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King’s Lynn Festival 2024

Date: Sunday 14 July 2024
Location: King's Lynn

The King’s Lynn Festival, now in its 73rd year, continues to provide high-quality performances of classical music, recitals, choral performances, jazz, folk, talks, walks, exhibitions and films. The Festival features internationally renowned performers and uses beautiful historic venues around the town, including England’s largest surviving Medieval Guildhall. King’s Lynn is an ancient 12th century town with connections to the mediaeval Hanseatic League. There are many important buildings (480 are listed, the greatest concentration in a town of its size). Its river, the Great Ouse, flows down to the Cam.

Dr Robert Anderson, Chair of the Clare Hall Music Committee, has curated an exhibition titled ‘Peace to Pop: British Art 1945-1980’ at the Festival, and warmly invites all Clare Hall members to attend. Professor Frances Spalding, Chair of the Clare Hall Art Committee, will also be giving a talk titled ‘From Cornwall to Catterline: People and Places in the Post-War Years.’

Trains are available throughout the day from Cambridge to King’s Lynn, and the Fermoy Gallery, Guildhall, and Corn Exchange are all about a 10 minute walk from the station. Clare Hall members are encouraged to travel together to the Festival and enjoy the variety of events available on the 14th of July.

Events on 14th July

Peace to Pop: British Art 1945-1980

11am-7pm: Fermoy Gallery, Free Entry

An exploration of the work of artists including Allen Jones, Eduardo Paolozzi and Peter Blake, the influence of American styles, as well as the remarkable developments of the post-War period: the establishment of the Arts Council, the influence of the 1951 Festival of Britain, and the start of arts festivals in Edinburgh, Bath, Aldeburgh and King’s Lynn.

Film: Exhibition on Screen, ‘Lucien-Freud–A Self Portrait

1pm: St. George’s Guildhall, Tickets £6

Featuring fascinating interviews with Freud’s friends and leading art experts, this intensely compelling documentary reveals the life’s work of a master.

2020/ 86 mins /Cert. PG

In partnership with King’s Lynn Community Cinema Club

Foden’s Brass Band Concert

3pm: King’s Lynn Corn Exchange, Tickets start at £11

The glorious sounds of British Brass Band Open Champions, Foden’s Band open this year’s Festival. Performing brass band favourites they will also bring their multi-media ‘Adventures of Robin Hood’ set to King’s Lynn audiences.

Talk: ‘From Cornwall to Catterline: People and Places in the Post-War Years’ by Professor Frances Spalding

UPDATED TIME – 6pm: St. George’s Guildhall, Tickets start at £7.50

Art historian, critic and biographer, Frances Spalding explores how a sense of optimisim encouraged fresh developments in the post-war period.

Austerity and angst are words often applied to the decade immediately following the Second World War. Feelings of victory, or happiness or relief at the return of peace were overshadowed by the extent of the recent atrocities and the implications of the atom bomb. But this was the period that gradually saw through parliament a raft of radical social legislation which bestowed new dignity on the ordinary man or woman. It was also a period of reconstruction and progressive planning, of change and alteration. Something of this new optimism entered the arts encouraged fresh developments. Joan Eardley took off for Catterline from Edinburgh as soon as news came through of a storm approaching. Others made St Ives in Cornwall their base. A new formal and decorative strength entered art, partly inspired by the work of Maisse and Picasso. This was shown to good effect in the  1951 Festival of Britain. By July 1957 Prime Minister Harold MacMillan announced:  ‘Let us be frank about it: most of our people have never had it so good.’