Cavendish Decorative and Fine Arts Society

NADFAS member - Cavendish DFAS



The venue is the Pavilion Arts Centre (new name for the old Paxton Suite) in Buxton, Derbyshire.

Coffee in the cafeteria at 10.30 am.
Doors open 10.45 for exhibitions and Society notice board
Notices and Lecture start at 11.00 am prompt.
Lectures may not finish until 12.00 - 12.30 so please stay to the end of the lecture and not leave early.

LECTURES  2016 - 2017

27th September 2016

Jo Walton

Henry Moore – A Revolution in British Sculpture

Today, Henry Moore is considered as the 'Grand Old Man' of British twentieth century sculpture, and his works can be seen in prestigious locations around the world. But his career spans an era of remarkable artistic change in Britain, with public sculpture moving from the formal academic style of the nineteenth century to the abstraction and modernism of the Swinging Sixties and beyond. Jo’s lecture considers his career against the turbulent backdrop of the mid-twentieth century, showing how he explored the art of other ages and cultures alongside the work of Renaissance masters such as Masaccio and Michelangelo. The popularity of his Shelter Sketchbooks and mining drawings during World War Two helped bring about a wider appreciation of modern art in Britain, while his sculptures – influenced by his profound love of landscape – have become some of the most popular in the country.

25th October 2016

Peter Warwick

To the Far Side of the World

To coincide with the anniversary of the start of Captain James Cook’s final and fatal voyage in 1776, the lecture explores the impact of his three extraordinary voyages of discovery on European thought, art and science. Cook is widely renowned as an explorer, pioneering navigator and preventer of scurvy and his voyages provided unprecedented information about the Pacific Ocean, and about those who lived on its islands and shores. This was to have a profound influence on The Enlightenment. Peter’s lecture is lavishly illustrated with the exquisite drawings and watercolours of Sydney Parkinson, the glorious paintings of William Hodges and George Stubbs, the botanising of Sir Joseph Banks and the remarkable cartography of James Cook himself.

29th November 2016

Roger Rosewell

The Splendour and the Sorrow of Medieval Stained Glass

Stained glass was one of the most important arts of the Middle Ages, combining monumental painting with architecture, sculpture and other arts to create church interiors shimmering with sumptuous colours and miraculous stories. Roger’s richly illustrated lecture explains how and why stained glass was produced, the subjects that were shown, and the workshops and patrons who were responsible for both the glazing of great cathedrals as well as local parish churches. It traces changes in style and techniques and the wholesale destruction of these masterpieces during the religious reformations of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.

31st January 2017

Rupert Willoughby

The Normans – Conquest and Legacy

In 2016, it was 950 years since the Normans invaded England. The roughest of company, they came not to civilise, but to seize. A mere eleven men in Duke William’s inner circle enjoyed an unprecedented bonanza, receiving almost half the land of the conquered kingdom. There followed an orgy of building in what was described as ‘a new manner’ – castles, churches, monasteries and cathedrals – that all but effaced the fabric of Saxon England. It was their way of showing us who was in charge. In describing the mass of post-Conquest masonry, Rupert focuses on individuals, like the deeply unpleasant Baldwin de Redvers, Lord of the Isle of Wight, where his legacy endures. He offers an insight into their lives – and the disgusting details of William the Conqueror’s funeral.

28th February 2017

Peter Medhurst

Vivaldi in Venice

Vivaldi is the one Baroque composer whose music is a direct reflection of the city in which it was composed. Listen to a Vivaldi concerto and hey presto you are transported directly to the heart of 18th century Venice. The reasons for this are many – Vivaldi’s passion for colour, display and spectacle in his music; the unusual way in which Venice solved its problems with the poor and the homeless; Vivaldi’s health problems and his eccentricities as a man and a priest. Against the luxurious backdrop of 18th century Venice, and with live musical performances, Peter’s lecture explores the amazing world of Vivaldi’s music - music that is as intrinsically Venetian as the canvasses of Canaletto. 

28th March 2017

Lizzie Darbyshire

Impressionism: The French Avant- Garde in Context

What do the boulevards of Paris, a smart dinner party and a French bakers’ union have to do with Impressionism? Why did Renoir’s son say that, without the invention of the metal paint tube, there would have been no Impressionists? And why, as late as 1894, was their art denounced as ‘decadent’ and ‘unhealthy’? Lizzie’s fascinating and unusual lecture answers these questions by exploring the place of the Impressionists within the wider context of nineteenth-century French art, politics and society.

25th April 2017

Lars Tharp

The Gate of Heroes - on the China Trail

From the mountains of Jiang xi province in far-off China, down river, over lake and mountain, and finally across oceans, nearly all the Chinese ceramics on display in European museums, stately homes, palaces and personal collections are survivors of an epic journey and of monumental human labour - Luxury created in the labour of millions. Each year in the 1600s and 1700s millions of pieces - services, vases and ornamental wares - were portered over the mountain border into Guangdong province, passing through the aptly-named ‘Gate of Heroes’. Lars will take us on the same journey, the one you may have seen in his 2011 BBC film Treasures of Chinese Porcelain. And knowing the great human labour involved you will never again pass or look at a piece of Chinese porcelain without this journey coming to mind.

23rd May 2017

Leslie Primo

The Wilton Dyptych

Ever since the mysterious double panel painting known as the Wilton Diptych was acquired for the National Gallery in 1929, speculations regarding its origins have been rife, because although many discoveries have been made regarding its subject, we are still non-the-wiser regarding its origins. Who are the characters in this painting, what are they trying to tell us, what can this painting tell us about England or for that matter Europe at the turn of the 15th century, for what purpose was this enigmatic painting made, and why has it come to represent the quintessential example of a style of painting we have come to call International Gothic. Through the lens of the Wilton Diptych Leslie’s lecture will look at Medieval England, patronage, saints and kingship, and also unearth the many hidden signs and symbols in this painting that have been slowly revealing themselves to us over the past 80 years or so with detailed close-up, looking at the physical material of the painting to bring to life not only the Wilton Diptych, but also the time in which it was made.


last edited 20/09/2016 11:25:52