Music in art - and surprises in Monopoly

Music and art of the Dutch Golden Age, plus some surprising insights into the game of Monopoly are two of the fascinating topics to be explored in The Arts Society Tring Park’s spring programme of talks
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In a well-timed talk for Valentine’s Day on February 14, ‘Vermeer and Music – Art of Love and Leisure’, Lydia Bauman will use musical excerpts to illustrate some of the instruments featured in paintings of the Dutch Golden Age.

Her talk at 10.30am at the Civic Centre, Berkhamsted is based on a popular exhibition with the same title held at London’s National Gallery, which showed how the virginals, guitars and lutes portrayed in the art of the time reflected the key role of music in northern Netherlands society during the 17th century.

For the next monthly talk to follow on March 13, Roger Mendham will ask how well do we know Monopoly, one of the most successful board games of all time? Expect some surprises and great images in this history of familiar locations, which will also uncover some of the mysteries behind Monopoly. Starting with the origin of the game then focusing on the classic 1936 London board, the talk will take a photographic journey around these sites - and look at the ones which don’t in fact exist.

Johannes Vermeer, 'The Guitar Player', about 1672. The Iveagh Bequest (Kenwood). Johannes Vermeer, 'The Guitar Player', about 1672. The Iveagh Bequest (Kenwood).
Johannes Vermeer, 'The Guitar Player', about 1672. The Iveagh Bequest (Kenwood).

These are just two of the society’s upcoming hour-long lectures by expert speakers in a varied programme covering much more than paintings. It also organises visits by coach to places of interest, including historic buildings, art galleries and museums, and among the planned visits for spring is a trip to Rochester to see the Restoration House and Rochester Cathedral.

Joining the society is a great way to broaden horizons as well as an opportunity to meet new people. It's a very friendly society, with a green badge scheme at the lectures to welcome and identify new members, who are invited to meet for coffee afterwards at the nearby Waitrose café, and chat to others together with committee members.

The Tring Park branch belongs to a network of over 360 local Arts Societies and has members in Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamsted, Wigginton, Aston Clinton, Aylesbury and Pitstone as well as Tring.

As well as the lectures (held ten times a year at the Civic Centre, Berkhamsted, at 10.30am on the second Wednesday of the month), other membership benefits include monthly newsletters from The Arts Society highlighting cultural events, plus Instant Expert in-depth features, and a quarterly Arts magazine.

Amanda Hutchinson, the society’s chairman, says: “I think our members like the social aspect of coming along to the lectures, and having an opportunity to chat to others. You don’t need to have a knowledge of the arts to enjoy being a member - with such a varied programme and range of expert speakers, it’s great value!”