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DateLecture
14 May 2019Great lengths - on the art and architecture of historic swimming pools and lidos
09 April 2019The Cult of the South Pacific: from Cook to Gauguin
12 March 2019Henry Moore: a revolution in British Sculpture
12 February 2019The new Pompeii - Rescuing Zeugma from the Floodwaters of the Euphrates
08 January 2019The History of Underwear from the 18th to the 20th Century
04 December 2018Christmas at Covent Garden: 300 years of Christmas Shows at one of London's Great Theatres
13 November 2018The Other Side: Counter Memorials, Germany's Post WWII Culture of Apology and Attonement
09 October 2018History of the Celtic Harp
11 September 2018Votes for Women! Art and Suffragettes
12 June 2018The Day Parliament Burned Down
08 May 2018To please the palate, charm the eye; 400 years of food as ephemeral art
10 April 2018The Cultural Heritage of the Huguenots
13 March 2018Lawrence of Arabia; excavating a legend
13 February 2018The Art and Culture of fin de siecle Vienna
09 January 2018Sir Edwin Lutyens - Architect of the British Empire
12 December 2017O, Yes It Is! History of the Pantomime from Ancient to Modern Times
14 November 2017Wagons West - Images of the American Frontier
10 October 2017Northern Lights - Danish Art and Design c1800 - 1960
12 September 2017Edgar Degas - Pioneer of Impressionism
13 June 2017 'Wild men of the North' Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven
09 May 2017EXTRAORDINARY AGM and lecture And so to Vauxhall: music and culture at the celebrated Gardens
11 April 2017Masquerades, Music Lessons and Monkeys - the world of 18th Century porcelain figures
14 March 2017Faber and Faber- 90 years of excellence in cover design
14 February 201720th Century Studio Glass
10 January 2017Thomas Heatherwick: “the Leonardo da Vinci of our times” (Sir Terence Conran)
13 December 2016Is Christmas in Good Taste?
08 November 2016Eric Ravilious and the Lure of the Everyday

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Great lengths - on the art and architecture of historic swimming pools and lidos Simon Inglis Tuesday 14 May 2019

14th May 2019

Great Lengths- on the art and architecture of historic swimming pools and lidos. – Simon Inglis

Swimming is Britain’s second favourite form of physical recreation (after walking). Almost everyone has memories of visiting their local baths. But whilst not all these memories might be positive – drooping knitted cozzies anyone? – for many swimmers the baths themselves are cherished. Some, particular those built in the late Victorian and Edwardian years, are rich with decorative tilework, stained glass, polished wood and terracotta detailing. This sense of municipal pride continued into the 1920s and ’30s, when Art Deco and Modernist lidos became the urban beaches of their day. In this lecture, Simon highlights the treasures of aquatic art that survive, and considers how the pools of today compare. 

Writer and historian Simon Inglis specialises in the architecture and heritage of sport and recreation. Since 2004 he has edited the Played in Britain series for English Heritage. Although sport and recreation might seem an unlikely subject for The Arts Society, non-sporty types need have no fear. Simon’s themes are architecture, design, heritage and popular culture. After a history degree at University College London, he freelanced for various publications, including the Guardian, Observer and Radio Times. He has curated exhibitions for the Building Centre and the British Council, been a regular contributor to radio and television, has travelled and lectured extensively, and written a number of books. Two were shortlisted for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year, while another, on British football grounds, was chosen by journalist Frank Keating as the best sports book of the 20th century. A recent highpoint in his work for English Heritage was the listing of a 1970s skatepark in Essex, a world first that made the 10 o'clock news.