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Lockdown Arts

Resolved not to be beaten by COVID-19, while no lectures were held in April, May or June 2020  our July lecture was replaced by a talk on Impressionists in their Gardens given on Zoom by Caroline Holmes and shared with Harlow and Woodford societies. In August we held a highly successful coffee morning and arts and crafts exhibition. Our September lecture on Zoom was projected on our hall screen to a limited audience and in October our speaker was in the Hall with a limited audience joined by others externally on Zoom webinar,  a pattern we anticipate will continue for the foreseeable future

Coffee with arts and crafts

Some 40 members signed in to take part in this event which displayed some of the amazing talent of members.


Lockdown Arts

As an Arts lover there has probably never been so much opportunity to visit the top museums, listen to great lectures, visit the great art galleries, watch and listen to the greatest operas and ballet in the UK AND around the world. Inspired by The Arts Society HQ we suggest a few ways to use Lockdown to enrich our lives.  

Virus update


The Arts Society West Essex first Zoom Lecture
Held on Wednesday 1 July, lecturer Caroline Holmes (pictured right) switched her topic to Impressionists in their Gardens to tune with the June June/July heatwave​

Caroline Holmes is a garden historian, award-winning writer and design consultant. She lectures for Cambridge University ICE, The Arts Society, the RHS, The Art Fund and many museums. Author of 11 books, her latest is Water Lilies and Bory Latour-Marliac, the genius behind Monet’s Water Lilies for which the Herb Society of America have presented her with the Elizabeth Crisp Rea Award. She has presented several series on both TV and BBC Radio Four. The Humanist Renaissance inspired gardens she designed to encircle Notre Dame-de-Calais were officially opened in September 2016.

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Lectures at Home


The Arts Society West Essex July Lecturer Caroline Holmes is planned to be our first real and virtual lecturer on 1 July. She has supplied us with this essay to introduce her subject original subject - replaced by the more topical Impressionists in their Gardens

A Symphony in Blue


Caroline Holmes



The Arts Society is offering a series of lectures at home plus many other resources



Turner and the £20 Note

Nicola Moorby

Art historian Nicola Moorby looks at an everyday item that many of us have withdrawn, spent and probably taken for granted over the past few months. Check your wallet for this small piece of art history, as J.M.W. Turner is the first British artist to appear on a banknote. This film will discuss the background to the new £20 note and examine how the Bank of England's design represents the various aspects of Turner's life, work and legacy.

The 1960's: Revolutions in Glass

Mark Hill



Antiques expert, TV presenter, author and publisher Mark Hill invites viewers to his home for a lecture on the revolution of glass design in the 1960s. Looking at two objects from his own collection, Mark explores how factory and studio glass burst onto the arts scene, changing the way we look at - and enjoy - glassware

Venice dressed and undressed -

Sarah Dunant

Sarah Dunant is a British novelist, journalist, broadcaster and critic who divides her time between London and Florence 

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Las Meninas  Dr. Jacqueline Cockburn 






Las Meninas is a 1656 painting in the Museo del Prado in Madrid, by Diego Velázquez, the leading artist of the Spanish Golden Age. Its complex and enigmatic composition raises questions about reality and illusion, and creates an uncertain relationship between the viewer and the figures depicted.

Jacqueline is Managing Director of Art and Culture Andalucía running residential courses in Andalucía, Southern Spain in the art and culture of the region. Jacqueline also works in London as a freelance lecturer and is a course Director at the V&A.


The tale of Tiffany's

Tiffany & Co. is celebrating its 175th anniversary. Correspondent Rita Braver gets an exclusive tour of their landmark store in Manhattan, and a look at some dazzling, never-before-seen treasures from the Tiffany Archives.

The Arts Society

A slideshow depicting the breadth and impact of the work of The Arts Society, its local Societies and volunteers.

Other Arts Society West Essex lecturers online

Peter Medhurst

Peter is offering one hour lectures live on line: sign in for £10

Current offers include The Genius of Beethoven, Music at the Court of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I, Music in Art, Music for the Georgian Parlour, andThe World of the Young Mozart in the 1760s.

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On Stage

Opera, Ballet, stage shows, musicals you can watch free


We are indebted to

For this selection of stage performances free online.

At The National

From One Man, Two Guvnors, Jane Eyre and A Street Car name Desire to Coreolanus and Twelfth Night, the weekly offers of The National are an absolute must.

At the Royal Opera House

Anastasia, La traviata, The Metamorphosis are some of the offerings from the ROH weekly release

At Glyndebourne

One wedding. One marriage on the rocks. One scheme. One day. #GlyndebourneOpenHouse kicks off with Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro at 5.00pm on Sunday 24 May. The opera will be available to watch for 7 days on our YouTube channel. Others will follow.

At The Old Vic

Sally Cookson's acclaimed A Monster Calls will start the Old Vic's on line offering in June

Nightly Met Opera Streams

During this extraordinary and difficult time, the Met hopes to brighten the lives of our audience members even while our stage is dark. Each day, a different encore presentation from the company’s Live in HD series is being made available for free streaming on the Met website, with each performance available for a period of 23 hours, from 7:30 p.m. EDT until 6:30 p.m. the following day. The schedule will include outstanding complete performances from the past 14 years of cinema transmissions, starring all of opera’s greatest singers.

The Shows Must Go On

Andrew Lloyd Webber's new channel The Shows Must Go On is airing a different musical each week, starting with Andrew’s hit show Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat that will premiere on Friday (3 April).

Read more:

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Extracted from an excellent Evening Standard collection of the best museum and exhibition galleries from around the world

link here

Louise Bourgeois: Drawings 1947–2007

(Christopher Burke)

Louise Bourgeois made drawing a daily ritual across her seven decade-long career. Saville Row gallery Hauser & Wirth’s first online exhibition is a celebration of the French-American artists pieces in ink, watercolour and pencil. The gallery is also launching Dispatches, a new series of videos, events and features to keep connected with artists in isolation.

Visit here

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British Library 

The British Library has spent the past two years digitising 30 historical globes from their maps collection, and now releases the results online. 

The rest of the library’s collection has a lot to offer too, with virtual tours into the stacks. Discover literature from medieval to Victorian times, as well as a number of virtual tours around the exhibitions you may have missed. Highlights include Harry Potter: A History of Magic, which has a section for each of the Hogwarts magic classes, and Alice In Wonderland, looking at how Lewis Caroll’s story has been retold over the past 150 years.

Visit here

The National Gallery

The National Gallery is home to thousands of publicly owned artworks from the UK and Europe, spread across 18 rooms, which you can visit with the National Gallery’s 360 degree tool. The tour offers detailed information about each painting as you look at it, as well as floorplans to navigate around as though you are there.

The Titian exhibition opened just days before all the museums closed, but you can still watch a number of Facebook Live interviews about the show on the gallery’s YouTube channel

Visit here


12 famous sites around the world you can visit from your home

We are indebted to for this excellent tour of 12 of the world’s top museums featured in the amazing Google Arts and Culture collection

currently offering virtual tours of their collections. At least something to talk about in the next  Zoom coffee meet-up!


The tour includes:


British Museum, London


This iconic museum located in the heart of London allows virtual visitors to tour the Great Court and discover the ancient Rosetta Stone and Egyptian mummies. You can also find hundreds of artefacts on the museum’s virtual tour.


Guggenheim Museum, New York


Google’s Street View feature lets visitors tour the Guggenheim’s famous spiral staircase without ever leaving home. From there, you can discover incredible works of art from the Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary eras.


National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.


This famous American art museum features two online exhibits through Google. The first is an exhibit of American fashion from 1740 to 1895, including many renderings of clothes from the colonial and Revolutionary eras. The second is a collection of works from Dutch Baroque painter Johannes Vermeer.

Musée d’Orsay, Paris

You can virtually walk through this popular gallery that houses dozens of famous works from French artists who worked and lived between 1848 and 1914. Get a peek at artworks from Monet, Cézanne, and Gauguin, among others.


National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul


One of Korea’s popular museums can be accessed from anywhere around the world. Google’s virtual tour takes you through six floors of Contemporary art from Korea and all over the globe.

Pergamon Museum, Berlin

As one of Germany’s largest museums, Pergamon has a lot to offer – even if you can’t physically be there. This historical museum is home to plenty of ancient artifacts including the Ishtar Gate of Babylon and, of course, the Pergamon Altar.


Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam


Explore the masterworks from the Dutch Golden Age, including works from Vermeer and Rembrandt. Google offers a Street View tour of this iconic museum, so you can feel as if you’re actually wandering its halls.


Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam


Anyone who is a fan of this tragic, ingenious painter can see his works up close (or, almost up close) by virtually visiting this museum – the largest collection of artworks by Vincent van Gogh, including over 200 paintings, 500 drawings, and over 750 personal letters.


The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles


European artworks from as far back as the 8th Century can be found in this California art museum. Take a Street View tour to discover a huge collection of paintings, drawings, sculptures, manuscripts, and photographs.


Uffizi Gallery, Florence

This less well-known gallery houses the art collection of one of Florence, Italy’s most famous families, the de'Medicis. The building was designed by Giorgio Vasari in 1560 specifically for Cosimo I de'Medici, but anyone can wander its halls from anywhere in the world.MASP, São Paulo


The Museu de Arte de São Paulo


The Museu de Arte de São Paulo is a non-profit and Brazil’s first modern museum. Artworks placed on clear perspex frames make it seem like the artwork is hovering in midair. Take a virtual tour to experience the wondrous display for yourself.

National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City

Built in 1964, this museum is dedicated to the archaeology and history of Mexico’s pre-Hispanic heritage. There are 23 exhibit rooms filled with ancient artifacts, including some from the Mayan civilisation.

Flower Festivals

Garden lovers might like to visit a stay at home Flower Festival.  Committee member and Past Chairman Lis Goodwin has suggested Strawberry Hill House and Garden, on 12 and 13 June. DETAILS HERE

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