Click here for previous lectures

20 November 2017Will the real Santa Claus please stand up.
15 January 2018Power, Propaganda and Men in Tights: English painting under the Tudors.
19 February 2018The Art and Culture of fin-de-siecle Vienna
19 March 2018The day Parliament burned down.
16 April 2018Deceiving the eye: Trompe l'oeil painting
21 May 2018The Emperor Hadrian: Architecture and buildings as an expression of power.
18 June 2018The Art of 1935: (Silver Jubilee, Art Deco, photography).
16 July 2018AGM - 2.15 pm To the far side of the world: Capt. James Cook and The Enlightement.

Click on a row and scroll to display more details about the lecture

Will the real Santa Claus please stand up. Dr Janet Robson Monday 20 November 2017

Dr Janet Robson is an art historian, author and lecturer for the Courtauld Institute and for Birkbeck.

Our lecture looks at the origins of Santa Claus. The familiar image of the man with the white beard and red suit was to a large degree the creation of an American illustrator in the 1860s. This lecture follows the transformation of St Nicholas through 1600 years of history as Dr Robson traces how medieval Europe made Saint Nicholas into one of the greatest miracle-workers of all time – and sets the story within its Christmas context.