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DateLecture
19 December 2019Is Christmas in Good Taste?
28 November 2019The Two Gustav's: Mahler and Klimt
31 October 2019AGM and talk "A Walk from St John's Wood to Paddington Green" followed by cheese and wine.
26 September 2019Food and Art though the Ages
25 July 2019Phrases and Sayings: The Etymology of the City of London.
27 June 2019The Treasures of Livery Company Halls
30 May 2019Norman Wilkinson: a dazzling artistic career.
25 April 2019Giles: his life, times and cartoons.
28 March 20191930's Glamour and Grime
28 February 2019The Silver Thread: Silver Filigree and traditional Arts in Kosovo
31 January 2019The Secret Language of Sacred Spaces: Religious Architecture of the World.
13 December 2018Christmas at Covent Garden
29 November 2018The Borgias. The most famous family in history?
25 October 2018AGM followed by a full Arts Socety lecture and then cheese and wine. Lecture title: A Journey through the Imperial Wardrobe
27 September 2018Paintng the Modern Garden
26 July 2018A Load of Old Balls
28 June 2018The Language of Clothes
31 May 2018Basingstoke and it's contribution to world culture.
26 April 2018The Genius of Antonio Stradivari
29 March 2018The vanishing Maidservant: an Enfiield tale told through contemporary prints.
22 February 2018Undressing Antiques
25 January 2018Hidden Canvases: street art and the city
11 December 2017That pretty German toy: Musings on the Christmas tree.
30 November 2017Beyond Borders: fortified and painted Churches in Romania
26 October 2017AGM, this will be followed by a shorter lecture on Holland Park and it's Neighbourhood
28 September 2017Mauve to Mumbai
24 August 2017No meeting - but there is a coach trip
27 July 2017The Power of Jewellery
29 June 2017Underground Cathedrals: the development of the London tube system.
25 May 2017Lapis Lazuli and the pursuit of the celestial stone
27 April 2017Silver and Social Custom
30 March 2017The Role of the Royal Mistress in History
23 February 2017Kicking and screaming: a brief story of post war British Art
26 January 2017Mars and Muses
15 December 2016The Ox and the Ass: The silent watchers at the crib
24 November 2016Three Great Families and their Gardens
27 October 2016AGM plus shorter lecture -- Baker Street and Silver Street, then and now.
29 September 2016The greatest collectors of all time: behind the scenes at the Art Fund
25 August 2016no meeting - but there is a coach trip - see under Visits
28 July 2016Designing the Dining Room- from the middle ages to the present day.
30 June 2016Glittering Prizes: the Mosaics of Ravenna
26 May 2016The Drama behind the Taj
28 April 2016Faber and Faber- 90 years of excellence in cover design
31 March 2016The Art and Beauty of Old Maps of the World
25 February 2016Bottoms Up!
28 January 2016Medieval London: "Flower of all Cities"
17 December 2015Wonder Workers and the Art of Illusion
26 November 2015Lawrence of Arabia
29 October 2015AGM plus shorter lecture - The Women I have married
24 September 2015Ruskin and the Pre Raphaelites
30 July 2015Pomp and Circumstance
25 June 2015From Egg to Bacon
28 May 2015From Flea Pit to Picture Palace
30 April 2015Staffordshire Figures
26 March 2015The History of English Architecture in 10 Great Buildings
26 February 2015The Sign of the Falcon
29 January 2015The Ashmolean Museum and its classic collections
18 December 2014The Victorian Christmas
27 November 2014The Dollar Princesses
30 October 2014AGM: Plus shorter lecture - History of Local Railways
25 September 2014Going, Going, Gone – Behind the Scenes at an International Auction House
31 July 201420th Century Design Classics
26 June 2014London and its Livery Companies
29 May 2014Rodin and His Sources
24 April 2014The Gilded Stage
27 March 2014Follies of Europe
27 February 2014The Grand Tour; Perils and Pleasures
30 January 2014Getting to Grips with Abstract Art

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Is Christmas in Good Taste? David Phillips Thursday 19 December 2019

Even in ancient Rome people made complaints about the mid-winter Saturnalia celebrations remarkably like the ones we hear today about our commercialised Christmas. In a light-hearted historical review we discover some wonderful and some gloriously awful Christmas imagery, from Giotto’s painting of the first Christmas crib until Dickens meets Coca Cola amongst the movers and shakers who sometimes seem to have turned Christmas into Kitschmas. 

David Phillips studied History at Oxford, and from 1968-82 worked for Nottingham Castle Museum.  He was a lecturer in Museum Studies and Art History at University of Manchester and has published a book about museum practice with Manchester University Press, Exhibiting Authenticity 1997.