As an educational charity, the Paul Mellon Centre strives to promote and support academic research into the history of British art and architecture. The Public Lecture Course, which is free to attend, offers an exciting opportunity to broaden our audiences and to communicate the newest and most original research in the history of art an engaging and accessible way. Each Autumn and Spring term a series of connected lectures are offered that focus on a single theme. Lectures are given across a number of consequetive weeks, allowing attendees to build up a good working knowledge of the topic.
Each series aims to deliver current art-historical thinking in an accessible manner. Lectures are delivered by specialists in their field, including members of Paul Mellon Centre staff. At the end of the course, we aim to have given participants a tool-kit of methodologies and ideas that enable them to take their art-historical studies further.
These introductory courses have been devised for people who would like to develop their interest in works of art and the discipline of art history. Each lecture series will give participants insight into art from different and complementary perspectives. The courses are open to anyone over the age of 16. The number of participants is limited to 50. No prior knowledge is necessary.
Lectures take place at the Paul Mellon Centre and last one hour, followed by thirty minutes of discussion with the presenter. Most of the lectures are also broadcast live on the internet, and the recordings are later subtitled and published on our website.
The course requires some preparation on the part of the participant. Each lecture will have up to three readings, which will be provided electronically ahead of the start of the course. Participants are strongly encouraged to read in order to have some background knowledge on the topics being discussed in class each week.
Autumn 2020: "Ceramics in Britain, 1750 to now", convened by Helen Ritchie. Please note: this series was originally scheduled to run in April 2020.
Summer 2020: “Georgian Provocations: Six iconic works of art from eighteenth-century Britain”, convened by Mark Hallett and Martin Postle
Autumn 2019: “Art and War”, convened by Mark Hallett and Jacqueline Riding
Spring 2019: “Photography and its Histories”, convened by Sean Robert Wilcock
Autumn 2018: “The Artist and The Garden”, convened by Martin Postle
Spring 2018: “Thinking about Exhibitions: Interpretation, Restoration, and Curation”, convened by Mark Hallett
Autumn 2017: “Britain, South Asia: Entangled Histories”, convened by Sarah Victoria Turner and Hammad Nasar
Autumn 2016: “The Country House: Art, Politics and Taste”, convened by Martin Postle and Jessica Feather
Autumn 2015: “Satire to Spectacle: British Art in the Eighteenth Century”, convened by Mark Hallett and Martin Postle