Talks & Courses

Cultivating Taste: The Art of the English Garden, Greenwich and Beyond

May 24

Flowered Fabrics: Gardens on Cloth – Edwina Ehrman, Victoria and Albert Museum

Drawing on garments and textiles selected for the V&A’s 2018 exhibition Fashioned from Nature, Curator Edwina Ehrman will explore how public interest in botany, horticulture and gardening is reflected in fashion. The talk will focus on the 17th to 19th centuries when scientific advances, trade and exploration brought many new plants to Britain and introduced new methods of recording and classifying them.


Queen’s House Lecture Series: Remarkable Women

Spanning the Elizabethan and Victorian Ages, follow the lives of five extraordinary women – matriarch and entrepreneur Bess of Hardwick, poet and writer Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, local Deptford businesswoman Mary Slade, antiquarian collector Sarah Sophia Banks, world traveller Annie Russell-Cotes and the explorer and archaeologist Gertrude Bell

1 March

The harem and the veil: Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and the Ottoman Empire – Christine Riding, Royal Museums Greenwich

Maritime Lecture: Health & Medicine in the Victorian Navy

This lecture will explore the theme of naval medicine and disease, with a particular focus on the Navy in Japan. After Japanese ports became accessible to Western powers through a succession of unequal treaties, they became host to numerous foreign ships and their crews. Among these, the Royal Navy predominated and ports such as Nagasaki and Yokohama were frequent ports of call for ships serving in what was known as the China Station.

Short Course: Figureheads, Ship Badges and Silverware

  • This course will look at the classical artworks that were available to artists in the 19th century and the literary works that were studied in schools and known to the general public.
  • You will learn to identify some of the Classical gods, heroes, mythical figures and historical characters used as figureheads and ship badges such as Achilles, Ajax, Atalanta, Caesar, Cleopatra, Coriolanus, Dido, Hercules, Leda, Minerva, Neptune, Orpheus and Penelope, before considering the myths surrounding them and reasons why they were chosen.

What is habitability?

Experts in different fields, from extrasolar planets to biology, gather to discuss the concept of habitability -- the potential of a planetary body  to host life. But what is 'life'? This symposium will be hosted by research experts and attended by students in various fields related to the topic of habitability. This is an exciting opportunity to see cutting edge research and discussion in action with limited spaces for members of the public. This event is held in collaboration with Nature Astronomy.

Royal Observatory Greenwich Christmas Lecture

Launched in 1997, the NASA/ESA Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn came to a close earlier this year with a dramatic descent into Saturn's atmosphere in September. Since its orbital insertion in 2004, the Cassini orbiter explored the famous ringed gas giant and its vast system of weird and wonderful moons, one of which was explored up close and personal with the Huygens lander. Professor Carl Murray of Queen Mary University London will share his experiences with the mission from its inception to the latest knowledge gleaned from data that will be studied for decades to come.


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