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18 July 2018Golden Jubilee lecture: Who Says? Can We Trust the Experts on Good and Bad Art?
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17 October 2018The Golden Age of Venetian Glass
21 November 2018Getting Under their Skins - Finding Character and Story in Renaissance Art.
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Golden Jubilee lecture: Who Says? Can We Trust the Experts on Good and Bad Art? David Phillips Wednesday 18 July 2018

Golden Jubilee Reception & Lecture

7.30 - 8.30  pm Amey Theatre, Abingdon School

The lecture will be preceeded at 6.30 pm by Drinks, Canapes & Music in the Jekyll Garden. 

Music will be provided by internationally celebrated harpist Pervin Shahin. With music from Baroque, through Romantic to Popular and Jazz.

The lecture will then be given by David Phillips

We can mostly trust experts like the ones on the Antiques Road Show.  We explore what’s involved in that kind of expertise, taking Wedgwood Jasperware as a case-study.  But connoisseurship has a deplorable record when attributions to major artists are at stake, with Van Gogh expertise, for example, in chaos.  We review some hilarious episodes, but end up sympathising with the scrupulous scholars of the Rembrandt Research Project.  They’ve wrestled for decades to settle once and for all which Rembrandtesque paintings were actually painted by Rembrandt.  Faced with a baffling masterpiece like the haunting Polish Rider in the Frick Collection, their efforts have become as much a fascinating study of the difficulties of attribution as of Rembrandt.  Modern art practices add layers of complication: a blazing dispute is underway (with millions of dollars at stake) about what is authentic, and what is not, in the work of Andy Warhol.   Next we sneak a look at cases where experts may not have been acting in good faith – or are just plain bent.  Finally we move on to ask, who is to say that Picasso is a greater artist than Edward Seago?  We consider the issues, and then speculate about the contemporary scene, with a critical look at critics, and the recent competition featured in the TV series School of Saatchi.