Awareness of the extraordinary intelligence of many animals and their ability to rescue creatures unlike themselves has only recently been recognised. Why should dolphins rescue drowning humans, etc? But they have. Animal art has inspired some of the greatest sculptures in the world and some of the most loved paintings.

This lecture explores the evidence for extraordinary animal intelligence and the strong bonds that have endured between humans and their best friends. Not only paintings and sculpture but poetry, short stories, public monuments and military medals attest to our closeness to animals and our debt to them.

The fee for this lecture will be donated to an animal charity of our choice.

Lecturer: Hilary Hope Guise

The period 1900-­1939 saw some of Cartier’s most original and imaginative designs – from the pioneering diamond and platinum jewellery of around 1900 to the exotic influences and bold geometric designs of the interwar years with their brilliant conception and craftsmanship.

This lecture, given by the organiser of the exhibition Cartier 1900­-1939 at the British Museum in 1997-­8, reveals the genius behind Cartier’s jewels and the firm’s celebrity clientele, from European royalty to Indian maharajahs, American heiresses and stars of film and stage.

Judy Rudoe has worked at the British Museum since 1974, specialising in jewellery and 19th and 20th century decorative arts. She co-authored the Catalogue of the Hull Grundy Gift of Jewellery to the British Museum and organised the Cartier 1900-1939 Exhibition at the British Museum. She is a Freeman of the Goldsmith’s Company and Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.

The question of fake decorative art has been in vogue for hundreds of years but increasingly sophisticated methods are being used by criminals to generate vast profits.

This lecture reveals actual case studies, demonstrating the lengths forgers will go to in passing off works as legitimate. Skilled forgers, capable of imitating well-known artists, have provided the ability to dupe many of the highest level within the art market. Experts have estimated that a high percentage of all works within the art market are fakes and these scams ultimately inflict considerable damage to collectors and the trade.

Malcolm Kenwood is a former specialist police detective investigating art and antique crime.

This lecture explores the diversity and beauty of mosaics, from their origins in the pebble mosaics of the 8th century BC in Greece to their adoption in the 5th century AD by Christianity. During the Roman period mosaics were made of tesserae, cubes of stone and glass showing scenes of daily life from grand estates, fishing and hunting, to gladiators, chariot races, gods and heroes and even food. Mosaics are in effect beautiful “mirrors of stone” which can offer an unparalleled reflection of real life in the ancient world.

Dr Paul Roberts is curator of Roman Archaeology at the British Museum.

Picasso, Man Ray and Max Ernst were three of the key artists of the 20th century. They were also close friends of the Surrealist photographer Lee Miller and the Surrealist artist Roland Penrose. This is the hidden story of a unique friendship which spanned the Surrealist movement and the last 30 years of Picasso’s life. It is told by Antony Penrose, the son of Lee Miller and Roland who visited the artists in their homes and recalls when they came to the Penrose family home of Farley Farm House in Sussex. It is told using the words and images of the artists and those around them with extensive us of photographs by Lee Miller.

For the past 30 years Antony Penrose has conserved and disseminated the work of his parents, Lee Miller and Roland Penrose. He is the director of The Lee Miller Archives and The Penrose Collection at Farley Farm House in Sussex and has seen his parents' work featured in major exhibitions at the V&A, National Portrait Gallery, Manchester Art Gallery, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the Whitworth. He has lectured at museums and universities around the world, and made documentaries for television. Publications include The Lives of Lee Miller, Lee Miller's War (editor), The Angel and the Fiend, The Home of the Surrealists, Roland Penrose the Friendly Surrealist and The Boy Who Bit Picasso.