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25 October 201820th Century Gardens
28 March 2018Paintings inspired by music and music inspired by paintings
25 October 2017Autumn Special Interest Day Russian Art: from royalty to revolution
30 March 2017Spring Special Interest Day: Chinese Imperial Court Life, Protocol and Costume (Qing Dynasty 1644-1911) - "Ruling with the Mandate of Heaven"
26 October 2016Autumn Special Interest Day: The Cleaning of Paintings and the Conservation of Frames
18 February 2016Spring Special Interest Day: The Vitality and Beauty of Classical Greek Art and Architecture
21 October 2015Autumn Special Interest Day: The House of Tiffany
26 March 2015Spring Special Interest Day: The Development of Ancient Egyptian Art from 4000 to 1000 BC
24 October 2014Autumn Special Interest Day: A Family Affair - Florence and the House of Medici
09 April 2014Spring Special Interest Day: Dresden - Its Art and Architecture
30 October 2013Autumn Special Interest Day: How Time Was Told Through the Ages
26 March 2013Spring Special Interest Day: Cities of Vesuvius - Art, Architecture and Everyday Life in Ancient Pompeii and Herculaneum
30 October 2012Autumn Special Interest Day: From Riches to Rags - The Huguenots of Spitalfields
24 March 2012Spring Special Interest Day: Iran - Land of Great Kings, Shahs and Ayatollahs
24 November 2011Autumn Special Interest Day: The Dollar Princesses - How American Women stormed the British Establishment
09 March 2011Afternoon of Special Interest: Master Workshop for Sutton Hoo
17 November 2010Autumn Special Interest Day: The Gilded Stage - a Social and Cultural History of Opera

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20th Century Gardens James Bolton Thursday 25 October 2018

Across three lectures, renowned expert James Bolton will guide us through the evolution of garden design in the 20th Century and explore the increasing role of women in horticulture.

First lecture (10:15 – 11:15): Lutyens & Jekyll and The Arts and Crafts Gardens

The last two decades of the 19th century reverberated with the row between William Robinson and Reginald Blomfield as to the pre-eminence in the garden of the architect or the gardener. At a stroke, the problem was solved by the partnership between Gertrude Jekyll and Edwin Lutyens, so that a house by Lutyens with a garden by Jekyll became an Edwardian ideal.

Together they designed gardens with a strong architectural background, softened by luxuriant planting in the natural style advocated by Robinson. Their partnership thrived in the brash, new-moneyed Edwardian era, but the First World War ended that golden afternoon and as Lutyens became distracted by the creation of New Delhi and Miss Jekyll, almost blind, became more and more reluctant to leave Munstead Wood, so the gardens they designed together were fewer and farther between.

Second Lecture (12:00 – 1:00): Informal and Formal Gardens

Two styles of gardening run through the 20th Century, each springing from the influence of Lutyens and Jekyll. Informal gardens, from Hidcote to Great Dixter, where a passion for plants is the key following the centuries old English obsession with collecting plants and growing them well. Formal structured gardens, whose history runs from Sir George Sitwell’s Italianate garden at Renishaw to the contemporary post-modern gardens created by Geoffrey Jellicoe, Charles Jencks and Ian Hamilton-Finlay.

Third Lecture (2:30 – 3:30): Twentieth Century Women Gardeners

Gardening in 1900 was, for the majority of women, a polite affair involving little more than dead-heading roses and instructing the gardening staff. Great changes were made in the rôle of women in horticulture by great gardeners like Ellen Wilmot, Margerie Fish, Vita Sackville-West and Nancy Lancaster. By 2000, designers such as Penelope Hobhouse, Arabella Lennox-Boyd and a whole host of more or less well known, but no less professional, women are creating wonderful and challenging gardens.