Our 2019-2020 Discovery Days


The Anatomy of Collecting

Marc Allum, Antiques Roadshow Specialist

Time: 10.00 for 10.30 start (Close 3.30pm)


Bookings Open

Great collectors and their collections, fakes & forgeries plus personal appraisals of members’ own objects

Lecture One
The Anatomy of Collecting – The History of Collecting and Great Collectors Through History
An intriguing journey through the history of the ‘cabinet of curiosity’ and the origins of our modern museums. Based on decades of personal experience - as both a collector and auctioneer - Marc’s talk will explore some of the great collectors from history, including John Tradescant, whose collection founded the Ashmolean in Oxford, together with a fascinating insight into the alchemy, myth and folklore which inspired their curiosity.

Lecture Two.
Fakes and Forgeries
Marc’s personal interests extend into many areas and his reputation for divining the unusual is well known. His passion for collecting ‘fakes’ forms a wonderful insight into the history of forgeries and reproductions and encompasses examples from many famous cases, including paintings, antiquities and silver, whilst also exploring the all-important subject of provenance.

Lecture Three.
Bring an Object Talk
A captivating and spontaneous talk based on objects brought in by the audience, which in true Antiques Roadshow style, will test Marc’s ‘miscellaneous’ skills in translating all manner of artefacts into an entertaining and informative journey through history. From ceramics to silver, ethnographic items to militaria, Marc will bring the objects to life with a mixture of anecdotes, humour and solid facts.

Venue: Best Western Hotel Tiverton

Organised by: The Arts Society South West

Cost: £39, including coffee on arrival and two course buffet lunch


Nordic Vision: Scandinavian Painting C1880-1914

Anne Anderson

Time: Special Interest Day: 10.00 a.m. - 15.30 p.m.


Scandinavian Painters embraced the ''modern'' in terms of technique and subject matter, following in the footsteps of the French Naturists and Impressionists. But in the 1890s many northern artists turned inward, both physically and mentally, to explore Symbolism, Edvard Munch being the most notable example of contemporary angst.

However, these lectures also look at Norwegian landscape painting, linking the unique landscape of the country to the painted images of fiords and mountains, tundra and snow.

Many of these artists are unknown beyond Scandinavia but their work allows us into notions of wilderness and the Sublime. Included are Peder Severin Kroyer and the artist colony at Skagan' Vilmelm Hammershoi, and Karl Larsson and the Swedish style.

Perhaps it is the unique climate of the far north with the extremes of the Polar night and the Midsummer sun that has forged such a distinctive Scandinavian culture and painting.

10.00: Lecture One
Scandinavian Painters embraced the ‘modern’ in terms of technique and subject matter, following in the steps of the French Realists, Naturalists and Impressionists. Many studied in Paris but they invariably came home in the summer months establishing rural colonies in Skagen and Funen in Denmark in order to paint en plein air.

11.00: Coffee and Biscuits

11.30: Lecture Two.
The naturalism of the Skagen artistic colony has been likened to our ‘Newlyn School’.
During the 1890’s many artists returned home both physically and mentally; Anders Zorn built Zorngarten, a studio-house in Mora, Carl Larsson moved his family to Lilla Hyttnas, Sundborn, Dalarna County, while Gallen-Kallela returned to Helsinki from Africa.

12.30: Lunch.

Option 1 - Lemon & thyme marinated grilled Chicken breast, crushed new potatoes & leeks.

Option 2 - Courgette & red onion bake topped with new potatoes and pesto (Vegetarian/Vegan.
Both served with a green salad, French bread and butter.

14.00: Lecture Three.
During the 1890’s the Naturalists vied with the Symbolists, whose mission was to explore the ‘inner life’ and ‘worlds beyond’. The Symbolists sought a spiritual dynamic, capturing the spirit of the place rather than just rendering reality. No one captured the angst of the era more effectively than Edvard Munch ( 1863-1944). His imitated, copied and parodied painting ‘Scream’ ( 1893) is as famed as Leonardo’s ‘Mona Lisa’.

15.00: Questions

15.30: Close

Venue: National Maritime Museum Cornwall

Organised by: The Arts Society Falmouth

Cost: £37 (includes mid morning coffee and buffet lunch)


'Gold of the Gods;' Treasures of South America and the search for El Dorado'

Chloe Sayer

Time: Special Interest Day: 10.00 a.m. - 15.30 p.m.


This Meeting was cancelled because of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Gold in America South had a spiritual importance. Its brilliance evoked the Sun - the golden disk that nourished the Earth.

In Peru and Colombia, goldsmiths made some of the most spectacular treasures of the ancient world.

Cast and hammered, gold was transformed into sacred offerings for tombs and temples.

Europeans, by contrast, saw gold as a commodity - the ultimate symbol of wealth.

Synopsis of the Day

09.00 Registration opens

10.00 Session 1: South America and the Search for El Dorado

11.00 Coffee

11.30 Session 2: Golden Treasures of Peru

12.30 Lunch

14.00 Session 3: Mexico the Golden Land

15.00 Q & A

15.30 Close

Venue: National Maritime Museum Cornwall, Falmouth

Organised by: The Arts Society Falmouth

Cost: £39 - Includes mid - morning coffee and hot lunch


From Holbein to Hockney: A history of British Portrait Painting

Valerie Woodgate

Time: Special Interest Day: 10.00 a.m. - 15.30 p.m.


This Meeting was cancelled because of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Historically, portrait painting has been more prolific in this country than anywhere else in Europe. This study day will explore the reasons for this, and consider how the artist reveals information about the sitters and, frequently, about the social and political circumstances in which they were painted.

At the same time we will explore the immense artistic changes in portraiture over several centuries.

Venue: Buckfast Abbey Conference Centre

Organised by: The Arts Society SW Area

Cost: £39