Lecture Programme 2012
Charlotte Gere and Judy Rudoe
Why is jewellery funny ? Humour, satire and mockery in the Victorian illustrated press.
This lecture looks in depth at one of the themes in the speakers’ recent book ‘Jewellery in the age of Queen Victoria: a mirror to the world’ (winner of the 2011 William M.B. Berger prize for British Art History). Many funny cartoons and punning jewels with jokey messages were included in the book. This lecture takes the subject forward by examining how the approach to humour changed over decades from the 1840s onwards, as seen through the pages of Punch magazine. Hilarious images and biting verbal satire demonstrate the use of jewellery to underscore social and political comment, adding another dimension to the role of jewellery in the cultural life of the period.
The Serjeants at Law and their rings.
For nearly 500 years the highest rank of barrister was the Serjeant at Law. Elevation to the dignity of Serjeant was marked by days of feasting, and by the candidates ‘giving gold’ in the form of rings. The best estimate is that over the centuries between one half and one tonne of gold was manufactured into rings. The rank of Serjeant disappeared at the end of the nineteenth century and, along with them, vanished most of their rings. This lecture aims to look at some of the 92 rings that are known to have survived, spanning some 400 years, and the thousands that have not.
Clerkenwell to Kabul: a London Jeweller unearths pure pedagogical gold in Afghanistan.
In the autumn of 2010 Melanie undertook, with the support of the British Council, a two-month applied arts creative residency focusing on jewellery design at Turquoise Mountain’s Institute for Afghan Arts and Architecture in Kabul, Afghanistan and has maintained a relationship with the Institute since. Turquoise Mountain has brought together individuals who have an impressive breadth of knowledge and has provided a nurturing environment from which a new generation of craft persons can emerge. This lecture will focus on the unique community that has developed around this organisation and Melanie’s experiences of the rejuvenation of a rich artistic culture despite the challenges of time and place.
Smallhythe and Other Hidden Gems: The Intimate Jewels of Dame Ellen Terry.
This talk examines the life of Ellen Terry, the celebrated stage actress and "Queen of the Theatre" using her jewellery as the backdrop to her extraordinary career. Ellen spent the last thirty years of her life at Smallhythe Place in Kent, now a National Trust property, and all the jewellery is lodged in a series of cabinets in this most atmospheric of homes, but never properly assessed or researched until now. Among some 150 items are highlights including a splendid gold chain formerly owned by Fanny Kemble, an Alma-Tadema smokey quartz brooch worn during her role as Lady Macbeth and her famous 'Castle on the Rock' ring designed and made by John Paul Cooper.
The scheduled lecture was unfortunately replaced, due to illness.
Practical Magic. Gemstones and their settings in Renaissance Europe.
The Hunterston and 'Tara' brooches and their European background.
Sir Hugh Roberts
The Queen’s Diamonds.
During the research for his book 'The Queen’s Diamonds', which will be published by the Royal Collection in May, Sir Hugh (Director of the Royal Collection from 1996 to 2010) has been granted privileged access to the private archives relating to Her Majesty The Queen's personal jewellery. This has enabled him to clarify and explain many of the histories and provenances of these magnificent jewels, which range from George IV's Diamond Diadem (worn by The Queen in her portrait on postage stamps) to pieces owned by all subsequent Queens, including jewellery acquired in the present reign.
Why? A History of Jewellery.
The plethora of books and articles on the history of jewellery written over the last couple of centuries have tended to view this history as the development of form and design. The stalwarts of all history - cause and effect - have often been ignored, and the artistic innovations of individual 'masters' have usually been given greater prominence than wider influences on the craft. In practice the history of jewellery can also be defined by the tools available to the jeweller and the technological 'maturity' of the society in which he or she worked. This talk will look at jewellery history from this point of view, considering how the development of new materials and techniques impacted on the jeweller's craft, and explaining how an understanding of these technological interactions is essential to the jewellery historian.
Down to the wire.
In this visual lecture Andrew will describe how his work has evolved over the last 12 years, starting with his time in the Silversmithing and Jewellery Department at Edinburgh College of Art to his time at The Royal College and progressing to setting up business. Now, with a studio in Edinburgh and teaching at Glasgow School of Art, he continues to experiment and create work for exhibition in the UK and abroad. He will talk about influences and inspirations behind his unique jewellery designs, his ongoing obsession with 'wire work', and motivation to continually develop innovative techniques in wire. Click here for Andrew's website.
Links to previous Lecture Programmes