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‘That Wondrous Child’:  A talk by Janet Snowman

Thursday 23 April 2015 £7Book now

Starts at  7.30pm. Doors open 7pm. PLEASE NOTE THE DATE IS THURSDAY 23 APRIL not as stated on the events flyer. 

Kissed by Emma Hamilton, feted by the great and the good and portrayed in paint, print, pottery, caricature and commemorative art such as medals by some of the most popular artists of the day, the young actor William Henry West Betty, born in 1791, caused both chaos and a sensation when he made his first appearances in London at Covent Garden in 1804.  The great actors of the day are said to have thought that their own careers were in peril owing to the child’s popularity.

How did British artists depict famous child musicians and actors in a period in which such a culture of celebrity flourished, and childhood itself was celebrated? 

This evening’s talk will consider the work of artists from c.1770s-1810, such as John Russell, Sir William Beechey, George Romney, John Opie and many others, in their depictions of the British infant performer.

Master Betty, known also as the Infant Roscius, is buried on the East Side of Highgate Cemetery. 

Janet Snowman is Curator of art and Iconography at The Royal academy of Music Museum

Eleanor Marx - Life, Love, Legacy : a talk by Rachel Holmes

Wednesday 20 May 2015 £10Book now

The Marx Memorial Lecture 2015

Starts at 7.30pm. Doors open at 7pm. 

In 1954 the remains of Karl and Jenny Marx, their grandson and housekeeper Helen Demuth in Highgate Cemetery was exhumed and re-interred in a monumental new tomb and the urn containing the ashes of their youngest daughter finally buried with them. 

Revolutionary, internationalist, socialist, feminist, trade unionist, translator, educator -- Eleanor Marx is one of British history's great change makers.  Rachel Holmes introduces Eleanor Marx and how she changed the world.

Rachel Holmes is the author of Eleanor Marx: A Life (Bloomsbury, May 2014), which was serialised on BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week and rated one of the best reads of 2014 by The Telegraph.  Holmes is also the author of The Hottentot Venus: The life and death of Saartjie Baartman (Bloomsbury) and The Secret Life of Dr James Barry (Viking & Tempus Books).  She writes regularly for the UK national press and international publications and regularly features across the cultural and political media.

Please note change of date: this event was originally advertised for 13 May 2015. 

Monumental stone masonry and letter cutting - a taster day

Saturday 13 June 2015 Tickets £95, including materialsBook now


Sat 13 June 2015 10.30 - 4.30 pm

£95 including materials

Spend a day learning about the historic craft of monumental stone masonry and the practical skills required to shape a block of stone and inscribe lettering and take home your own piece of work on Portland stone.
Led by Highgate’s resident stone mason Neil Luxton, this practical, hands-on course is specifically for those with no experience of stone masonry.
The day will begin with a tour of the cemetery looking at various monuments and their construction and then you will then spend the rest of the day learning how to use essential stone masonry tools in order to work an edge to a scribed line, and more.
No previous experience or artistic skills are needed come and enjoy yourself and discover your own creative abilities. You will be introduced to the basics of both classical and contemporary letter forms by means of the creation of a simple inscription from an initial design.
Tools and personal protective wear provided.

Neil Luxton

Neil has been resident mason at Highgate Cemetery since 1997.  Here he has created memorials for such famous individuals as Jeremy Beadle, Malcolm McLaren, Beryl Bainbridge, Jean Simmons and Anthony Shaffer.  He also works to private commission at his studio in Sudbury, Suffolk.