Art & Society

Art is often used as a medium to convey messages and meaning, not just to entertain & delight. Artists play an important role in reflecting and commentating on the societies in which they live. But how does influence society?

View talks lineup
Dates
Talks structure30 minute lecture20 minute Q&A
LocationOnline

4 talks in this Garden Series

Ep

01

Art & Entertainment
Society & Politics
Why do we think white means pure?

47 mins

The colour white has been associated with purity for millennia in religious iconography, architecture and art. But has it come to represent something darker too? Read more

Dr. James Fox

University of Cambridge

James Fox is a Cambridge art historian, writer, public speaker, curator and award-winning, BAFTA-nominated, broadcaster.

James fell in love with art at the age of six and hasn't looked back since. The first person in his family to go to university, he graduated with a starred first in History of Art at the University of Cambridge in 2004.

After completing an MPhil and PhD in the subject, as well as stints at Harvard and Yale, James took up a Fellowship in Cambridge in 2011. He specialises in modern art, British art, and the cultural history of colour.

He is currently Director of Studies in History of Art at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, Director of Education at the Jeffrey Rubinoff Sculpture Park in Canada, and President of the Friends of the Stanley Spencer Gallery.

Convinced of art's huge social importance, James works with museums, schools, charities and the media to engage broader audiences in this most life-enhancing of subjects.

Read more

Ep

02

Art & Entertainment
How do artists depict paradise?

60 mins

Humans have always speculated about what a perfect world might look like, whether as a reward in the afterlife, part of an origin story like the Garden of Eden, or a real place on Earth. How do we see these ideas play out in the art we create? Read more

Dr. James Fox

University of Cambridge

James Fox is a Cambridge art historian, writer, public speaker, curator and award-winning, BAFTA-nominated, broadcaster.

James fell in love with art at the age of six and hasn't looked back since. The first person in his family to go to university, he graduated with a starred first in History of Art at the University of Cambridge in 2004.

After completing an MPhil and PhD in the subject, as well as stints at Harvard and Yale, James took up a Fellowship in Cambridge in 2011. He specialises in modern art, British art, and the cultural history of colour.

He is currently Director of Studies in History of Art at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, Director of Education at the Jeffrey Rubinoff Sculpture Park in Canada, and President of the Friends of the Stanley Spencer Gallery.

Convinced of art's huge social importance, James works with museums, schools, charities and the media to engage broader audiences in this most life-enhancing of subjects.

Read more

Ep

03

Art & Entertainment
Inspiring Artists: Who was Francis Bacon?

51 mins

Irish-born painter Francis Bacon was one of the most important artists of the 20th century, his raw, unsettling imagery emerging from some of the most traumatic events of the modern age. Who was he, as an artist and as a man? Read more

Mark Stevens & Annalyn Swan

The biographers Mark Stevens and Annalyn Swan have spent decades in the art and publishing worlds of New York, Mark as a veteran art critic and Annalyn as the former arts editor of Newsweek and a former music critic.

Their first book, de Kooning: An American Master, won the Pulitzer Prize for biography in 2005, as well as the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Los Angeles Times book award for biography. The New York Times named it one of the 10 best books of 2005.

Their latest book, Francis Bacon: Revelations, won last year's The Times Art Book of the Year prize. It was ten years in the making and based upon newly-discovered diaries, hundreds of interviews, and extensive new research in Ireland, Tangier, Spain, England and France.

Buy 'Francis Bacon: Revelations' here.

Read more

Ep

04

Art & Entertainment
Inspiring Artists: Bacon in Moscow

8 mins

In 1988, art curator James Birch, travelled to Moscow to mount the ground-breaking Francis Bacon exhibition. How was Bacon perceived at the time & how did this exhibition change society? Read more

James Birch

James Birch is an English art dealer, curator and gallery owner. He is best known for his innovative championing of British art, in particular for exhibiting Francis Bacon in Moscow, in the then USSR, in 1988, and Gilbert & George in Moscow in 1990, and in Beijing and Shanghai in 1993.

Read more
How Garden Series work

About talks

What are Garden series?

Garden series are hand curated by us, and are designed to take an in-depth look at a particular theme or topic. You can sign up to join us for the whole series, or just parts of it. You can start watching talks by starting a free trial or a subscription with us.

How are talks hosted?

All live talks are hosted online, and typically take place on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Each talk has it's date and time listed.

All of our talks are hosted virtually and streamed on our custom platform, so you can be sure that our experience is unique to us. You'll be sent a link on the day to join the talk, or alternatively you can come back to the website where you'll be prompted to join the talk.

How do I join a live talk?

For talks that you're registered for, you'll be sent a link 30 minutes before the talk starts via email. You can also visit onegarden.com where you'll be prompted to join a talk 15 minutes before the start.

What if I can't make it to a talk?

No problem! All of our talks are available to watch on-demand, so you can catch up on any talks that you miss.

Popular Garden SeriesGarden Series explore topics that fascinate us, and will take you on journeys into the unexpected. Past series are all available to watch at your leisure.

Online live interactive talks with experts

Come learn from the best in their fields, and ask them your questions

Find an upcoming live talk

High-quality recorded talks on-demand

Watch recordings of 100+ past talks at your own pace

Browse on-demand talks

One Garden is a community for the curious, a place where inquisitive minds can come together to learn from world experts, and each other, and join in conversations about topics that spark their curiosity.

Find out more

With our monthly membership we aim to give anyone, anywhere, access to the knowledge, ideas and people who have shaped — and continue to shape — our understanding of the world.

Find out more