Members letter May 2020

Dear Member

As uncertainty over when we will be able to return to normal life continues we wanted to be able to provide Members with some opportunities to enjoy art with a knowledgeable guide. We have therefore set up a small programme of offerings online. We will be asking for feedback after the first lecture to discover member reaction to this new initiative.

The programme will include one-hour monthly lectures which, as with the lectures at The Art Workers’ Guild, are included in your membership. We are also running a form of study day but in three one-hour weekly sessions as we suspect not many want to spend a day looking at a screen. Details of the first lectures and study events are included in this mailing. Study events can be booked in the normal way on WebCollect. Full details of the programme are given below.

We are not opening booking yet for the courses we had planned for this autumn and will not do so until it is clearer how group gatherings can take place safely. It is sad we still cannot visit galleries or enjoy studying in each other’s company but I hope this will be a small consolation until we can again.

I hope that you and those you care for continue to be safe and well.

Best wishes.

Sue Anstruther




Since we are still unable to provide live events we are going to run a programme of lectures and study days online over the coming months. Lectures as normal will be free and study days will be presented in one-hour sessions over three weeks, running at the same time each week, and will cost £30 per person for the three sessions. It will not be possible to pay for individual sessions.

All online events will be delivered via Zoom and you will need to be familiar with this app in order to participate – I’m afraid we do not have the capacity to provide any back-up or advice on the use of Zoom. You don’t need to have an account or to install the app in advance (you will be prompted during login). It is pretty user-friendly and if you have not used it before the Zoom website has very clear instructions, and you can practice by joining a test meeting. The Society will also run a trial session before the first lecture for members who wish to participate in our online events so that you will feel confident to join and enjoy our sessions. If you are a Mac user you may need to have your device password to hand in order to connect to Zoom.

Lectures are free but you will be required to book a place via WebCollect because our sessions are limited to 100 participants. If you reserve a place for an event you will receive an invitation the day before containing details which you will need to join the event.

We recommend that you log on to Zoom 15 minutes before the start time of the event even if you are familiar with the app since the process can take some time if a lot of participants are logging on at the same time.

The first events are as follows. For more information and booking click on the title which will take you to the relevant page.

June Lecture
Monday 1 June 2020, 2-3pm
In Focus: Caspar David Friedrich’s Wanderer in a Sea of Fog led by Mariska Beekencamp-Wladimiroff

Study Day (three sessions)
Mondays 29 June, 6 July, 13 July 2020, 11am-12pm
From Renaissance to Baroque – the rise and struggle of women in the world of art led by Leslie Primo. Members who have already booked the ‘live’ version of this day will be offered a place on the digital event with a partial refund or a full refund if they do not wish to do so.

 July Lecture
Thursday 9 July 2020, 2-3pm
Paint It Black: Titian’s religious paintings for Philip II led by Carlo Corsato

Further events will be announced over the summer and will include a lecture by Ursula Weekes in September. We were forced to cancel our study tour in April to Siena and San Gimignano led by John Renner and we have rescheduled it for next year, 7-12 May 2021.

Since this is our first venture into the virtual world to provide events we will issue a short online questionnaire after the first lecture and would really appreciate your feedback, even if you choose not to join the session. It will help us to ensure that future events run smoothly and provide the best possible experience to members.

If you are missing the stimulus of learning about art or visiting galleries and museums you might like to visit our Art Online page for suggestions of sites to visit.