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20 March 2019The Sword and the Staff: art and architecture on the Pilgrim Way to Santiago de Compostela
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15 May 2019Salvador Dali and Surrealism
19 June 2019Carmen In Seville
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The Sword and the Staff: art and architecture on the Pilgrim Way to Santiago de Compostela Gail Turner Wednesday 20 March 2019

The ‘discovery’ of the body of the Apostle, St James, proved a timely propaganda tool just as the Christians in northern Spain began their reconquest of Spain from the Moors. It opened a new European pilgrimage route, and by the 12th century the Way to Santiago de Compostela, or the Camino, was a well trodden route. Hospitals, monasteries, churches and shrines grew up all along the Camino to attend to the spiritual and worldly needs of the pilgrims, and cities along it also prospered and expanded. Pilgrims’ tales abound – and the Camino still exerts a fascination today. Gail has walked most of it.

Gail Turner is a historian, art historian, and painter. She has been a lecturer for The Arts Society since 1992, and lectures regularly for the V&A High Renaissance and Baroque course, Art Pursuits, and the Art Fund. She has taught on Cambridge University International Summer Schools, the Courtauld Institute Summer Courses, Inscape, Gainsborough’s House and other arts organisations. She has led tours to Spain for The Arts Society and other tour companies. Gail has also lectured in the Prado and Royal Academy of San Fernando in Madrid from 1983-5, and was Deputy Curator of The Keats Shelley Memorial House, Rome 1978-80, manager of the Courtauld Slide Scheme 1977, and a Christie’s consultant (Ill. MSS) 1976. In 2015 Gail was awarded the Encomienda de Isabel la Catolica (the equivalent of the CBE) by the King of Spain for promoting Spanish culture among British audiences.

James the Pilgrim by Juan de Flanade - image curtesy of The Ministerio de Cultura