January 1st 2021
Letter from the OASA President to the Associates
To find myself as President of the Oxford Art Society Associates is totally unexpected and a considerable honour. I am well aware that following Jon Whiteley is a formidable challenge. Jon’s personal and academic qualities will be well-known to members of the Associates, and I recall with huge gratitude his integrity and support in all matters that lead to the creation of the undergraduate degree in the History of Art. As a poacher turned gamekeeper (having spoken to the Associates), I will strive to do what I can in his succession.
After an extraordinarily testing year, we may now look forward with some optimism and indeed learn from the positive aspects of how individuals and organisations have maintained their activities and programmes, often in new and creative ways. Above all this has been achieved with internet presence via Zoom, Skype, Teams, FaceTime… At times I have felt zombied by Zoom. I am convinced that face-to-face contacts – talks, events and performances – will always be at the core of communication in the arts, but we have discovered that we can reach out to audiences throughout the world. I recently spoke at the Mumbai Literary Festival from my office at home. There are big audiences out there, and our programme is of the quality to attract a wide following. An ambition in 2021 is to speak in person in India about my new book on Dante and divine light in painting (Lund Humphries). We will have to see what is possible.
Another area we can look to enhance our reach is locally. It would be good to build on (or create) relationships with Modern Art Oxford, the Ruskin School, the Picture Gallery at Christ Church, the Museum of History of Science, the Department of the History for Art, the student Edgar Wind Society. We might look to share some events. There is no town in Britain (other than unmanageable London) that can offer more fulsome riches in the visual arts than are available in Oxford.
And an advertisement: I am due to talk on the David Hockney shows I am co-curating in Cambridge as a kind of presidential inaugural on 8 November, by which time we hope to be back to something like normal. At least the visuals will be extraordinarily vivid and varied.
It will be a privilege to be directly involved with the Associates.
With the best wishes to everyone for 2021.
Prior to each lecture, links will be provided to all OASA members who have provided the committee with their email addresses.
If you have query about membership please contact the Membership Secretary. Details of the Officers of the OASA are given below.
Dante and the Art of Divine Light
Martin Kemp’s new book Visions of Heaven
Dante and the Art of Divine Light was published in March 2021
Oxford Art Society Associates Programme 2022
Details of our exciting programme for 2022 are posted on the OASA Lecture page of this website and are reproduced in the OASA membership card which will be available to members at the end of December 2021.
It’s been a busy OASA year, with 5 fine lectures, culminating in Prof. Martin Kemp’s splendid Presidential lecture on David Hockney’s Eye, anticipating the exhibition he is co-curating with Martin Gayford in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge next year. This exhibition, “Hockney in Perspective’, will open at the Heong Gallery, Downing College, on 3 March 2022 and will be on show at the Fitzwilliam Museum from the 15 March until August.
In 2021, because of the pandemic, we were obliged to hold all of our lectures on Zoom and we negotiated the technology successfully. In 2022 we will be holding them live once again in the Headley Lecture Theatre of the Ashmolean Museum while continuing to broadcast them on Zoom. The projection and IT facilities of the lecture theatre have been fully upgraded and it will be a pleasure to be back.
In 2022 attendance in the auditorium will be for OASA members and their guests and also members of the Oxford Art Society itself, with whom we have bonded increasingly over the pandemic period. The Art Society have given us a place on their website, provide us with secretarial support and support us financially with the running costs of our programme. Non-members will be able to access each lecture by Zoom using an Eventbrite link accessible through the Art Society website. Zoom participants will be asked to make a donation to attend each lecture, while students, as has been our practice in the past, will be admitted gratis.
By continuing to use Zoom, we aim to attract a much larger audience than in the past including the interest of students and of members of other art societies.
One of the enjoyable aspects of past programmes has been the opportunity to engage in discussion with the lecturer at the end of each talk. This possibility will retained with our hybrid lectures, which will allow us to send in questions via the Zoom ‘chat’ facility or ask questions directly from the floor at the end of each talk.
We are looking forward to welcoming you to our new series of lecture and hope to see you there.
OFFICERS of the OXFORD ART SOCIETY ASSOCIATES
Prof. Martin Kemp: President
Ms Judd Flogdell: PA to President
Prof. Gervase Rosser: Chair
Ms Lucy Stopford: Hon General Secretary – Artist. Member of the Oxford Art Society
Ms Judith Brown: Hon Treasurer – Past treasurer of NADFAS
Steve Street: Acting Membership Secretary and Zoom Meeting Manager
Prof. Samson Kambalu: Committee Member – Magdalen College and Associate Professor of Fine Art at Ruskin School of Art
Dr. Linda Whiteley: Committee Member – Art Historian. Research Associate of the Dept. of the History of Art, University of Oxford
Dr. Martin Smith: Publicity Officer, also in charge of the OAS web design – Sculptor. Member of the Oxford Art Society
Debs Digby: OAS Secretary – Occasional secretarial support