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DateLecture
18 March 2020CANCELLED The Silver Thread: Silver Filigree & Traditional Arts In Kosovo
19 February 2020Imperial Purple To Denim Blue: The Colourful History of Textiles
22 January 2020The Art & Science of the Lunar Society
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20 March 2019The Sword and the Staff: art and architecture on the Pilgrim Way to Santiago de Compostela
20 February 2019Romans, Christians and Moors: Andalucia and its Golden Age
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17 October 2018The War to End All Wars - The Art of the First World War
19 September 2018The Whole Art of the Book
20 June 2018Birds, Beasts and Box: The Art of Topiary
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18 April 2018The Conservation of Paintings, Polychrome Sculpture and Frames
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21 February 2018Gainsborough in Bath: High Society and the Bath Season
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20 September 2017The Romantic Spirit: music and the arts of early 19th century Germany
21 June 2017Ultimate Power Dressing: Chinese Imperial Costume and Textiles (Qing Dynasty: 1644-1911)
17 May 2017The Impressionist Landscape
19 April 2017From Wild Beasts to Pickled Sharks - Modern art movements of the 20th Century
15 March 2017A Thousand Years of History: Medieval Cathedrals as Time Machines
15 February 2017Ancient Faces: Flinders Petrie and the Mummy Portraits of Roman Egypt
18 January 2017'Mars and the Muses': The Renaissance Art of Armour
07 December 2016Now you see it, now you don’t! The Art of Visual Deception
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19 October 2016Brussels: Cradle of Art Nouveau
21 September 2016Dutch & the Low Countries Influence on English silver
15 June 2016From Veneering to Marquetry
18 May 2016Tulipomania: the Tulip, a decorative flower on European and Asian ceramics
20 April 2016Two Baroque Protestants: Handel and Rembrandt
16 March 2016Home Sweet Home: The Domestic Interior in 17thC Dutch painting.
17 February 2016The Palaces of William and Mary: Het Loo & Hampton Court
20 January 2016Beautiful, Beastly, Bizarre: the Art of Hieronymus Bosch
09 December 2015The Spectacular Gold and Silverware Collection of King George IV
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16 September 2015A Crisis of Brilliance: Four Young Artists & the Great War
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15 April 2015Frank Lloyd Wright
18 March 2015Pomp and Grandeur: the Gardens of the Stuart Court

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CANCELLED The Silver Thread: Silver Filigree & Traditional Arts In Kosovo Elizabeth Gowing Wednesday 18 March 2020

From the early Kosovan silver mines which are mentioned in Dante, through the twentieth century politics over Kosovo’s mines which resulted in both a war and a golf course, a silver thread winds through Kosovo’s history. Its most intricate tanglings are in the country’s cultural capital, Prizren, where a seventh generation of filigree artisans use ‘filum’ and ‘granum’, zigzags, ‘mouse-tooth’ designs and other twists and turns to magic lacy creations from dull sticks of raw material. The results – in boxes, buttons, jewellery, religious ornamentation and the talismans of superstitition – are a fine narrative of Kosovo’s history and traditions.

Elizabeth Gowing studied at Magdalen College Oxford before training as a teacher and working in Lambeth, Hackney and Islington. She moved to Kosovo in 2006 and  has worked there with the Ethnological Museum in Prishtina and co-founded ‘The Ideas Partnership’, a charity working on education and cultural heritage projects. She speaks fluent Albanian and has translated two books (the unauthorized biography of Yugoslavia’s longest-held political prisoner, Adem Demaci, and the memoirs of one of the leaders of the 1912 uprising). She is also the author of four books about Kosovo – Travels in Blood and Honey; becoming a beekeeper in Kosovo (2011), Edith and I; on the trail of an Edwardian traveller in Kosovo (2013); The Rubbish-Picker’s Wife; an unlikely friendship in Kosovo (2015) and The Silver Thread; a journey through Balkan craftmanship (2017). Elizabeth is a regular contributor to Radio 4 (Saturday Live, Excess Baggage, From Our Own Correspondent) and the BBC World Service.