This is an exclusive opportunity to visit one of London’s old-established gentlemen’s clubs to learn about its illustrious history and view its many artefacts and portraits of the great and the good.
The Reform Club was founded in 1836, in Pall Mall, in the centre of what is often called London’s Clubland. Membership was restricted to those who pledged support for the Great Reform Act of 1832, and the many MPs and Whig peers among the early members developed the Club as the political headquarters of the Liberal Party “to counter the machinations of the Tory Carlton Club”!
It is regarded as one of the finest Victorian buildings in the country, a palatial masterpiece by Sir Charles Barry that has remained largely unchanged since it was completed in 1841. In his design, Barry was inspired by the Italian Renaissance architecture that he absorbed as a young student in Rome, departing markedly from the gothic style he used for the new Houses of Parliament. Externally it bears a distinct resemblance to the Palazzo Farnese, which Michelangelo completed in 1589, and which Barry had studied closely.
The Library was established in 1841 under the guidance of Sir Anthony Panizzi, a Club member. Panizzi held the post of Principal Librarian to the British Museum, where he is particularly remembered as the designer of the famous circular Reading Room. It has a comprehensive collection of parliamentary papers, reports, speeches and reference works regarded as essential for the many active politicians amongst the early members together with a broad coverage in the humanities, in order to serve the Club’s more general cultural aims. It houses more than 75,000 volumes which is still growing under the management of an active Library Committee.
The Reform Club is no longer associated with any particular political party, and now serves a purely social function. In 1981, in accordance with its liberal traditions it became the first such club in this country to admit women on equal terms.
We have been advised that the Club has a strict dress code: gentlemen are required to wear closed collar, jacket and tie, and ladies are required to dress with similar formality.
Wed, 12th Nov at 10:15am for 10:30am. The tour will last about 50 minutes.
Tickets £20 pp to include coffee/tea & biscuits.
Numbers are limited to twenty, so please apply as soon as you can to:
Contact: Jill Holloway – Email: JillHolloway500@yahoo.co.uk – Tel: 01243 774751
Thu, 13th Nov – “The Royal Collection” – talk by Oliver Everett, CVO at Danny House, Hurstpierpoint
The Royal Collection contains over 485,000 objects collected by the Royal family from King Henry VIII to the present Queen. The talk will select about 50 of the finest items in the Collection to demonstrate its range and magnificence, as well as showing the varying collecting interests of individual monarchs and other members of the Royal family.
The objects include oil paintings (Van Dyck, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Stubbs, Landseer, Monet, Lucian Freud); old master drawings (Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, Michelangelo, Holbein, Canaletto); miniature paintings;sculpture (Canova); porcelain (Sèvres, Chelsea); gold and silver objects (the Neptune centrepiece; Queen Elizabeth I’s salt); Fabergé (Russian Imperial Easter eggs; Sandringham animals); jewellery (the Diamond Diadem; the Cullinan diamond); furniture (the Riesener jewel cabinet);rare books (the Mainz Psalter, 1457) and manuscripts (the Sobieski Book of Hours, 1420; the Padshahnama – chronicle of the Indian Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan, 1658).
Oliver Everett is Librarian Emeritus of the Royal Library, Windsor Castle. He was Librarian there and Assistant Keeper of the Royal Archives from 1985 to 2002. During those 17 years working with the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle, he gained a deep and detailed knowledge of the Collection and of the history of the Castle and its occupants.
We are once again indebted to the owner of Danny House, Richard Burrows, who has very kindly allowed us to hold this event at his historic home. The talk will be followed by tea and homemade cakes, made by the cook at Danny House, in the garden (English weather permitting).
Thursday, 13th November, 1:45pm for 2pm (for about 2 hours), followed by a sumptious tea!
Tickets £25, including tea and cakes.
Please contact Maggie Robinson by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or 01435 883338
Tue, 2nd Dec – Visit to the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace
After hearing Oliver Everett talk about the Queens Collection on 13th November we are delighted to have been able to arrange a group visit to Buckingham Palace to see two exhibitions. ‘Cairo to Constantinople: Early Photographs of the Middle East’ documents the Prince of Wales’ tour of the Middle East in 1862; followed by ‘Gold’, which is a stunning exhibition of gold items from the Royal collection many of which will be mentioned in Oliver’s talk.
In 1862, the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) was sent on a four-month educational tour of the Middle East, accompanied by the British photographer Francis Bedford (1815-94). The exhibition documents his journey through the work of Bedford, the first photographer to travel on a royal tour. It explores the cultural and political significance Victorian Britain attached to the region, which was then as complex and contested as it remains today.
‘Gold’ includes objects from every section of the Royal Collection. It ranges from the Rillaton Cup, an extraordinarily rare survival from the Bronze Age created and worked from a single sheet of gold in the days before iron tools existed; to the still life depiction of a lustrous gold jug by William Nicholson, painted in the 1930s as part of a series exploring the effects of light on metallic surfaces.
We are delighted that we will be able to meet in the Redgrave Room at Buckingham Palace for tea and coffee where we will then have an exclusive exhibition talk by a Royal Collection Trust expert or Curator.
Following the talk, we will be free to enjoy the exhibition at leisure using a complimentary audio tour.
Tue, 2nd Dec - 11am to 1:30pm ‘ish’ – Redgrave Room, Buckingham Palace
£26 pp, to include coffee & biscuits on arrival.
Apply to: Annie Flitcroft – Email: email@example.com – Tel: 02392 734564