Click here for previous lectures

25 June 2019From Mauve to Mumbai: The history of colour in textiles from 1856 to the present
23 July 2019Form and Fortune: Fifty Years of British Sculpture 1968-2018
24 September 2019The Mona Lisa and other Housewives: How portraits lie about their sitters
22 October 2019Zaha Hadid - Architectural Superstar
26 November 2019Food and Art through the Ages: From Renaissance Sugar Sculpture to 3D Printing

Click on a row and scroll to display more details about the lecture

From Mauve to Mumbai: The history of colour in textiles from 1856 to the present Susan Kay-Williams Tuesday 25 June 2019

In 1856 an 18-year-old student at the Royal College of Chemistry accidentally discovered the first fully synthetic colour. This lecture takes us from Perkin’s discovery and comes right up to date with the development and challenges of dyeing in the 20th and 21st centuries with synthetic dyes and fibres. It is a story of serendipity, science, war, innovation, trial and error, environmental concerns, economics and fashion, all of which have had changing demands on the dyeing trade over the last 160 years.

Susan is Chief Executive of the Royal School of Embroidery based at Hampton Court Palace.  She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and the Chartered Institute of Marketing  .In 2015 Susan was made a Fellow of the Society of Dyers and Colourists in recognition of her work on the history of dyes.  Susan has a longstanding interest in textiles, especially colour, and published her first book, The Story of Colour in Textiles in 2013. She has extensive lecturing experience and has been invited to lecture in the USA, Canada, China, Japan and Taiwan as well as for the V&A and across the UK.