Art and Architecture Lectures and Tours

Ian Swankie – Lecture list

I give lectures on a range of subjects, mostly about art and architecture but also other topics which interest me. Most lectures last an hour, but I can usually vary the timing if required. I’m an accredited lecturer for The Arts Society. The presentations are all digital with high quality images. I have my own projector if needed.

In addition to the lectures listed, I offer Study Days titled The Treasures of the Square Mile, The Brilliance of British Architecture and Design, and World Class Art at the Tate.

I also lead a weekly lecture group in Richmond, Surrey called London – Art and More.

Underground-Cathedrals1Underground Cathedrals

the art and architecture of London Underground, above and below street level

The world’s first underground railway has a wonderful heritage of architecture, ingenious design, powerful advertising posters and unique calligraphy.


Heatherwick1Thomas Heatherwick

– the modern Leonardo?

The past few years have seen the meteoric rise of this extraordinarily versatile young designer with his acclaimed Olympic Cauldron and iconic new London bus.


Grayson-Perry2Pots and Frocks

the world of Grayson Perry, Britain’s favourite transvestite.

Widely known for his appearances dressed as his feminine alter ego, Claire, woman, Grayson Perry RA is now a core part of the art establishment.


Romans-and-Romantics2Romans and Romantics

The Guildhall Art Gallery, London’s real hidden gem.

The City of London Corporation has been commissioning and acquiring art for nearly 350 years and now owns a vast and diverse collection.


Gleaming-Spires2The Gleaming Spires of London

an armchair tour of London’s finest buildings from the Normans to Norman Foster and beyond

London boasts an extraordinary range of architecture and the city’s rich legacy and social history can be discovered through its buildings.


The World’s Most Expensive Art

In recent years, the amount paid for the three most expensive works of art would be enough to buy 5,000 brand new Bentley Continental motor cars or to pay the salaries of more than 25,000 nurses.



– the Final Years

Henri Matisse did not enjoy good physical health in his later years but his creative genius continued apace.


A Celebration of 250 years at the Royal Academy

Famous for its annual open Summer Exhibition, held every year without exception since 1769, the Royal Academy has been a pillar of British art and art education for 250 years but has seen many changes…


From Bronzes to Banksy

From Bronzes to Banksy – an armchair tour of public art and street art

London has a world-class reputation for art in its many galleries, but this is a talk about the remarkable range of art outside in the streets.


Art-in-Shadow-St-Pauls2Art in the Shadow of St Paul’s

– some of the finest public art in the country.

With such a superstar neighbour, it is not surprising that the immediate vicinity of St Paul’s Cathedral contains a rich vein of art.