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February News
Thursday 06 February 2020

Dear Member,

And a warm welcome to anyone reading this February newsletter for the Arts Society, Dumfries and Galloway.

Our lecture on Tuesday 11th at 11.00 at the Easterbrook Hall in Dumfries is entitled

‘The Prince Regent and his collecting mania’ 

Bright  and clever?  Or  lazy,  a spendthrift and a glutton?  The Prince Regent,  as the future King George IV of England was known from 1811 to the death of his father,  George III, was by all accounts a colourful character.  As Prince of Wales he enjoyed lurid relationships with a number of women,  spent lavishly on his residences and their furnishings (including Carlton House Terrace and the Brighton Pavilion) and ran up huge debts with his extravagant purchases. The increasingly disturbing ill-health of his father led,  eventually,  to George being awarded the Regency – he became King in 1820 at the age of 57.

His Regency is marked by an active and well-informed interest in matters of taste and style.  He bought art works voraciously – often taking advantage of economic opportunities  created in Europe after the turmoil of the French Revolution.  He increased the holdings of the Royal Collection,  acquiring magnificent pieces of furniture, porcelain, glass and paintings.   This lecture promises to be a fascinating examination of one of our more colourful and disreputable monarchs – a man who was described by the Duke of Wellington   (who became Prime Minister in 1828) as ‘without one redeeming quality’ but also as ‘a magnificent patron of the arts’.

Our lecturer is Nicholas Merchant, whose expertise in 18th century furniture and decorative arts has developed throughout a career with the major auction houses in London and a speciality reference book business.  He has lectured for the Arts Society throughout the world,  leads specialist tours throughout the UK and is a very popular guest lecturer on cultural cruises.


Guests are always very welcome at our monthly lectures - £8.00 to be paid at the door or you can take a membership form and join the society at any time.

In other news please do keep your eye on the website – and familiarize yourself with its new look and information. You will find this newsletter on it,  together with all information about lectures, visits, days of special interest and much more!

Please remember that the password for access is Burns.

Pat Withall is taking bookings for a Day of Special Interest at Raehills on 1 April 2020,   a fascinating visit to look a the collections of the Earls of Annandale, and Douglas Alcock is making plans for a day visit to Floors Castle in the Borders in May, when the house will be open for a guided tour and the gardens will be looking magnificent.

’50 treasures of Dumfries and Galloway’ is always available for purchase at our meetings – remember the special discount price of £4.00 – if you buy it anywhere else it is £5.00.

Looking forward to seeing you on Tuesday morning,