The Arts Society Leicester
Do not use March 25th Moorish Architecture: The Legacy of a Vanished Kingdom 22nd April Nicholas Merchant Eileen Gray, an Irish Rebel Imagine, late 19th century Southern Ireland, a young girl of “good family”, living in an 18th century mansion, a tranquil rural existence. It sounds idyllic, the sort of life colour supplements write about with floods of purple prose. This was the life of the subject of this lecture, as the 19th century drew to its close. In 1900 Eileen’s Mother took her to the Exposition Universelle in Paris, and as the saying goes “she never looked back”. An imaginative, and determined girl, Eileen was determined not to see Enniscorthy again. She enrolled in the Slade School of Art, progressed to learn the true art of lacquer in Paris and after the First War became one of Paris’s most recherché and sought-after designers. Not for her the stuffed Victorian furniture of her home but for her, what we now call, “cutting- edge” design. In her studio in the rue Bonaparte she created works which rivalled all the great 20th century furniture makers of Paris. The Art Deco Exhibition of 1925 was the turning point of her life, and the world became aware of her. Ever restless, she built in the late 20’s an extraordinary house at Roquebrunne which became the envy of one of the best- known architects of the period, Le Corbusier. This is a fascinating story of the girl from Enniscorthy, who became one of the most innovative designers of the 20th century. Le salon de verre (Glass Salon) designed by Paul Ruaud with furniture by Eileen Gray, Paris, c, 1910-22 Click here to find out more about Eileen Gray 27th May Rupert Willoughby Threads of History: The World of the Bayeux Tapestry Commissioned by the Bishop of Bayeux who fought at Hastings, executed by skilled English craftsmen, the Bayeux Tapestry is the last survivor of a vanished art form. Rupert Willoughby presents a lively introduction to the tapestry – so much more than the story of Hastings – in which he unravels some of its mysteries, places it in the context of its age and firmly establishes it as a landmark in the history of Western art. With its lively illustrations of languid, party-loving, moustachioed Englishmen, of the cavalcades of noble huntsmen and of the snorting Norman cavalry poised to charge into battle, the Tapestry is the next best thing to a moving picture from the time. Click here to find out more about the Bayeux Tapestry 24th June Mark Ovenden 150 years of London Underground Design Covers surprising attempts to create some graphic unity, even in the 1860s and 70s, expansion of the Underground and the need to create some cohesion between the different operating companies, Leslie Green's architecture and the Arts & Crafts movement, Frank Pick, Edward Johnston's typeface, Charles Holden's architecture and the Streamline Moderne/Art Deco movement, the New Works Programme, post war austerity/design, Victoria Line, loss of Johnston & rescue by Kono, Jubilee Line Extension/architecture, creation of TfL, recent schemes and future works including the Elizabeth Line/Northern Line extension to Battersea etc. Click here for examples of more posters
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