29 September 2020

The Hidden World of Canal Architecture

This lecture examines the unique buildings and structures associated with the UK’s canal network, with a vast array of distinctive designs, landmark features and unusual artefacts: only the National Trust and the Church of England have more listed structures than our canals.

Look out for lock flights and lighthouses; cottages and clock towers; warehouses and lots of whimsical architecture – our canals delight the eye and refresh the spirit.
Available also as a tour and lectures are always tailored to include local and regional examples which reflect the unique distinctiveness of our inland waterways.

Roger Butler

20 October 2020

‘Something of Me’: (Self) Presentation in Portraits of Cecil Beaton

In the National Portrait Gallery, London, there are 347 different portraits of (royal) photographer, costume designer and serial socialite Cecil Beaton. By way of comparison, there are 819 of Queen Elizabeth II and just 47 of Princess Diana. Why should this be so? This illustrated lecture examines the many self-portraits of Cecil Beaton (in paint and print) and considers how contemporary friends and artists, not least Beaton himself, regarded and depicted his intriguing character. More generally, it considers the role of portraiture and self-presentation during the interwar period. Figures included in this humorous and humbling story include Henri Cartier-Bresson, Rex Whistler, Lady Diana Cooper, Christian ‘Bébé’ Berard, Patrick Procktor, David Hockney, Augustus John and Francis Bacon.

Dr Benjamin Wild