Lecture: Louis Comfort Tiffany and the Pursuit of Beauty
Wednesday 18 February 2015

Eric Knowles is the well known Antiques Expert and a familiar figure on the Antiques Road Show, as well as the presenter of many other popular BBC programmes. In particular, Eric catalogued the internationally renowned collection of Tiffany Glass in the Haworth Gallery in Accrington. Tiffany’s talents and career were many sided but this talk will focus on his preoccupation with glass and its decorative potential, looking at his breathtaking range of windows, vases, tiles, lamps and other lighting from the 1880s until 1928.


Private View of a Collection of British Art Pottery Sale
Saturday 21 February 2015

We will have a private view of the forthcoming sale in Salisbury of probably the finest private collection of Ruskin and Pilkington’s Lancastrian Pottery in Britain, complemented by examples from Bernard Moore and William De Morgan and contemporary ceramics by Lucie Rie, Hans Coper, John Ward and Peter Hayes. Michael Jeffrey of Woolley & Wallis will give an introduction to the collection and participants will receive a free catalogue – as well as a glass of wine.


City of Westminster Archives Centre
Thursday 12 March 2015

This will be an opportunity to explore the history of Liberty, the world-famous store founded in 1875, and to view outstanding archive material illustrating its Arts and Crafts designs. Highlights will include early catalogues of oriental imports, correspondence with Sir Edward Burne-Jones and Walter Crane and a signed fabric design by C.F.A. Voysey as well as photographs of the fabric printing at Merton Abbey. Sketchbooks and catalogues of silver, pewter and jewellery showcase the work of Archibald Knox and Jessie M. King, and early furniture catalogues illustrate the work of the Liberty Design Studio. We will end with tea at the Wash-House Café.


Study Visit to Lotherton Hall, Aberford, Leeds
Thursday 16 April 2015

An opportunity to study the rich and varied furniture and ceramics collections at Lotherton Hall, part of Leeds Art Galleries, and learn about the history of the house and collections with Adam White, Curator of Lotherton for the last 20 years and Sarah Nichols, a former curator of the house. Architect-designed objects feature strongly in the furniture collections, including an important group of furniture designed by Charles Bevan and made by Marsh and Jones for Titus Salt. The ceramics, equally varied, include important pieces made by Burmantofts, a Leeds company.

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Tiaras and Fabergé at Wartski
Monday 27 April 2015

Geoffrey Munn OBE, jewellery specialist on BBC’s Antiques Roadshow and managing director of the Court Jewellers Wartski will offer us a tour of the Fabergé collection and the historic jewels in the strong-room in Mayfair. This will include pieces commissioned by the Imperial Family, in particular the brooch designed by Fabergé as an engagement present from Tsar Nicholas II to Princess Alix of Hesse, set with diamonds and centring on a magnificent Siberian aquamarine. We will also see the sapphire and diamond tiara designed for Queen Victoria by Prince Albert in 1842.

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St Mary Magdalene, Paddington
Wednesday 6 May 2015

This little-known Grade I listed church near the Grand Junction Canal was built by G.E. Street in High Gothic style (1868–73) and remains little altered, the roof painted by Daniel Bell, Salviati mosaics, Earp reredos and Henry Holiday stained glass. In addition the huge crypt contains the superb Chapel of the Holy Sepulchre entirely by Ninian Comper (1894). The church is slowly being restored to include a heritage centre with HLF funding. We shall be led by the very knowledgeable Father Henry Everett. We shall adjourn afterwards to a nearby waterside pub for a glass of wine.

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A Walk Around and About ‘Albertopolis’
Wednesday 27 May 2015

‘Albertopolis’, the area named after Prince Albert to the south of Hyde Park, became fashionable as a result of the 1851 and 1862 exhibitions, and the opening of the Albert Hall, said to have been inspired by the Colosseum in Rome. We shall see important works by R. Norman Shaw, J.J. Stevenson and others of that era, plus buildings by Wells Coates and Basil Al-Bayati. We shall even take in a ‘Voysey’ house! Our tour, which will last for just over an hour, followed by tea, will also pass by the homes of Virginia Woolf, Vanessa Bell, Jacob Epstein and Winston Churchill.

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The John Scott Collection: Architect Designers
Thursday 4 June 2015

Join us for a private view at The Fine Art Society, introduced by Rowena Morgan-Cox, of the closing exhibition of the series from The John Scott Collection. Architect Designers: From Pugin to Voysey represents the heart of the collection, celebrating British design and ingenuity from the late Victorian period into the early 20th-century and includes many of its best pieces. Highlights include a Pugin chair from the Palace of Westminster, an elegant oak table from Voysey’s own home, a vast Morris & Co. ‘Acanthus and Vine’ embroidery and a de Morgan tile panel of parrots and snakes.

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Lecture: Julian Stair, ‘From Funeraryware to Tableware’
Wednesday 10 June 2015

Julian Stair is one of the UK’s leading potters and writers on ceramics. He has been exhibiting internationally for the past 30 years and his work is in the V&A and in public collections around the world. His main interest is in the rituals of everyday life and his work is both functional and symbolic. Contrasting clays and natural colours give his pots a quiet serenity and, when used as installations, their purity and stillness take on a spiritual dimension. He will be talking about his two most recent exhibitions Quietus and Quotidian. This talk is generously sponsored by David and Brigitte Birch.

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Benson Metalware Handling Session at the V&A
Thursday 2 July 2015

W.A.S. Benson (1854–1924) was one of the most forward-looking and innovative of the Arts and Crafts designers, who unusually could see advantages in mechanised production. He designed and produced over 40 years an elegant series of light fittings, fireplace accessories, plant stands and hollow-ware in silver, copper and brass. The V&A has a small, representative collection of Benson metalwork and is offering a handling session under the guidance of Eric Turner, curator of late 19th century, 20th century and contemporary metalwork. After the museum visit there will be a short walk (approx 10 mins) to see a private collection of Benson metalware.

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Visit to the Contemporary Applied Arts Gallery
Wednesday 8 July 2015

Founded in 1948, the CAA is a registered charity that champions and promotes only the very best in British craft. Two minutes from Tate Modern, its gallery space showcases the work of more than 350 creative members and at the time of our visit will exhibit the work of the winner of the Perrier Jouet Arts Salon Prize. Christine Lalumia, Executive Director of CAA, has kindly agreed to welcome us and give us an introduction on the many aspects of the Charity’s activities.

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Laura and Alessandro de Santillana Exhibition at Yorkshire Sculpture Park
Friday 4 September 2015

As grandchildren of Paolo Venini, founder of the Venini glass company, Laura and Alessandro de Santillana grew up immersed in glass. Both have successful but different careers working in the medium. This exhibition, originally shown in Venice, is a wonderful chance to study their work within the context of the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Museum of the Year in 2014. The day will include a walk around Wakefield and a chance to go to The Hepworth, designed by David Chipperfield Architects.

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The tour of Croatia
21–27 September 2015
Croatia 21–27 September 2015: a trip encompassing Zagreb, Trogir, Split, Cavtat and Dubrovnik. This trip is fully subscribed, but if you would like to be added to the waiting list please contact Margaret Baird, 020 7581 3448, margaretjbaird@gmail.com


Foreign Tours 2016

Late May/June 2016

Alex Werner and Ann Eatwell will lead a five-day visit to Helsinki which will focus on Jugendstil and Modernism, the works of Aalto and Saarinen and the Finnish glass industry.

Dresden and Beyond
Late September 2016

with Harriet Landseer

Please send expressions of interest in all cases to Margaret Baird, margaretjbaird@gmail


Events are for members only. To join the Society go to Membership

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