York Georgian Society

Lecture Programme

Winter 2018–19

Saturday 13 October

Consult Your GP! The General Practitioner of Music in Georgian England

Stephen Banfield, Professor Emeritus of Music, University of Bristol

For the best part of 200 years, there was a modest but successful formula whereby the professional practising musician could make a living and a reputation in the English provinces. Yet, hitherto, this formula has not been properly considered by historians, partly because it did not survive the changing expectations of the Victorians.

Saturday 10 November

Revealing Repton: Approaches to the Art of Landscape Gardening in his Bicentenary

Stephen Daniels, Professor Emeritus of Cultural Geography, University of Nottingham

Humphry Repton (1818-2018) was the leading landscape gardener of Georgian England, his wide-ranging work including key commissions in Yorkshire. Professor Daniels will survey the field of Repton studies, with a view to opening new approaches to understanding and communicating the art of landscape gardening, as well as ways to celebrate Repton’s work and his legacy in this bicentenary year.

Saturday 8 December

Enlightened Princesses: Caroline, Augusta, Charlotte and the Shaping of the Modern World

Dr Joanna Marschner, Senior Curator, Historic Royal Palaces

Dr Marschner will discuss her work on royal women as patrons, concentrating on their promotion of trading and industrial initiatives. This talk will marry a discussion of women and power with the wonderful artefacts that survive as examples of their engagement with the artist and craftsman communities in the country.

Saturday 12 January

Dr Johnson on Shakespeare

David Hopkins, Senior Research Fellow, Professor Emeritus of English Literature, University of Bristol

Johnson’s criticism of Shakespeare enjoys an equivocal reputation. Professor Hopkins will suggest that though we may disagree with Johnson on particular points of Shakespearian interpretation, this will seldom be simply because his larger assumptions are outmoded and merely of their time. Indeed, he will argue that some of Johnson’s most controversial remarks can serve as a welcome challenge to rarely-questioned present-day orthodoxies concerning Shakespeare.

Saturday 9 February (following the Annual General Meeting)

Fashioning Georgian Society

Aileen Ribeiro, Professor Emeritus in the History of Art, University of London

‘Fashion,’ Louis XIV is supposed to have said, is ‘the mirror of history.’ Professor Ribeiro will discuss in general terms how clothing in eighteenth-century England reveals and reflects Georgian society in a period of social, cultural and technological changes. As well as providing a narrative of the progress of fashion, she will examine the range of fabrics used and how people obtained their clothing. The fashions for town- and country-wear, both on grand occasions and at popular entertainments, will also be considered.

Saturday 9 March (following presentation of the Patrick Nuttgens Award 2019)

William Etty and the Royal Academy: Social Origins and Educational Opportunity in the Early Nineteenth-Century Art World

Martin Myrone, Curator of 18th and 19th Century British Art, Tate Britain

William Etty (1787-1849) rose from relatively humble origins as a baker’s son in York to become one of the most famous artists of his day. His remarkable career as a painter of literary and mythological narratives was singled out as an example of the new opportunities arising with the progress of modern society. This talk will cast fresh light on the question of the social ascent of artists in the late Georgian period. It will consider how typical, or atypical, was Etty’s trajectory through the early nineteenth-century London art world, and how this might have influenced his artistic choices and reputation.

Time and Place

Lectures are at 2.30pm
(doors open at 2pm).

Friends Meeting House
York YO1 9RL

All are welcome.

For members of the Society admission is free.
For non-members there is an admission fee of £5 for each lecture.

Lecture Archive

To view the archive of our previous lecture programmes click here.

Header image: Detail from ‘Prospect of a Noble Terras Walk’, York, by Charles Grignion, etching and engraving, 1756 (© York Museums Trust: York Art Gallery. YORAG: R2510)