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This year we have organised a series of nine lectures. Some will be held on the second Wednesday of the month, and some on the third Wednesday, depending on the CBSO use of their Centre. Please note that the Christmas Buffet will be held on December 7th, 2016, the first Wednesday of the month.

These monthly lectures are held at:

The CBSO Centre

Berkley Street • Birmingham B1 2LF.

Proceedings begin at 10.50 am. Please be seated by 10.45. Coffee and biscuits are available from 9.45.

John Singer Sargent in his studio witht he portrait of Madame X, 1885Wednesday, 21st September 2016

JOHN SINGER SARGENT: Power of the Portrait

Ms Alexandra Epps BA MA

From the scandal of the painting of Madame X to the trials, tribulations and triumph of Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose, discover the rise, the fall and meteoric rise again of John Singer Sargent, the leading portrait painter of his age – the age of elegance.

By profession a graphic designer, Ms Epps is a Guide and Lecturer at both Tate Britain and Tate Modern.

Misia Sert - Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, 1897 Wednesday, 12th October 2016

THE EXTRAORDINARY LIFE OF MISIA SERT: Muse to Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec, Bonnard and Vuillard; patron of the Ballet Russes; concert pianist and fashion icon

Mr Julian Halsby MA RBA FRSA

This is an extraordinary and fascinating story of a beautiful, talented and noted pianist. Her three marriages permitted her to become a wealthy patron of a number of artists and musicians at the centre of the Paris Art World.

Captain James Cook (1728-1779)

Wednesday, 16th November 2016

TO THE FAR SIDE OF THE WORLD: Captain James Cook and the Age of the Enlightenment

Mr Peter Warwick BSC (ECON) MCIPR FRGS

Mr Warwick is an author and historian and a recognised authority on Admiral Nelson. He also specialises in naval and polar history.

This lecture will give us an artistic and cultural appreciation of the three remarkable voyages of Captain Cook and the impact they had on the Age of Enlightenment.

Wednesday, 7th December 2016


As well as enjoying an opportunity to gather socially with fellow BDFAS members, we are delighted to announce that we will hear speakers from some of the Young Arts projects that BDFAS support including the Ex Cathedra Singing Playgrounds project.

Full details will be made available nearer the time.

Sir Christopher Wren and St Paul's CathedralWednesday, 18th January 2017


Mr Tony Tucker MA (Oxon)

Author, lecturer and City Guide, Mr Tony Tucker will cover Wren’s life and career as a medic, scientist, astronomer and architect with detailed focus on his City Churches.


Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec: Moulin RougeWednesday, 15th February 2017


Mr Peter Webb BA MA (Cam) PhD (UEA)

With works of art, contemporary photographs and original recordings, historian, lecturer and broadcaster Peter Webb will bring back the life of Montmartre and the times of Toulouse –Lautrec.

East pediment of the ParthenonWednesday, 15th March 2017


Mr Alan Read BA (Hons), MITG

In June 1816 the House of Commons voted for the nation to acquire the collection of antique sculptures assembled by Lord Elgin, most notably those from the Parthenon. It was a controversial decision. This lecture examines why the sculptures were so sought-after, the circumstances through which Lord Elgin ‘acquired’ them and the events which led to their purchase for the British Museum two hundred years ago.

Mr Alan Read is a gallery guide at Tate Modern, Tate Britain and the National Portrait Gallery. He is also a London Blue Badge Guide and City of London Guide.

Street Art in LondonWednesday, 19th April 2017


Mr Doug Gillen BA (Hons)

Doug Gillen is a specialist on Street Art who offers a genuine insight into this world. He is an East End tour guide for Alternative London, specialising in culture and art.

Jane AustenWednesday, 10th May 2017


Mrs Jane Tapley

We are pleased to welcome back Mrs Jane Tapley who lectured to us last year on Shakespeare. 2017 is the 200th Anniversary of the death of Jane Austen.

Though she only wrote 6 novels, Jane Austen is one of the most famous and popular of English novelists, not just of the 18th Century but of all time.

Black Basalt Wedgwood VaseWednesday, 14th June 2017


Mrs Naomi Motley BA (Hons)

This lecture traces neoclassicism through architecture, sculpture and the decorative arts. It touches on leading craftsmen of the day such as Hepplewhite, Storr and Wedgwood and looks how items were designed and made.

We shall discover why so much silver was commissioned in Regency times, what Lady Hamilton was up to with tableaux vivants and how Robert Adam earned his soubriquet ’Bob of the Roman’.

BDFAS AGM will precede this lecture at 10.30 am.

Dates of Lectures September 2016 to June 2017

21 September 2016

12 October 2016

16 November 2016

7 December 2016 – Christmas Event

18 January 2017

15 February 2017

15 March 2017

19 April 2017

10 May 2017

14 June 2017 – AGM

Lectures will take place at the CBSO Centre, Berkley Street, Birmingham at 10.50 a.m. CBSO Centre is booked from 9.30 a.m. until 12.30 p.m. except for the Christmas Event which will be from 9.30 a.m. until 1.30 p.m.