Art History in the Pub

Art History in the Pub is a series of talks that take place on the last Monday of each month. Informal, but informing. They are free, entertaining, and open to all.

Art History in the Pub is part of the AAH's commitment to bring interesting, cutting-edge art-historical research to a wider, public community. It's FREE and no booking required.

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Next Events

7.30pm, Monday 28 April, Lond

Speaker: Patrick Baty, The Artists of the Artists Rifles

The Artists Rifles was one of the more curious regiments of the British Army. It was formed in 1860 by a group of painters, architects, poets, sculptors, musicians and actors who were concerned about a possible invasion by the French. Early members included most of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, William Morris, Frederic, Lord Leighton and even the poet and novelist Algernon Swinburne.

Admittedly, some were more effective as soldiers than others - Morris seemed to have trouble with drill; Rossetti questioned every order and Ford Madox Brown managed to shoot his own dog when first on the rifle range. However, Millais was a capable soldier and was elected one of the original officers. Leighton was also a natural leader and commanded the regiment for many years, Whistler describing him as “Colonel of the Royal Academy and the President of the Artists Rifles - aye, and he paints a little!”

The regiment was the natural choice for young men of an artistic persuasion in 1914 and well-known artists like John and Paul Nash, the poets Edward Thomas and Wilfred Owen and the playwright Noel Coward wore the uniform of the Artists Rifles. In view of the calibre of men serving in its ranks it became an officer-producing unit and turned out over 10,000 officers for service in other regiments during WWI. Members of the regiment won more gallantry awards than any other.

Patrick Baty is a specialist on the architectural use of colour in historic buildings. He served in the regiment for ten years.

Curated by Christina Bradstreet (Sotheby's Institute of Art) who is the current Guest Curator for Art History in the Pub.

Guest Curators for Art History in the Pub. We are currently on the look out for people interested in curating 3 talks for for AHitP during 2014. If you would like to know more send us an email

Directions & Details

If you've not been before then a speaker talks for about 30 minutes followed by questions. The talk takes place in the main bar, it is free, entertaining, and anyone is welcome.

The Monarch, 
40-42 Chalk Farm Road 
Camden NW1 8BG,

Telephone: 020 74822054

Getting there

From Chalk Farm tube: Turn left out of the station and cross Chalk Farm Road at the lights. The pub is about five minutes walk down the road on the left.
From Camden Town: Take the Camden High Street exit and turn right. Head up the street past Camden Lock and under the rail bridge and proceed up Chalk Farm Road. The pub is a couple minutes walk from the bridge on the right.

By tube: Chalk Farm station (450m) – zone 2 / Camden Town station (530m) – zone 2

By train: Kentish Town West station (460m) / Camden Road station (550m)

By bus: 24 (24hrs), 27 (24hrs), 31, 168, N5, N28, N31 – local bus map. Google Map

Past Speakers:


31 March, Sarah Turner, 'Enchanted Modernities: Theosophy, mysticism and the visual arts'

24 February, Barrie Bullen, 'Raising the Dead: Spiritualism and the poetry and art of Dante Gabriel Rossetti'

27 January, Samantha Lippett and Helen Knowles, 'Birth Online/ Birth Offline'


25 November, Sonia Solicari; 'Curating the Neo-Victorian'

15 November, Paul Becker, The work and life of fictitious British sculptor Anton Lesseman (1899-1971)

28 October, Majella Munro, Shunga: Erotic Japanese Prints

23 September, Iain Borden, Skateboarding – an Urban Art

24 June, Rosalind McKever,  Back to the Futurism! or, Why the Futurists loved Art History

27 May,  Marion Endt Jones (University of Manchester), A Totalising Monster: Coral in Art and Culture

30 April, David Hopkins, Drunkeness. Edinburgh. AHitP Scotland.

25 March, Janet Tyson (Independent Scholar) Strategies for mystery: Comparing René Magritte’s Menaced Assassin with Gerard David’s Nativity

25 February,  Sarah Chaney (UCL) & Nicholas Tromans (Kingston), Art, the Archive and the Avant-Garde Asylum, c. 1890 - 1914

28 January, Jennifer Wallis (Queen Mary University of London), Picturing the psyche: Fragments of the insane body in the late 19th century


10 December, Lara Eggleton (University of Leeds), Gypsies or Moors?: re-staging Andalusian identity in the nineteenth-century photograph

29 October, Emily Candela (Royal College of Art), The Animated Atomic

24 September, Pip Patrick (UCL), Obese medieval monks: deconstructing the stereotype

3 September, Art History in the Pub Presents... 'The Lizardman Speaks! Erik Sprague in conversation with Matt Lodder' click here for more details

21 August, Claire Trevien (University of Warwick), Caricaturing Charlatans: Depictions of Science in French Revoltionary prints'

30 July,  Paul Dobraszczyk (University of Manchester), 'Into the belly of the beast: exploring London's Victorian sewers'

18 June, Catherine Daunt (University of Sussex) 'Heroes and villains: portraits of the famous and the infamous in Tudor and Jacobean England'

28 May, Fern Riddell (King's College London), 'The Daunton-Shaws: Monarchs of the Wheel' Trick Cycling in the British Music Halls, 1899 - 1929

30 April, Lynda Nead (Birkbeck), 'Stilling the Punch: Boxing, Violence and the Photographic Image'

30 March, Elena Lipsos (University of Exeter), 'A Genealogy of Pin-Up: From 19th-Century Japanese ukiyo-e prints to the 1930s American Petty Girl.'

27 February, Nina Edwards (Freelance Writer & Researcher): 'On the Button'

30 January, Ben Zweig (Boston University), 'From Despair to Love: Picturing Suicide in Medieval Art'


9 December, Christina Bradstreet (Sotheby's Institute) 'Scented spectres and the smell of ghosts'

28 November, Petra Lange-Berndt (UCL) on 'Taxidermy and Colonial Practice'

24 October, Sam Gathercole (Croydon Art College) on 'Signs of Post-War Housing'

26 September, Hannah Williams (University of Oxford) on "The Violent Suicide of François Lemoyne: An 18th-Century Art History Mystery"

22 August, Matt Lodder, "Not Just For Sailors Any More: Tattooing in the Media"

25 July, Camilla Smith (University of Birmingham), "Tourism, Sexology and Homosexuality in Curt Moreck’s Guide to “Depraved” Berlin (1931)"


Lt. Col. Frederic Leighton Lt. Col. Frederic Leighton