THE ARTS SOCIETY SANDERSTEAD
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DateLecture
24 July 2018The Americans are Coming : John Singleton Copley and Benjamin West
26 June 2018Eric Ravilious and the Lure of Everyday
22 May 2018The Artists of Montmartre – The Pilgrims of Babylon
24 April 2018Pots and Frocks – the World of Grayson Perry
27 March 2018Frida Kahlo : Reflections of Life on Canvas
27 February 2018The Sincerest Form of Flattery – Great Images and those who borrow them
23 January 2018Opera - the Melting Pot of Culture
28 November 2017Life and Art in Georgian Dublin
24 October 2017Norman Rockwell: Great American Artist or mere Illustrator
26 September 2017Pevsner in Surrey (and Croydon)
25 July 2017Cornelia Parker
27 June 2017The New English Art Club: Then and (mostly) Now
23 May 2017New York, New York - an Architectural Discovery
25 April 2017The World as Paint: American Abstract Painting
28 March 2017Walter Sickert and the Camden Town Group
28 February 2017Paula Rego : Painting Women on the Edge and Telling Tales of the Unexpected
24 January 2017"Don't Make Fun of the Festival!" - Art, Design and Entertainment at the Festival of Britain
22 November 2016The new Cumberland Art Gallery at Hampton Court Palace
25 October 2016American Realism in the 1920s and 30s
27 September 2016A Child of Six could do it : Cartoonists' Views of Modern Art
26 July 2016The Schroder Collection of Renaissance Silver
28 June 2016Painting in Newlyn 1880 to 1914
24 May 2016Meet Me at the Waldorf: the Extra-ordinary Story of Two Iconic Hotels built on Astor Feuds, Fortunes and Art Patronage
26 April 2016Like Mother, Like Son: The Lives and Art of Suzanne Valadon and Maurice Utrillo
22 March 2016Winslow Homer: America's finest 19th Century Painter
23 February 2016How we got Ikea! - Scandinavian Design c.1880-1960
26 January 2016The Rise and Fall of the English Music Hall
24 November 2015The Illustration, Music and History of Nursery Rhymes
27 October 2015Fakes, Forgeries and Reproductions
22 September 2015Louis Comfort Tiffany : The Pursuit of Beauty
28 July 2015Hans Christian Anderson
23 June 2015John Singer Sargent : Much more than a modern van Dyke
26 May 2015Women Impressionists : Neglected Modern Mistresses
28 April 2015Art Down Under : Dreamtime, convicts and early settlers
24 March 2015Helpworth and Moore : Yorkshire Influences
24 February 2015Gertrude Stein and Paris
27 January 2015New Worlds to Conquer : The History of American Art
25 November 2014Habitat and Catalogues
28 October 2014The Taj Mahal
23 September 2014Diaghilev
22 July 2014The Globe Theatre
24 June 2014Blue and White Porcelain
27 May 2014Architects as Designers
22 April 2014Hokusai's Great Wave
25 March 2014Chagall - His Life and Work
25 February 2014Gehry at Bilbao
28 January 2014Urbino - the one-eyed Duke's Renaissance
26 November 2013Chinoiserie
22 October 2013Iznik. The Pottery of Ottoman Turkey
24 September 2013Laura Ashley: The woman who changed the way we thought about houses and clothes in the 1970s
23 July 2013John Piper, and the artist’s life in architecture
25 June 2013Matisse and the Magic of Colour
28 May 2013The Art of David Hockney
23 April 2013Beautiful Houses: Frank Lloyd Wright
26 March 2013Charles Dickens
26 February 2013The Shakers of North America
22 January 2013Dr Dresser and C. R. Ashbee
27 November 2012The Impact of Glass

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The Americans are Coming : John Singleton Copley and Benjamin West Martin Heard Tuesday 24 July 2018

This talk introduces painting in the American colonies during the second half of the 18C.  Two of the key artists in the development of English 18C and early 19C history painting were the Americans Benjamin West (1738-1820) and John Singleton Copley (1738–1815).  They were important founding members of the Royal Academy (in West’s case he succeeded Joshua Reynolds as the second and fourth President).

West was the first American artist to gain an international reputation - he initially painted portraits in 1750s Pennsylvania and New York  His most famous painting, a modern-dress history painting, caused a sensation when shown at the Royal Academy in 1771.  He was an important mentor and teacher to younger English and American artists including John Constable and Gilbert Stuart.  His impact on the development and achievements of post-Revolutionary American painting was profound.

John Singleton Copley was born in Boston, Massachusetts.  By the early 1760s he emerged as New England's best portraitist:  his startling likenesses of persons and objects in oil painting, pastels, and miniatures eclipsed anything that had been executed by his predecessors.  Copley left America in 1774 and settled in London where, while running a busy portrait studio, he produced ambitious history paintings.  The most successful of these take subjects from contemporary events such as The Death of Major Peirson of 1783 and the Defeat of the Floating Batteries at Gibraltar. 

Despite having left America to escape the War of Independence, Copley Square in Boston is named after him.

Reading: “American adversaries: West and Copley in a transatlantic world” Emily Ballew Neff with Kaylin H. Weber, Houston Museum of Fine Arts 2013 / “Five Early American Painters: Benjamin West, John Singleton Copley, Charles Willson Peale, Gilbert Stuart, John Trumbull”, Donald Braidin, (Meredith Press 1969).

Martin Heard previously talked to us in 2015 about four women impressionist painters Mary Cassatt, Eva Gonzales, Berthe Morrisot and Marie Braquemond.

He studied the History of Art and afterwards worked in the editorial department of a fine art publishing company.  His later career gave him the opportunity to work and live for several years in Europe and North America.  He now devotes his time to researching mainly 18C English art and late 19C French art and architecture.