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Art History in the Pub

Art History in the Pub reflects the AAH's commitment to bringing interesting, cutting-edge art history to a wider, public community. Talks are free, and open to all. We are currently developing a new programme of one-off pop-up sessions as well as our regular series of talks. 

If you're not an AAH member, but want to keep up to date with our activities, click here to subscribe to our free events mailing list.



About AHITP


Art History in in the Pub talks are always very informal. The talks are of general interest, and anyone is welcome to come along and listen and ask questions. Talks usually last for about 30 minutes, with a break for getting extra drinks, followed by general discussion.

AHITP is always free of charge and open to everyone.


Forthcoming Talks:

AHITP, London
Monday 9 January 2017, 7pm

Venue: English Restaurant, 52 Brushfield St, London E1 6AG (nearest station Liverpool Street)

Speaker: Lisa Newby, UEA, will talk about 'Assembling a history of Eduardo Paolozzi’s Lost Magic Kingdoms'

About the talk: Lost Magic Kingdoms was the British Museum’s first major exhibition project with a contemporary artist, which they hoped would demonstrate the continuing relevance of their ethnography collections to artistic practice. Paolozzi made connections between Lost Magic Kingdoms, the experimental exhibition projects he developed with the Independent Group in the 1950s, and a history of ethnographic surrealism in Paris. However, the conflicting reactions that the exhibition generated when it opened in 1985 point to a broader historical relationship between artists, ethnography and display in postwar London. This talk opens up other facets of Paolozzi’s encounters with ethnography to introduce the challenges of assembling a history of Lost Magic Kingdoms.

AHITP, Loughbourough 
Wednesday 22 February 2017, 7pm

Venue: The Hop Loft, The Swan in the Rushes, 21 The Rushes, Loughborough LE11 5BE

Speaker: Kathryn Brown (Loughborough University) will talk about 'Ghouls, Ghosts, and Goblins: Haunting Art History'

About the talk: Ghouls, ghosts, and goblins are depicted throughout European painting and pose a question that is central to the idea of representation: how can visual art depict beings that are essentially invisible? By bringing spectral creatures into the purview of painting, does art betray the very essence of 'ghostliness'? This talk considers ways in which artists have approached the depiction of otherworldy beings from scenes that are 'staged' in the manner of plays to the portrayal of fear itself. It then debates whether the idea of 'haunting' serves as a metaphor for art history, a means by which the past breaks into the present with the aim of conveying messages, communicating warnings, and telling stories. But the possibility of a mutual dialogue is also considered. If artworks create a role for the viewer in visual fictions, does art's audience figure as a ghost-like presence in the world of a painting


AHITP, Bristol
Monday 30 January 2017, 7pm

Venue: The White Bear, 133 St Michael's Hill, Bristol BS2 8BS

Speakers: Marie Mulvey-Roberts & Fiona Robinson will talk about ‘Unpicking the Layers of “Strange Worlds: The Vision of Angela Carter”’ – a current exhibition at Bristol’s Royal West of England Academy.

About the talk: The speakers are co-curators of this stimulating exhibition: Dr Mulvey-Roberts, Associate Professor in English Literature at the University of the West of England, and artist-writer Fiona Robinson RWA. They will highlight different facets of a show that brings together contemporary and historical art to explore the work of Angela Carter (died 1992), a major writer whose powerful visual imagination delves into feminism, fantasy, sexuality and more macabre themes. Among other topics, Marie will reflect on the challenge of translating a writer’s work into art and Fiona on the relevance of the exhibition’s multi-faceted contemporary work. Both speakers will discuss links with their own work and research.


Future Talks

AHITP, Bristol
Monday 27 February 2017
Speaker: Jon Bridle, University of Bristol
"At the edge of experience: curious explorers in science and art"

Jon Bridle, an evolutionary biologist, has collaborated with artists like Katie Paterson for the Bristol installation of Hollow, and Maria Teresa Avles for the Ballast Seed Garden. He'll be discussing some of what he's learned about scientific and artistic practice, and the connections he sees between them both now and in history.

AHITP, Bristol
Monday 27 March 2017
Speaker: Madeleine Thiele
Title and details tbc

AHITP, Bristol
Monday 24 April 2017
Speaker: Sarah Bodman
Sarah is an artist and Senior Research Fellow for Artists' Books at the University of the West of England’s Centre for Fine Print Research (CFPR). A well-published researcher on ‘artists’ books’, her own books are in collections including the Tate and the V&A. Sarah will discuss how artists work creatively with the book format, and show physical examples by national and international artists, including projects from the annual World Book Night event.

AHITP, Bristol
Monday 22 May 2017
Speaker: Simon Trapnell, 'Nature in Art'
Details tbc


If you are interested in organising a 'pop-up AHITP' or a short series of talks at a pub near you let us know.  Look out for other AAH events coming up.


Previous AHITP Talks