Art History and Appreciation groups

Art History


The first Art History group started ten years ago with Kenneth Clark’s series “Civilisation” which was then fifty years old, but still provided a good understanding of Western Art. However, for Clark, civilisation stopped at Europe’s borders. The group is now watching the BBC’s brilliant new “Civilisation” which includes cultures beyond just Europe. This group does much more than watching videos as Iris does so much research and finds fascinating extra material and activities to add to their understanding. Group members are encouraged to contribute if they wish, researching topics which interest them, often presenting images or YouTube videos through the TV or talking about contemporary art exhibitions they have seen.

The second group started with our good friend, Kenneth, but each episode alternates with an episode from “The Private Life of a Masterpiece”, an excellent series which looks at a painting or sculpture in detail, putting it into the context of the time when it was produced.

You need no knowledge of art to enjoy these stimulating groups as Iris makes them interesting and fun for all.

Art Appreciation


Art Appreciation is a very wide subject and our group has been watching over the years a huge variety of videos covering various aspects of art, from world famous paintings to lesser known architectural wonders.  At present we are enjoying a series of lectures on the History of European Art taken by Professor William Kloss who is an independent Art Historian with the Smithsonian Institution. He brings his lectures to life talking about the artists and architects, their struggles and successes, in a manner which enhances the factual information.

These lectures are presented on DVDs together with illustrations. There are 48 lectures in all starting with Carolingian and Ottoman art from the Charlemagne era, then touching on Romanesque Sculpture and Architecture followed by Gothic Art in France, German and Italy. The lectures continue with Sienese Art in the 14th Century and Northern Renaissance Art. We are embarking on an amazing journey covering all the different art forms that flourished over the years until we come finally to Picasso.