Extensive lecturing to museums, art and historical societies. NADFAS and Art Fund lecturer. Guide, lecturer and researcher on nine tours of China. Lecture tours:Twice to Australia ADFAS0, South Africa and the USA. Lectured in Europe and on cruise liners in the Far East. Extra-mural lecturer at Leeds University and Harrogate College. Published Chinese Ceramics at Lotherton Hall. Council member of Oriental Ceramics Society.
The Arts Society
LECTURES ARE RATED "EXCELLENT AND OUTSTANDING"
The Story of Jade:
(including the Jade Burial)
The beautiful Jade stone has been precious to the Chinese for over 6,000 years. The lecture traces the usage of Jades in ancient suits - believed to protect the soul in the afterlife. Over the centuries the Jade stone was worked into breathtaking small sculptures and vessels, used by the Emperors in their exotic palaces. The lecture explains the background to the Jade stone, where it’s found, how its worked, colour choices, dated and its long history as part of the Chinese Culture.
Majestic Bronze Age Burials:
The aim of this lecture is to introduce the magnificent early Art History of China. The early Chinese Kings and Emperors were buried in large tombs equipped with luxurious “grave gods” of gold and bronze vessels, jades, lacquer musical instruments, silk costumes and much more. Out of he thousands of tombs discovered, the lecture looks at the most important.
HIDDEN TREASURES OF ANCIENT AFGHANISTAN (BACTRIA)
Crossroads of Central Asia 2500 BC to 12 Century AD.
Ancient Bactria (today’s Afghanistan) was the crossroad of civilization in Central Asia. Its archaeological treasures date back to more that four thousand years and bear the imprint of numerous cultures. Alexander the Great brought with his army Greek influenced art, as seen in the Greek ruined city of Ai Khanum (excavated by a French team in 1964). A Russian team discovered a Nomad Necropolis: The “Tillya Tepe” burials. Six nobles of nomad descent were found with outstanding gold jewelry, the 21,000 pieces were all intact. The remarkable story of the saving of these treasures to the Western world finishes this lecture.
Carved from black stealite with an inset baster head. The exact find spot of the figurine is unknown, but it probably comes from the Bactria Margiana Archaeological complex of Turkmenistran dating to about 2000 BC.
ONE HOUR LECTURE AND THREE HOUR STUDY TOUR
THE ANCIENT SILK ROAD AND ITS UNIQUE ART TREASURES:
The remarkable story of the world's oldest trade route
No highway in the world is as laden with romance, adventure and wealth as the Silk Road (from 2nd Century BC to 10th Century AD). It was the world’s largest trade route, linking China with the Mediterranean (4000 miles), crossing burning deserts and towering mountains across Asia. Nomads, merchants, traders and monks travelled with silk, jade, carpets, spices, glass, jewels, lapis, lazuli and other luxury goods. At the foothills of mountains, Oasis towns linked the Taklamakan desert; here, Buddhist monks created hundreds of shining colourful fresco painted cave temples. In the Altai mountains of South Siberia, is where the world’s oldest carpet along with a gold covered Chieftain (4th Century BC), were discovered. In Bactria (Afghanistan) 22 000 exquisite gold objects were discovered in 1982 - as was the magnificent treasure finds in Bagram (1AD); along with stunning paintings, found from royal palaces in Afnasait. This lecture will then look at the old and exotic cities of famous Bam and Baghdad examining their culture and great wealth; as well as the glorious wealthy oasis town of Palmyra, where Chinese silk was more valuable than gold. Finally. We will delve into the powerful Phoenician trade ports, Tyre and Sidou, where goods were sailed to Rome and other Mediterranean ports. The powerful finale of the Silk Road ends the Lecture / Study Day.
A Great Success Story:
It seems as tough the Chinese invented everything; paper, silk, and porcelain. Once the blue cobalt was used to paint decorations on white porcelain body it became instantly a winning combination. Once porcelain was seen in Europe (15th century) it became an instant success, through immensely expensive. It became the beginning of the western craze for porcelain. Popes and Princes collected it - Queen Elizabeth I gave it as very special 16th century gifts (she even had her blue and white porcelains mounted with silver gilt). From the 16th century the popularity of blue and white sky rocketed - millions of pieces were carried on trade ships to the western world. From kilns in China to porcelain pagodas, ship-wrecks, famous collections, auctions and now treasured antiques - its a superb story.
The Majestic Chinese Imperial Porcelains:
The story of the development of the rare Imperial porcelains dates back to the 13th century when the Yuan Emperors ordered porcelain for their tables. By the 15th century Imperial private kilns in the porcelain city of Jungdezhan produced porcelains of such beauty, fragility and rarity that they became - even in their own time - collectors’ items. These fragile porcelains were decorated with flowers and birds and were perfect. Their fame spread to Europe, where royalty and aristocracy started to collect “China”. A delightful lecture filled with exquisite
Fragile Embroideries, Costumes and “Imperial Dragon” Robes:
From as far back as the second millennium BC the Chinese rulers wore silk costumes, and over the centuries superb silk embroideries covered the precious robes. Rare tomb finds have disclose suitcases filled with unused exquisite embroidered silk costumes, all made for a noble lady to use in the “spirit world” over 2,000 years ago. At the same time China exported silk to Rome. Superb fashion silk costumes, some strapless and décolleté graced the elegant Tang court ladies, and much later the Chinese Emperors and Empresses wore costly gold and pearl encrusted Imperial Dragon robes. These are a tour de force in the embroiders art with stitches so fine and small that they can hardly be seen with the naked eye.
Stunning Highlights Of Past Eras:
To many people Chinese art is slightly strange, so very different in style and shape and very far away from European designs. But look carefully behind the scenes: Did not Hepplewhite incorporate Chinese design styles into cabinets and chairs, as did potters on plates in Staffordshire? The aim of the lecture is to show how the Chinese nation has for centuries inherited fro their ancestors, a unique strong and positive genius for design. They have produces from ancient times the fine bronze vessels with surface designs that take your breath away - large, positive rhythmic scrolls on Jades, paintings and on textiles as well. Chinese architecture embodies the double roofs and extraordinary decorative pillars, ceilings and walls as did their tombs. Huge stone animals line the spirit roads leading to these tombs. This lecture is a spectacular and enjoyable way to “Lift the Veil” on China’s superb art heritage. The dynamic designs are full of spirit and a testimony to China’s centuries old history.
THE UNIQUE TERRECOTTA ARMY
The Largest Archaeological Find This Century:
The awesome discovery of over 7,000 life size terracotta soldiers, guarding the tomb of the first Emperor of China is the most momentous archaeological find this century. First discovered in 1974, the excavations have revealed row upon row of soldiers, horses, even officers and a general - an army so large that it needed 700,000 labourers to construct it. Each soldier has different head features and most are over 6 feet tall. The Qin Emperor was a despotic but remarkably intelligent man. He ordered the Great Wall to be built, built a road network covering all of China, canals and over a hundred palaces. The Qin Emperor wanted his empire to last for a thousand years and it did. The lecture includes the layout of the famous four pits, the weapons of the time and how the Emperor won his fantastic Empire.
The Story of the Pearl - In Art & Treasure: (4th century bc - 2010)
No gemstone can rival the pearl for mystery and subtle beauty. A naturally perfect jewel that requires no cutting or polishing. The pearl is one of humanities oldest ornaments and one of its deepest obsessions. Throughout history Sultans fought wars to search for pearls, priests made the pearl a sacred icon, royal heads wore them, and artists celebrated its purity, luminescence and seductive charm. Pearls are found in graves from ancient Susa, were worn by Indian Yakas goddesses, seen in abundance on Roman ladies. Byzantine rules ordered pearl encrusted jewels and by the Renaissance the Spanish galleons carried hoards of pearl-filled chests to this continent which started the “pearl craze” among the glittering royal courts in Europe.
THE CHINESE GARDEN
The Essence of Nature:
The beautiful and tranquil gardens in china were created as an earthly paradise. When the first Jesuits arrived in China they sent letters back describing “the extraordinary beauty and the magic they contain” (17th-18th century). Pavilions are set in man-made “mountains” (rocks) intercepted by streams, lakes and ponds. Flowers abound among flowering fruit trees, while walks cut through the scaled down landscapes. The senses are stimulated by the changing views as one meanders through this “world within a World”. The lecture describes the history of Chinese gardens and some of the most famous gardens in existence today.
The Story of Four Magnificent Royal Palaces in the Kingdom of Denmark:
Denmark is blessed with no less than fourteen Royal castles and palaces. Over the centuries the Danish Kings enriched the land with great building programmes, from simple dwellings to sumptuous palaces. In this lecture four of the most famous palaces and their extraordinary history will be discussed. Rosenborg Palace The small early 17th century palace of Rosenborg in one of the true renaissance genius in Copenhagen. It was built by the famous Christian IV as a leisure palace to store his vast treasure. The outstanding and rare bejewelled renaissance gold crown is the finest example of its kind in existence. The palace has an exceptional and large collection of silver furniture, including a silver throne and three rare and famous full size lions guarding the Kings and Queens of Denmark.
The Story of Chinese Wallpapers in English Country Houses and Stately Homes
The lecture focuses on the stories of Chinese wallpapers in English and Scottish country house. The wallpapers were an ultimate luxury and status symbol in the wealthy landowners of 18th century mansions.
The creations in China, the purchase ,the transport to Europe, the hanging and the final look will be shown.Click to edit your paragraph
( 3 Hour Lectures)
Blue & White Porcelain
Splendid Silk from China
Splendours of Chinese Art
The Ancient Silk Road
The Wonder of Chinese Ceramics
Wonderful Copenhagen Royal Palaces