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October Newsletter
Tuesday 01 October 2019

Hello Everyone

I sincerely hope that you have had a wonderful Summer relaxing and enjoying yourselves in the beautiful weather we have experienced recently.  At times far too hot for me.

Well here we are at the start of another Arts Society year and what a treat we have in store for you all.  I am sure those members who have read the programme leaflet will have realised the interesting and varied lectures we have arranged for you to appreciate. 

In October our lecture is 'Royal Collectors: Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and their Art'. Our lecturer is Susan Owens who will tell us about how Queen Victoria and Prince Albert expressed their love for each other through art.

Every birthday and Christmas they exchanged gifts of paintings, sculpture and jewellery, and they commissioned artists to record their lives together at Balmoral and Osborne House. They were keen amateur artists, sitting side-by-side to draw and to try their hand at etching. And they took pleasure in arranging their collection of portrait miniatures, drawings and prints in a special room the prince designed at Windsor Castle.

We will look not only at glamorous paintings by Landseer and Winterhalter, but also at the lesser-known watercolours the couple took pleasure in arranging in their treasured ‘souvenir albums’. This lecture tells the story of these royal patrons and collectors who were every bit as passionate about art as they were about each other. 

Susan is an art historian, writer and curator. She has worked as a curator for the Royal Collection and has been Curator of Paintings at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Susan has written or co-authored books on decadent interiors, natural history illustration, watercolours, drawings and self-portraits, and is a regular contributor to publications including the Times Literary Supplement and The World of Interiors.

You are also invited to an evening lecture by Lars Tharp on ‘Hogarth: Harlots, Rakes & Crashing China’  at East Horsley Village Hall  on Tuesday 22nd October, organised by our fellow Arts Society (Horsley Lovelace), when you can enjoy  a glass of wine or soft drink from 6.45pm, followed by the talk which starts at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £15. To book please contact Clare Hewlett on 01483 283635 or email:

I also wanted to tell you about the Area's Special Interest Morning on Friday 8 November (10am-1 pm), when Denise Heywood will give two talks on 'Sir Stamford Raffles - Art Collector & Discoverer of Singapore'. The meeting will be held at The Menuhin Hall, Stoke d’Abernon, Cobham Road, Cobham KT11 3QQ. Tickets cost £20, and this includes coffee/tea both on arrival and during the interval between the two lectures. To book please contact Jo Edna Corbyn, via email ( or telephone (01737 761521 or 07758 097003). 

Over the two lectures, Denise will tell the story of Raffles, a scholar, polymath, and colonial administrator of Java, whose name is synonymous with a luxury hotel rather than the greatest Buddhist temple in the world, Borobudur, which he discovered hidden under volcanic ash.  She will also show us the wondrous artefacts he acquired from Indonesia such as shadow puppets, sculptures and textiles, now in the British Museum, and tell us how he founded Singapore, and about its architectural heritage, inspired by his vision, with botanical gardens, historic shophouses and Victorian architecture. It concludes with Raffles’ return to London and reflects on his legacy. This year marks the 200th anniversary of the discovery of Singapore.

I am looking forward to welcoming you all back at the meeting on Wednesday, 9th October and especially any new members who have joined our society.  Please also take time to think about helping the committee as we are only a small group of people trying to do our best to give you an excellent society.  Even if you feel you cannot be on the committee perhaps you could volunteer to do one thing for us from time to time to help in some way.  It would be lovely if I didn’t have to stand up at the beginning of every meeting requesting help.

Bye for now