Lecture Series

The Lutyens Trust regularly organises various lecture series on the topic of Lutyens and the world in which he lived.

Lecture Series: Memorial Design Through the Ages

‘No More Useless Lumps of Stone’: Mass Observers and changing attitudes to memorialisation in 1940s Britain

Prof. Lucy Noakes

In 1944 Britain began to consider how it would commemorate the Second World War, and memorialise the dead of that war.  Looking at debates in the House of Lords, the work of the War memorials Advisory Committee, and responses to the social survey organisation Mass Observation’s request for views on how the war dead should be commemorated, this talk discusses the support for ‘living memorials’, and the desire to avoid replicating the stone memorials that marked the dead of the Great War.

Lecture Series: Memorial Design Through the Ages

In Memoriam – The Graves and Memorials of Sir Edwin Lutyens

Tim Skelton

Although some of the various graves and memorials designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens have been recorded, they appear as a footnote alongside his more well-known work and, as a consequence, have been little researched and rarely illustrated.  And yet, numerically, they comprise a significant part of the architect’s output and the people that they commemorate represent a cross-section of the society of which Lutyens was a key member.

The architect’s work in this area covers a variety of styles, from simple stone slabs and chest tombs to fountains, entrance gates and statues and spans the globe from New York to Melbourne.  Throughout all the subtle hand of Lutyens is always present and, as a collection, they form a fascinating and integral part of his oeuvre that deserves to be more widely known, appreciated and understood.

Lecture Series: Memorial Design Through the Ages

The Soldier’s Gaze: Junior Architects, War Experience and the Creation of the British War Cemeteries on the Western Front

Dr Tim Godden 

The traditional view of the cemeteries of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission is one that focuses on the broader architectural language developed by the Principal Architects. It has imagined the architectural intervention in the landscapes of the old Western Front as one that considered only the selection and placement of predesigned elements into sites selected out of the carnage of war. This talk will present an alternative perspective that focuses on the Junior Architects of the Commission. It will show how their war experiences shaped the way they interpreted the architectural language to create a much more nuanced, spatial memorial to the landscapes and experience of the First World War.

Lecture Series: Memorial Design Through the Ages

The Memorials of Sergeant Jagger

Prof. Mark Connelly

‘There is no mistaking a giant howitzer’: the Royal Artillery War Memorial and the work of the veteran as sculptor.

The Royal Artillery War Memorial at Hyde Park Corner, London, is one of the most arresting and powerful memorials anywhere in the world. Designed and executed by Charles Sargeant Jagger, the memorial was an expression of his own war service and deep-felt admiration for the qualities shown by the British army throughout the conflict. This talk will explore Sargeant Jagger’s work as well as other sculptors who served on the Western Front showing how their direct knowledge of the battlefield ensured a series of distinctive memorials. Although the memorials acknowledged death and sacrifice, these amazing works also saluted the British soldier by acknowledging their endurance, fortitude, and stoicism.

Lecture Series: Memorial Design Through the Ages

Memorial Design through the Ages: Sir Herbert Baker & the IWGC

Michael Baker and John Stewart

Sir Herbert Baker was one of the foremost British architects of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He had a lifelong relationship with Sir Edwin Lutyens following their early years together in the office of Ernest George before being appointed as Lutyens equal partner in New Delhi and as one of the three Principal Architects of the then Imperial War Graves Commission. In the late 1890’s he established what became the most successful architectural practice in South Africa where he worked for and befriended Cecil Rhodes before moving to London where he built another new practice which by the 1920’s was the largest in the country. His buildings include the Union Buildings in Pretoria, the Secretariats and Parliament Building in New Delhi, India House, South Africa House and Church House in London as well as the rebuilding of The Bank of England. He was the designer of numerous monuments throughout his career which will be the subject of this talk.

Lecture Series: Memorial Design Through the Ages

Lutyens’ Memorials in the Edwardian Context

Dr Roger Bowdler

Where did Lutyens’s war memorials come from? This talk looks at Edwardian monuments, by Lutyens and others, and seeks to identify some of the salient rends in funerary architecture in the period leading up to the outbreak of war. Particular attention will be paid to the Grade II* Philipson Mausoleum in Golders Green Crematorium, a circular structure with strong Indian influences, and to the Horner monuments at Mells, Somerset.

Lecture Series: Memorial Design Through the Ages

From Remembrance to Forgetting? 

Dr Stefan Goebel

Drawing on British and German examples, this talk explores the fate of First World War memorials (and cemeteries) in the aftermath of the Second World War. How did the new conflict impact the meaning of the surviving war memorials from the Great War? While in Britain there is (seemingly) significant continuity across the rupture of 1945, the (West) German case offers a contrasting example: here war cemeteries were dissolved or transplanted and war memorials redesigned and reinterpreted.

Lutyens and the Edwardians Series

Lasting Impressions: Twentieth-Century Portrait Prints

Rosie Broadley

This lecture considers the print-making revival through portraits in the National Portrait Gallery’s collection, drawing out fascinating connections between works of art and artists.  Beginning in the mid-nineteenth century the revival saw a renewed interest in traditional printmaking techniques such as etching, which stimulated immense creativity and led to innovation and technical advances.

Lutyens and the Edwardians Series

Gardens Old and New

Michael Balston

Gardens Old and New appeared at the end of a century in which styles for architectural expression seemed uncertain. Gothic Revival jostled with the Neo-classical, the Jacobethan with the Italianate. Gardens followed suit until the Arts and Crafts movement emerged to become a functionally versatile approach to both home and garden-making and suitable for gardens large and small. In some respects, its principles still persist.

Today, whatever the designer’s vision and skill with plants and materials, the context of the work is all-important. This encompasses not only the Client’s agenda but also the site and its characteristics, not only the immediate history of the site but also the historical context, which often shines a light on the reasoning behind the form we have inherited. The development of gardens over the nineteenth century and through the Arts and Crafts period is incredibly rich with wonderful artists, designers and contractors involved, mostly unassuming and generous with their time and knowledge. This talk explores the context and people that led up to and gave shape to the Arts and Crafts Garden – and, how, as the Movement gave way to Modernism in public architecture, its principles remained strong particularly in private domestic work.

Lutyens and the Edwardians Series

Lutyens & Edwardian Society

Professor Jane Ridley

Lutyens was the favourite architect of the Edwardians but his country house clients fell away after the First World War. This talk shows how Lutyens worked to win the patronage of Queen Mary, and how he transformed himself into the leading public architect of the post-war era.

Lutyens and the Edwardians Series

An Introduction to Edwardian Film in Britain

Dr Lawrence Napper

This talk considered the cinema as it developed in Britain during Lutyens’s lifetime. Lawrence Napper showcased some well-known films as well as some recent rediscoveries from this period, and placed them in the context of the culture of film-making and film-going in the early twentieth century. The talk offered some illustrations of the ways in which cinema can be understood as a key resource for thinking about the visual culture of the Edwardian period, and particularly for thinking about the wider world of interior design, garden design and architecture in which Lutyens moved.

Lutyens and the Edwardians Series

Old-New and New-Old: Edwardian houses

Dr Timothy Brittain-Catlin 

What made the best Edwardian houses remarkable was the fact that they effortlessly mixed old and new material within a single building and their architects took great pleasure in creating surprising combinations of styles. This lecture looks at a series of beautiful and not always well-known houses of different sizes which characterise the era.