Jul 02

London Region U3A Talks – “The Twenties”

This series of 8 talks will be taking place between May and August go online to register your interest the link is at the bottom of the list of talks.

May Monday 10th 17.30-18.30 Log on from 17.00 Graham Taylor: Visual Arts in the Roaring Twenties The 1920s saw innovative revolutions in fine-art and in design approaches for fashion, architecture and media. This presentation explores some of the biggest visual changes of this lively era including the beginnings of ‘Art Deco’ and ‘Surrealism’ in Paris, the design breakthroughs of the ‘Bauhaus’ in Germany and New York’s ‘Art Deco Skyscrapers’.

May Monday 24thth 17.30-18.30 Log on from 17.00 Christopher Dean: Germany’s Weimar Republic (1919 to 1933) Doomed to fail? Germany’s Weimar Republic began tumultuously in 1919, appeared to flourish from 1924 to 1928/9, then suffered severely during the Great Depression from 1929 to 1933, leading to the triumph of Nazism by 1933. Was the Republic doomed from the start? Was Hitler’s triumph inevitable? Is there a positive side to ‘Weimar’?

June Monday 7thth 17.30-18.30 Log on from 17.00 Lucy Ellis: Wallpapers in the 1920s and ‘30s: Designing and Decorating for the Suburban Dream After the devastation of WWI and the need to rehouse returning servicemen in Homes Fit for Heroes, the British government embarked on a housing programme which saw over a million people move out from city centres to the bright new suburbs. The wallpaper industry saw a surge in demand for designs from ebullient florals to geometric jazz. This talk will include the development of wallpaper design and the role of the independent decorator in the 1920s and ‘30s, looking at how the industry embraced mass production, advertising and branding, and sought to woo housewives with a variety of selling methods.

June Monday 21st 17.30-18.30 Log on from 17.00 Kevin McCarron: F. Scott Fitzgerald and the 1920s Although Fitzgerald is usually seen as the chronicler of America’s “jazz age”, a period of flappers, fur coats, and unbridled excess, his most famous novel The Great Gatsby (1925), is preoccupied with America’s past, not with its present. His major works are narratives which tell stories of disillusionment and disenchantment. This talk will compare Fitzgerald’s writing with that of his contemporary and friend Ernest Hemingway whose novel Fiesta (1926) is considerably more engaged with America’s present and its future than the melancholy and elegiac writing of Fitzgerald.

July Monday 5 th 17.30-18.30 Log on from 17.00 Stan Clingman: Strangers when they met Twenties Jazz and the beginning of the Great American Songbook. Music of, and by, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, the Gershwin’s, Irving Berlin, Cole Porter and others. Click here to register July Monday 19th 17.30-18.30 Log on from 17.00 Alan Morton: No COP out @ COP26 Climate Change: what it is – and what we must do – a big challenge for everyone. How do we distinguish between climate change occurring naturally and that caused by mankind? What are some of the practical things we can do to reduce our impact? Can U3A members cut our carbon emissions by 5% a year? And make the Government match that? To keep the increase in global temperatures to 1.5°C governments must commit to substantial cuts in carbon emissions at the UN Climate Change summit (COP26) to be held in Glasgow this November. Can we help make that happen?

August Monday 2nd 17.30-18.30 Log on from 17.00 Martin Heard: Paris in the 1920s: Art, Culture, Fashion and Society The 1920s are known in France as the Années Folles – The Crazy Years. After the horrors of the First World War Paris quickly reasserted its position as World capital of arts, fashion and culture. The glitz and glamour that is associated with 1920s Paris has much to do with its cosmopolitan atmosphere. Thousands of artistic migrants and refugees came from mainly Eastern Europe and Russia together with a plethora of writers, musicians, and entertainers from the USA who added to the mix the energy and vibrance of American popular culture.

August Monday 23rd 17.30-18.30 Log on from 17.00 Herbie Goldberg: Classical Swing in the Roaring Twenties In the aftermath of World War I, jazz was a welcome antidote to the traumas of recessions and political instability. During the 1920s, classical composers began to incorporate its exotic rhythms and harmonies in their concert works. As the decade ended, totalitarian regimes, which viewed jazz as decadent, sought to eradicate it. With the aid of examples, the presentation will track the influence of jazz on classical music in that brief window of opportunity.