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Lectures

MULTIPLE  LECTURE BOOKINGS:  Book into 5 or more lectures to receive a 10% discount. A 20% discount is offered for 10 or more lecture bookings and a 15% discount is offered to those booking into the complete The Art of Dance study series. To receive the discount please phone us during office hours on 03 9416 2515. Telephone booking fees do not apply if booking five or more lectures






STUDY SERIES : THE ART OF DANCE 

Presented by well-known art, cultural and dance historians, The Art of Dance study series will explore the social and cultural worlds where art, dance and design meet. The lectures will consider how Australian and international artists connected with their contemporaries and provide an opportunity to celebrate dance and culture in the making.


NEW Study Series | The Art of Dance
A Series of Seven Lectures

$20 Adults | $18 Full time students (per lecture)
NEW discount for multiple lecture bookings - book into the complete Art of Dance series of seven lectures to receive a 15% discount

Artistic Direction & Aesthetic Preoccupations at The Australian Ballet with Lee Christofis
Wednesday 19 March 2014, 10.15 am to 11.45 am, $20 / $18

Many great ballets from St Petersburg, London, Paris and New York, and fine Australian works, have shaped The Australian Ballet. This presentation focuses on the distinctive aesthetic preoccupations that its seven artistic directors, from Peggy van Praagh in 1962 to David McAllister today, have brought to bear on the company’s repertoire.

Lee Christofis, former Curator of Dance at the National Library of Australia, is regarded as one of Australia's leading dance critics and arts commentators in print and broadcast media. He writes and lectures on Australian and international dance history and its intersections with music, design and dramaturgy, notably on ballet.

Portrait of Peggy van Praagh, circa 1970
photograph | Australian Information Service, National Library of Australia, PIC/3132/14

 

A Perfect Pas De Deux? | Ballet & Fashion with Roger Leong
Wednesday 9 April 2014, 10.15 am to 11.45 am, $20 / $18

 At certain points throughout the last 100 years, fashion and dance have seemed inextricably linked. Coco Chanel designed costumes for the Ballets Russes and Yves Saint Laurent designed costumes for the Roland Petit company. These are only two of many memorable partnerships. This talk reflects on the synchronicity of ballet and fashion at certain points over the past century and up to the present day.

ROGER LEONG is Curator International Fashion & Textiles at the NGV, Melbourne. His exhibitions include Ballet and Fashion (2012), ManStyle (2011), Black in Fashion (2007), Dressed to Kill: 100 Years of Fashion (1994) and From Russia with Love: Costumes of the Russian Ballet (1999).
Justine Summers in Divergence,The Australian Ballet, Melbourne, 1994. Choreography: Stanton Welch, Costume Design: Vanessa Leyonhjelm
Photograph by Jim McFarlane | courtesy of The Australian Ballet

Aussie Swans And Satin Slippers | The Evolution of The Australian Ballet from 1962 to today with Jordan Beth Vincent
Wednesday 23 April 2014, 10.15 am to 11.45 am, $20 / $18

This lecture tells the story of The Australian Ballet, Australia’s flagship national ballet company. Integrating archival materials and films, it will explore the evolution of the company from its premiere performance in 1962, its early profile and repertoire, and the passionate individuals who advocated for its success.

JORDAN BETH VINCENT is a Melbourne-based dance historian and critic, academic and lifelong fan of all things dance.  She has a PhD in dance history from the University of Melbourne. Since 2008, she has reviewed dance, circus and physical theatre for the Age, and she is the Australian columnist for Dance International Magazine. She lectures in dance history at the Victorian College of the Arts and is an Associate Research Fellow at Deakin University.

Amber Scott and Adam Bull in Swan Lake, The Australian Ballet, Melbourne, 2007 |choreography: Graeme Murphy | costume design: Kristian Fredrikson |
photograph by Liz Ham | courtesy of The Australian Ballet

Ballet Fantasias | Loudon Sainthill’s Decorative Art with Andrew Montana
Wednesday 7 May 2014, 10.15 am to 11.45 am, $20 / $18

Inspired by decorative surrealism and late-Renaissance court masques, the fantasy décor and costumes of acclaimed Australian-born artist Loudon Sainthill (1918-1969) transported Australian and international audiences during the middle of the twentieth century. Highlighting the significant influence of ballet on his art, this lecture introduces the impact of Colonel de Basil’s Ballets Russes tours in Melbourne on Sainthill, and presents Sainthill’s ballet fantasias in the 1940s and beyond.

ANDREW MONTANA is a senior lecturer at the Australian National University, specialising in the art and design history of the 19th and 20th centuries. He has developed and curated exhibitions on Australian and international decorative arts. His most recent publication is Fantasy Modern: Loudon Sainthill’s Theatre of Art and Life (NewSouth, 2013).

This lecture is generously supported by The Friends of The Johnston Collection

Loudon Sainthill (1918-1969) Decoration, 1941, bequest of Mrs Mignon McKelvey in memory of her mother Mrs Muriel Beatrice Ervin 1967 | collection of the Queensland Art Gallery
photograph by Natasha Harth

Mathilde Kschessinska | “My Life Was Beautiful” with Eugene Barillo von Reisberg
Wednesday 21 May 2014, 10.15 am to 11.45 am, $20 / $18

Few stars of the Russian Imperial Ballet shone as brightly off the stage as Mathilde Kschessinska. The Prima Ballerina counted the Emperor and Grand Dukes among her admirers; amassed a fabulous fortune and sumptuous collection of jewels; and lived in one of the most elegant mansions in St Petersburg … only to lose it all in the Russian Revolution. However, in exile she was able to marry the man she loved and establish a dance studio which trained ballet stars of the next generation.

EUGENE BARILO VON REISBERG is a writer, researcher, and art consultant. He is an internationally acknowledged authority on Franz Xaver Winterhalter, the nineteenth-century elite portrait specialist, and he is currently completing a doctoral thesis on the artist at the University of Melbourne

photographer unknown, Mathilde Kschessinska, carte-de-visite, 1897, private collection

read about Eugene Barillo von Reisberg’s other lectures below

Rudi’s Antiques & Collectables | Rudolph Nureyev Collector and Prince of Dance with Anne Butler
Wednesday 11 June 2014, 10.15 am to 11.45 am, $20 / $18

Travelling trunk, kilims and male nudes : Rudolph Nureyev was not only an icon of dance but also a great collector of antiques and art. One of the richest artists of his time, his collection and personal belongings were auctioned through Christie’s in New York and London in 1995 amassing over $10 million dollars. This talk explores Nureyev’s collection, including costumes and ballets, which were part of his fame.

ANNE BUTLER holds a Post-graduate degree in the teaching of classical ballet from the Faculty of the VCA, The University of Melbourne and Fellowship status, Cecchetti Ballet Australia and International. As an independent researcher, she has delivered and published papers throughout Australia, United Kingdom and the USA.

From Bedroom To Kitchen And Beyond | Women of the Ballet with Michelle Potter
Wednesday 25 June 2014, 10.15 am to 11.45 am, $20 / $18

Across the decades women have been the heroines of many of the best known ballets in the international repertoire. Dance historian Michelle Potter will look at some famous female heroines and those who have brought those characters to the stage.

DR MICHELLE POTTER is an independent writer and curator with a doctorate in Art History and Dance History from the Australian National University. She was inaugural Curator of Dance at the National Library of Australia, 2002-2006, and Curator of the Jerome Robbins Dance Division, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, 2006-2008.

This lecture is generously supported by The Friends of The Johnston Collection

Madeleine Eastoe in La Sylphide, The Australian Ballet, Melbourne, 2005 |choreography: Erik Bruhn after August Bournonville | costume design: Anne Fraser |
photograph by Justin Smith | courtesy of The Australian Ballet

THE SYLVIA SAGONA STUDY SERIES

SYLVIA SAGONA is an internationally recognised specialist on 19th century French society. She retired from the French Department at The University of Melbourne to work on historical documentaries for French and Australian television and is currently researching a book on the invention of the restaurant in Paris in the 18th century.

Antiquity And Iniquity | Rome of the English Grand Tourists with Sylvia Sagona
Thursday 1 May 2014, 10.15 am to 11.45 am, $20 / $18

The Grand Tour became a rite of passage for young English aristocrats who were required to spend at least two years abroad before taking up their rightful place in society with an increased appreciation of the solidity and uprightness of English cultural institutions. Rome, seat of the Classics, was a great Empire fallen into decadence and now under the rule of dreaded "papists”. The lure of such sensuality had to be experienced but resisted.

Pompeo Batoni, (Italy, 1708 –1787), portrait of General William Gordon (1736 – 1816), 1765–66, collection of Fyvie Castle, (The National Trust, Scotland), Fyvie, Scotland

The Myths Of Venice with Sylvia Sagona
Thursday 8 May 2014, 10.15 am to 11.45 am, $20 / $18

This alluring city of angels, rising out of the waters and hovering on the border between East and West wove miraculous legends about herself, and played them out in extravagant masked pageants which drew tourist crowds from the Middle Ages onwards. Her painters and poets alike celebrated the myth of Venezia, which successfully blended the contradictory stories of Venus rising from the sea with the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary.

Canaletto (Giovanni Antonio Canal), (Italy,1697 – 1768), The Return of the Bucintoro to the Molo on Ascension Day, 1732, The Royal CollectionEngland, RCIN 404417

Bringing It All Back Home | The Role Of Canaletto’s Veduta and Batoni’s Portraits in Creating the Image of English Aristocracy with Sylvia Sagona
Thursday 15 May 2014, 10.15 am to 11.45 am, $20 / $18

The 18th century Grand Tour was about aristocratic male bonding across cultures. Proof of the experience would be exhibited on the walls of manors across England where fellow cognoscenti could identify with the experience. Canaletto developed a new type of urban landscape, the veduta, to cater for this self advertising, while Pompeo Batoni‘s portraits portrayed the transformation from youth to gentleman.

Bernardo Bellotto (Canaletto) (circa 1721/2 –1780), Capriccio with the Colosseum, Italy, 1743-44, collection of Galleria Nazionale, Parma, Italy

 

THE JANE AUSTEN SERIES 2014 | MANSFIELD PARK 1814

 To mark the 200 years since the first publication of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park by Thomas Egerton in May 1814, The Johnston Collection is celebrating with a year-long programme of activities coinciding with the bicentenary and the honouring of her work.

frontispiece from Mansfield Park published by Thomas Edgerton, London, 1814

My Life With Jane with John Wiltshire
Wednesday 2 April 2014, 10.15 am to 11.45 am, $20 / $18

John Wiltshire is one of the world’s leading Jane Austen scholars.  He has read, taught and written about her novels since his schooldays.  What is it about her work that makes such devotion possible? This is the story of his life-time love affair with Jane.

JOHN WILTSHIRE is Adjunct Professor at La Trobe University. He is the author of four books about Jane Austen, and has edited Mansfield Park for the authoritative Cambridge edition. His most recent books are The Cinematic Jane Austen (2009) and The Making of Dr Johnson (2009). The Hidden Jane Austen will be published by Cambridge University Press in May this year.

The ‘Wedding Ring Portrait’ of Jane Austen (England 1775-1817), circa 1873, after a drawing by Cassandra Austen (England 1773-1845) engraved for Evert Augustus Duyckinck (1816-1878) Portrait Gallery of Eminent Men and Women of Europe and America, published by Henry J. Johnson, New York, 1873

 

Jane Austen | The Consolations of Chawton Cottage with Damon Young
Tuesday 20 May 2014, 10.15 am to 11.45 am, $20 / $18

What was Jane Austen doing coveting an apricot? Learn about Jane Austen’s love of gardens and philosophy of life, as philosopher Damon Young gives a reading from his acclaimed book Philosophy in the Garden, where he explores one of literature's most intimate relationships: authors and their gardens.

Reviews of Philosophy in the Garden:
“... fluent and stylish and never marred by clichés or clichéd thinking ...” - The Australian
"Reading this book is like strolling in a luxuriant garden with an erudite friend …” – The Age

DAMON YOUNG is a philosopher and writer. He is the author of several popular nonfiction books, including Distraction, Philosophy in the Garden and How to Think About Exercise. Damon has written for The Age, The Australian, the ABC and BBC, and is a regular radio guest. He has also published poetry, short fiction and a children’s picture book.

Illustration by Daniel Keating, courtesy of Damon Young

Do You Dance Mr. Darcy? with Lise Rodgers
Thursday 29 May 2014, 2.00 pm to 3.30 pm, $20 / $18

When Jane Austen wrote that “to be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love”, she was writing of a world where dancing was the most important pastime for making the acquaintance of the opposite sex. A world of balls and assemblies, country dances and reels; a world where fun and flirtation were possible within a strict code of conduct. But what was the etiquette? What were the steps and how did Jane and her heroines fare on the dance floor?

LISE RODGERS is an accomplished Melbourne actress whose career has spanned stage, screen and radio. An interest in the world and characters of Jane Austen is the inspiration behind her series of Jane Austen performances.

THE EUGENE BARILO VON REISBERG SERIES

Before Victoria:Women Of The Royal Family During The Late Georgian Era

The amount of material available on Queen Victoria is seemingly inexhaustible. Hardly a year passes by without a new biography or a novel being published, or a new dramatisation or documentary being filmed, investigating and reinterpreting various aspects of her life.

The ongoing fascination with Queen Victoria and her era overshadowed the lives of the royal women of the preceding generation: the wife, daughters, and daughters-in-law of Queen Victoria’s grandfather, George III.

Join art historian Eugene Barilo von Reisberg in uncovering insights into the fascinating, tumultuous, and, at times, sad destinies of the royal women who came before Victoria.

EUGENE BARILO VON REISBERG is a writer, researcher, and art consultant. He is an internationally acknowledged authority on Franz Xaver Winterhalter, the nineteenth-century elite portrait specialist, and he is currently completing a doctoral thesis on the artist at the University of Melbourne

read about Eugene Barillo von Reisberg’s other lecture above

Forgotten Princesses | Six Daughters of George III and Queen Charlotte with Eugene Barilo von Reisberg
Tuesday 29 April 2014, 10.15 am to 11.45 am, $20 / $18

Princesses were traditionally expected to marry into foreign royal families to strengthen strategic relations between their native and adopted nations, facilitate diplomatic and cultural exchange, and establish new dynasties. However, the prospects of connubial bliss for the six daughters of George III and Queen Charlotte were overshadowed by the illness of their father, domineering spirit of their mother, and the political instability in Europe. The first lecture uncovers the complicated web of marital disappointments, lonely spinsterhoods, and illicit love affairs of the six forgotten princesses.

Thomas Gainsborough (1727-88), Princesses Charlotte, Augusta and Elisabeth, 1784, The Royal Collection, England, RCIN 400206

 

The Unruly Queen And The People’s Princess | Queen Caroline and Princess Charlotte of Wales with Eugene Barilo von Reisberg
Tuesday 13 May 2014, 10.15 am to 11.45 am, $20 / $18

The second lecture focuses on women in the life of George, Prince of Wales (future George IV): his wife, Princess Caroline of Brunswick, who was forced to flee the country to escape her husband’s persecution and abuse, and whom he famously banned from her own coronation; and their only daughter, the beloved and popular Princess Charlotte of Wales, who openly rebelled against her father’s tyranny.

Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1860), Caroline, Princess of Wales, with her daughter, Princess Charlotte of Wales, 1801, The Royal Collection, England, RCIN 407292

The Great Pregnancy Race | The Duchesses of Clarence, Kent, and Cambridge with Eugene Barilo von Reisberg
Tuesday 27 May 2014, 10.15 am to 11.45 am, $20 / $18

The unexpected death of Princess Charlotte of Wales plunged the British monarchy into a succession crisis. Three of the remaining bachelor sons of King George III rushed over to Europe to secure an eligible princess and procure the desired heir for the British throne. The last lecture focuses on the lives of the three royal brides who arrived in England in the summer of 1818: Princess Adelaide, the future Duchess of Clarence and consort of William IV; Princess Victoria, the future Duchess of Kent and mother of Queen Victoria; and Princess Augusta, the future Duchess of Cambridge and grandmother of Queen Mary.

Sir William Beechey (1753-1839), Victoria, Duchess of Kent, with her daughter, Princess Victoria, 1821, The Royal Collection, England, RCIN 407169


 

SPECIAL EVENT: Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival Cultural Program 2014

We are delighted to be part of the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival’s Cultural Program 2014,  which pushes fashion beyond the runway, into the realms of art, design, film and contemporary culture.

The Cultural Program runs for the whole month of March 2014 and invites fashion-loving audiences to revel in the range of experiences on offer. View the full program on www.vamff.com.au/events/cultural-program

brocaded Silk Tobine women’s shoes, England or American (with American family history), circa 1750 photograph by Titi Halle / Cora Ginsburg

High-Heel Heaven with Peter McNeil
Tuesday 25 March 2014, 10.15 am to 11.45 am, $20 / $18

Shoes convey a wide range of meanings associated with fashion, style, personality, sexuality, class and gender. New studies have given us awareness of the personal, social and sexual connotations attributed to footwear and created by footwear. Different shapes and colours for men’s and women’s shoes today revolve primarily around the construction of gender difference. Many of these gendered distinctions developed in the so-called ‘long 18th century’. Why do men and women’s shoes look so very different today? Learn about shoes, mobility and history, from Renaissance platform chopines to Sex and the City ‘limousine’ shoes.

DR PETER MCNEIL is Professor of Design History at University of Technology Sydney and Foundation Professor of Fashion Studies at Stockholm University, Sweden.

He is the author of numerous publications including ten works on fashion, including the best-selling Shoes, also translated into Italian (with G, Riello 2006; 2011). Current book projects include the ‘long’ history of luxury, supported by the Leverhulme Trust, United Kingdom and fashion writing from the 17th century to the present day

This lecture is generously supported by The Friends of The Johnston Collection

Read about Peter McNeil’s other lecture Fashion & Art below

GENERAL LECTURES & WORKSHOPS

Living With Antique Furniture with Michael Garwood and Ulrike Garwood
Thursday 3 April 2014, $20 / $18

This workshop will present practical information about what to do and what not to do with antique furniture and wooden objects. Hands-on demonstrations (e.g. showing you how to clean and wax furniture) and discussions (with some examples presented illustrating common problems), will help inform you about how to care for and maintain the beauty and function of your antique furniture.

MICHAEL GARWOOD and ULRIKE GARWOOD are conservators of objects, especially wooden objects. Both are graduates of the British Antique Dealers Association program at West Dean College in the United Kingdom and subsequent internships in the Furniture Conservation Section of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. They have worked in Melbourne for a number of years as conservators in private practice.

detail from maker unknown, Pembroke table, England, circa 1775, (A0038-1989)

Reynolds And Wright Paint Children with John Wiltshire
Tuesday 8 April 2014, 10.15 am to 11.45 am, $20 / $18

Wright’s painting of the Synnot children is one of the NGV’s most popular 18th century portraits.  Wright included children in many of his famous group pictures, and in this fully illustrated talk the treatment of children in his paintings will be compared with some of the charming child portraits by his greater rival, Joshua Reynolds.

JOHN WILTSHIRE is Adjunct Professor at La Trobe University. He is the author of four books about Jane Austen, and has edited Mansfield Park for the authoritative Cambridge edition. His most recent books are The Cinematic Jane Austen (2009) and The Making of Dr Johnson (2009). The Hidden Jane Austen will be published by Cambridge University Press in May this year.

Joseph Wright of Derby (1737-97), The Synnot children, 1781, collection of National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, E1-1980
presented through The Art Foundation of Victoria by Mrs Michael Hawker (née Patricia Synnot), Founder Benefactor, 1980

Read about John Wiltshire’s other lecture My Life With Jane above

Locks Of Love | The Story of Memento Mori
(or ‘mourning’) Jewellery with John Byrne
Tuesday 15 April 2014, 10.15 am to 11.45 am, $20 / $18

In the 21st century we tend to forget that our forebears lived their lives in the constant presence of death. Infant mortality was high, hygiene and medicine were rudimentary, disease was rampant. Mourning jewellery has an ancient history but reached new and extravagant heights in the 19th century. John will show pieces from his collection, tell what these pieces meant to their wearers and explain the cultural significance of these often touching but bizarre, objects. He will also tell of the adventures behind the collection.

JOHN BYRNE is a retired solicitor and founding member of the Johnson Society of Australia. He is currently the Governor of Dr Johnson's House, London, former President of Johnson Society, Lichfield, England (2008-9), President of the Samuel Johnson Society of the West USA (2008-9). He has been a Johnson Collector for over four decades and lectured widely in USA, United Kingdom and Australia.

set hair decoration detail from verso of George Engleheart, (England, 1750/3-1829), portrait miniature (of a gentleman), circa 1800, (A0794-1989)

French Painting From The French Revolution To Impressionism, 1780-1880 with Peter McPhee
Wednesday 28 May 2014, 10.15 am to 11.45 am, $20 / $18

The revolutionary century after 1780 was a whirlpool of political and social upheaval before the republican ship entered a secure harbour in 1880. How did painters such as David, Vernet, Courbet and Monet respond to abrupt changes of regime and official artistic preferences? How was art affected by the changing French society of the nineteenth century?

PETER MCPHEE is a Professorial Fellow at The University of Melbourne, where he was the university's first provost. He has published widely on the history of modern France, including most recently Living the French Revolution, 1789-1799.

Jacques-Louis David (1748 – 1825), The Intervention of the Sabine Women, France, 1799, collection of The Louvre, Paris

A Brief History Of Stained Glass with Ian George
Thursday 5 June 2014, 10.15 am to 11.45 am, $20 / $18

Glass has been with us since around 3000 BCE but not in windows until around 300 CE. By the 12th century new technology was able to provide brilliantly coloured glass in lead channels which remains one of most memorable art forms in Western culture. The art has evolved over the centuries and has been experiencing a significant revival in recent decades. It is exciting to examine this tradition and its new forms.

DR IAN GEORGE has been an art critic since the 1960. His postgraduate work was in aesthetics. Since then he has served on the Visual Arts Committee of the Festival of Perth, as a Trustee of the Queensland Art Gallery and Vice-President of the Queensland Festival, had two terms on the Community Arts Board of the Australia Council and is a regular lecturer at the National Gallery of Australia, the Art Gallery of South Australia and the National Gallery of Victoria.

Fashion & Art with Peter McNeil
Wednesday 18 June 2014, 10.15 am to 11.45 am, $20 / $18

Fashion is today one of the most important forms of popular expression.  But where does ‘Art’ come in?

For centuries, artists have engaged with and influenced fashion, many even designing the very stuff of its support, cloth. Learn how art forms as different as history painting, sculpture, portrait painting, print-making and the commercial art, ephemera and photography of our own era have depicted, created and promoted fashions. Gain a sense of fashion history from the Middle Ages to our time.

DR PETER MCNEIL is Professor of Design History at University of Technology Sydney and Foundation Professor of Fashion Studies at Stockholm University, Sweden.

He is the author of numerous publications including ten works on fashion, including the best-selling Shoes, also translated into Italian (with G, Riello 2006; 2011) Current book projects include the ‘long’ history of luxury, supported by the Leverhulme Trust, United Kingdom and fashion writing from the 17th century to the present day

Alexander Roslin (1718 – 1793), John Jennings Esq., his Brother and Sister-in-Law, 1769, collection of the National Museum, Stockholm

Read about Peter McNeil’s other lecture High-Heel Heaven above

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY

Incomparable Josephine Tour with Sylvia Sagona
28 May -2 June 2014

A six day tour evoking the life and legend of Josephine on the occasion of the celebrations commemorating the 200th anniversary of her death at Malmaison on 29 May 1814.

Further information:
www.travelsthroughtime.com

Jacques-Louis David (1748 - 1825) and Georges Rouget (1781 - 1869), detail from The Coronation of Napoleon, 1805 – 07, Musée du Louvre, Paris

 
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