Online Lectures

Online Events

See below or in the sidebar for the variety of online lectures that The Arts Society UK (TAS) have created for us while we cannot attend our normal live lectures and events. All of these are free and do not require any special software. Just click on the link and you should see the event with instructions on how to proceed.

As well as these, here is a link to an article by Will Gompertz of the BBC about the recent extremely high resolution image of Rembrandt’s Nightwatch, which shows you the fantastic detail in the picture. It is truly amazing. In fact the Nightwatch is just one of many high resolution pictures that you can zoom into on the Google Arts and Culture site, along with collections from about 2000(!) galleries worldwide. It is a wonderful resource to see the museums of the world, all from your own home.


First a whole series of quizzes created at the request of Wessex Area’s Julie Price, to keep you entertained : Wessex Area Lockdown Quizzes

And also a Christmas themed quiz created by Lizzie Darbyshire of Arts Society North East area : Christmas Quiz (and then download the quiz).

TAS Lectures via Connected

The Arts Society UK (TAS) have created a special Connected section of their website to keep people connected to the Arts through the lockdown.

Go to the main Arts Society website and click on the big pink Connected link and from there click on  Lectures at Home. Each video lasts for about 15 minutes.
(Note: If you are using an older iPad and find that these videos do not run, then try this Arts Society Youtube link instead and search for the lectures. Alternatively the main link does work on a laptop or smart phone. )

Previous Lectures at Home, all still available, are :

  • An Artist of Note: Turner and the new £20 by Nicola Moorby.
  • Revolutions in Glass in the 1960s by Antique Roadshow’s Mark Hill
  • Venice Dressed and Undressed by historical novelist Sarah Dunant
  • An insight into Las Meninas by Velasquez by Jacqueline Cockburn

You can access these Lectures at Home as above or directly from the sidebar to the left.

Back on the main Arts Society website, there are also links to the Instant Expert series, currently featuring William Wordsworth, the Ice-skating poet, but also :

  • Festive Illuminations around the country
  • Rupert Bear – 100 years since his creation
  • Early Hollywood, and its sparkle
  • and other varied items of interest.

There is also a link to the Art and The Country House website featuring various houses including the fascinating history of Mells Manor in Somerset.

Art History in Focus

Siân Walters, founding director of Art History in Focus and one of The Arts Society accredited lecturers, has generously put together a number of free, online art lectures via Facebook.

Siân delivers a new lecture live every Monday morning at 9.30 am and has about 1000 people viewing from all around the world. You don’t need a Facebook account, just click on the link below. Scroll up to near the top of the page where the LIVE lecture will appear shortly before 9.30 am. Art History in Focus – Live

Her lectures are then recorded and you can see all the past ones at : Art History in Focus – Past

They include : The Arnolfini portrait, Van Gogh sunflowers, Piero della Francesca, Canaletto.

(You may see a banner from Facebook which says that you have to login to Facebook or create a Facebook account, but that is only necessary if you want to ask questions during the lecture. Otherwise just ignore it and scroll down until you see the videos and click on one of them, and expand the view to full size. It seems there is about 4 minutes of music at the start of each lecture, presumably for people to take their seats ? You can fast forward through that if you like.)

Art Galleries

Various art galleries have marvellous online tours, and the great thing is that you can take your time, there is no-one in the way or talking loudly just in front of you !

Courtauld Gallery.

The Courtauld is currently closed for major refurbishment but their virtual tour, from 2018 before they closed for this massive refurbishment, is excellent, and quite easy to control. It is the easiest we have seen and a good first step in gallery virtual tours ! (Do read the helpful instructions on Using the Tour before you ‘Launch the Tour’). Courtauld Virtual Tour

National Gallery

Click your way around the National Gallery – with some difficulty. You don’t need a Virtual Reality headset, but you’ll probably need a drink half way round ! (Their 2011 tour requires Adobe Flash software which many people will not have these days, but the Sainsbury Wing and Google tours do not require any special software, though they are quite difficult to navigate.) National Gallery Virtual Tour

Tate Britain

Their ‘Walk through British Art’ tour leads you through 12 rooms and their main paintings in chronological order. Walk through British Art

Tate Modern

Tate Modern has a tour of the recent Andy Warhol exhibition : Andy Warhol at Tate Modern

All these galleries have further information on their websites. And there are of course many others. Let us know of any favourites that you would like others members to see, as well as any other online lectures that you come across. Also tell us of any problems that occur.