Due to continued H.M. Government restrictions guidance, it will come as no surprise that all lectures for January, February and March will be held on line via Zoom. The link to each of these Lectures will be e-mailed to members on the Monday prior to the Wednesday Lecture. We hope to return to the Mercure Preston Hotel, Samlesbury as is soon possible. Members will be informed of the return date and of any specific requirements regarding social distancing that may be in force at the time.Updates will be posted on this section of our website.

Difficulties in working  safely with other bodies have meant that our much appreciated Volunteer activities have had to be suspended. These include Arts  Appreciation, Heritage Volunteering, and Trails of Discovery.. These will be resumed as possible and details of when this will be will bested on this section of the website.

Courtesy of The Arts Society Richmond we are offering Members the opportunity to experience a Virtual Walk – details below.  The Zoom & You Tube links for this walk have been sent direct to Members in the January Newsletter.


This lecture looks at how the Stuarts in the 1600s and early 1700s used the Baroque style to either underline their power, assert their power or give the illusion of power. We will look at works by artists such as Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony Van Dyck, Sir Peter Lely and lesser known Italians such as Antonio Verrio and see how they raised Kings, Queens and Courtiers to the level of Gods, Goddesses and even romantic shepherds with hidden messages which reflects the turbulent politics of the time.

The Society was established in 1974 and follows The Arts Society’s ethos of providing first class lectures, days of special interest, cultural visits and holidays.

Our President is Roger Mitchell MA (Oxon).

He studied History at Oxford and Fine Art at Leeds. He then travelled and studied in the USA with a Churchill Award. A former College Vice-Principal, he now lectures at the University of Liverpool and for Adult Residential Colleges. He organises and leads Country House tours and also tries to find time to do research at Chatsworth.

Society meetings are held on the second Wednesday of each month at Samlesbury Hotel, Preston New Road, Preston, PR5 0UL.  However, for the remainder of 2020, lectures will be delivered online via Zoom as follows:-

  • 13th January 2021 11.00 a.m. by Zoom
    Imogen Corrigan,
    The Glories of Anglo Saxon England.
  • 10th February 2021 11.00 a.m. by Zoom
    Alexandra Epps
    Coventry Cathedral: Icon and Inspiration
  • 10th March 2021 11.00 a.m. by Zoom
    Lynne Gibson
    Double Dutch: The Secret Language of Dutch Still Life
 We hope to return to The Mercure Preston Samlesbury Hotel as soon as is possible.  Members will be informed of the return date and any specific requirements regarding social distancing that may be in force at the time.

We are a member of The Arts Society. To find out more click here.

Registered Charity No. 514394

Upcoming Programmes

    • 10/02/2021

      Coventry Cathedral: Icon and Inspiration – Alexandra Epps

      The extraordinary story of the rebuilding of the Cathedral as a symbol of peace and reconciliation and its inspiring commitment to the modern. Experience the work of many of the world – class artists associated with its treasures including Epstein, Frink, Piper and Sutherland.

    • 10/03/2021

      Double Dutch: The Secret Language of Dutch Still Life – Lynne Gibson

      Merchants of the Dutch Golden Age filled their town houses with paintings. But these upright Calvinist citizens rejected biblical subjects and Baroque melodrama. Favourite themes were found closer to home.
      Still Lifes reflect the prosperity and self-esteem of the new Republic. The detailed realism of these paintings is compelling but is there more to Dutch art than meets the eye?  Banketje (banquets) and ontbijtjes (breakfasts) celebrate an abundance of foodstuffs. Could the curl of lemon peel, platter of oysters, kraakware bowl of blemished fruit or spiced meat pie warn of the dangers of gluttony and pleasures of the flesh?

      Vanitas, ‘pronkstilleven’ and ‘blompots’ display treasured possessions. If we look closely, however, the pocket-watch, fading bloom or, more explicitly, human skull, might hint that consciences are troubled by such ostentation.

      Join me to explore the secret symbolic language of Still Life paintings and become a fluent reader of ‘Double Dutch’!