RH10 4RA
Price: £35 including coffee on arrival and lunch with wine and coffee. £20 including coffee on arrival.

Contact: Richard Beale on or 01903 742610