Events | Great Moments in Art History

  • Location: The Greenaway Hotel, Cheltenham
  • Date: Tuesday 24th March – 7pm for arrival drinks in the Lounge with the presentation starting at 7.30pm
  • Book Now: Please call 01242 862 352

This illustrated talk sets out to identify milestone moments in shaping the History of Art in Western culture, from the Parthenon to the present day. Seminal moments in a broad artistic timeline will be cited as defining the development of visual culture, such as the birth of perspective, the discovery of the ancient ‘Laocoon’ sculpture in 1506, Mona Lisa’s smile or Tracey Emin’s Bed, for example. And what of the cultural status changing over time? or the shift in patronage and the commissioning of artworks? Equally important is the development of artistic materials and the changing art market.

In the words of the late Jackson Pollock: “Each age finds its own technique.” This we refer to as the zeitgeist, or ‘spirit of the age,’ as artworks can often encapsulate or define an epoch; a national consciousness, if you will. The sombre and foreboding curtains of dark by Mark Rothko evoke the Great Depression in the USA yet Warhol’s more eupeptic icons of celebrity reflect a feeling of post-war optimism. Was Marcel Duchamp ‘taking the proverbial…’ with his Urinal of 1917 and what should we make of our own county’s Damien Hirst, with his cow cut in half and preserved in formaldehyde? Much great art tests the boundaries and makes us question our own perceptions and beliefs: “Art is meant to disturb – science reassures.” What do you make of Braque’s statement? or the impact of the discovery of photography on the arts? Should Banksy’s Hewlett Road graffiti have been graffitied?!

This talk is initially meant to inform and then to stimulate discussion. What are your personal ‘Great Moments in Art History?