23rd April 2019

Speaker: Anthony Russell

It is often argued that Britain possesses the finest collection of ‘living’ stately homes in the world. It is harder to deny that they represent one of the country’s greatest assets and its greatest contribution to the decorative arts worldwide. This lecture goes back in time to explain their origins in British history, the changing nature of society and the way country houses have evolved. This journey through their history illustrates the most magnificent examples in all their grandeur and beauty, while considering the impact they have had on society and its development. Consideration is given to changing roles and if they can still exert a powerful hold on society. How should we look on them today and how are they to survive and evolve in the future?

Anthony Russell has travelled much of the world, combining painting with tour lecturing – principally to American university students on bespoke tours. He spent six years as a consultant for Luke Hughes and travelled the country advising on the furniture needs of prestigious buildings, including museums, palaces, schools and cathedrals. Now based in London, he spends much of his time lecturing and undertaking research, while assisting at the British Museum with outreach events and visiting lecturers. As an advocate of non-violence, he is the author of the book Evolving the Spirit – From Democracy to Peace, commended by Aung San Suu Kyi, the Nobel Peace Laureate recently released from 15 years of house arrest, as meaning a great deal to her.