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12 November 2019Art and the Industrial Revolution
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Art and the Industrial Revolution Andrew Spira Tuesday 12 November 2019

The Industrial Revolution had a profound impact on every aspect of the decorative arts, bringing commodities that had previously been associated with the nobility within reach of the ever-growing middle-class. Radical new inventions enabled an increased quantity of goods to be produced at a reduced cost, while also accelerating the manufacturing process. This led to the development of shops and entrepreneurs which led in turn to completely new approaches towards life-style and self-fashioning that continue to pervade our everyday lives. It also resulted in radical changes in attitudes towards nature and industry. These are reflected in a unique series of paintings by Joseph Wright of Derby which will form a key part of the lecture.


Andrew Spira studied at the Courtauld Institute and Kings College, London. For several  years he worked as a curator at the V&A and subsequent was Programme Director at Christie’s Education for 14 years. For over twenty years, he has been taking groups (including Arts Society groups) on visits to cultural sites in Russia, Armenia and all over Europe. His book The Avant-Garde Icon, on the relationship between Russian icons and Russian Avant-Garde art, was published in 2008. Two books on the relationship between art and personal identity, from the Middle Ages to the present day, are to be published in November 2019.