Conference 2013

“Are Fine Arts (Art) History?”

8 August 2013
Canterbury Cathedral Lodge

The first convention on fine arts and art history was held in the charming and historic city of Canterbury, England in conjunction with the fortieth anniversary of Warnborough College (UK).


Fine arts and art history are often seen in contradictory terms. The fine arts typically are seen as ‘hobby’ professions – not serious, and ‘fluffy’. Art history, on the other hand, is seen as a highly academic discipline not open to ‘regular’ people. This convention aims to turn this idea on its head by bringing these two disciplines to the fore and seeing how the two ‘worlds’ can collide or co-exist.

The convention saw a range of speakers from as far away as the United States, the Philippines, and Switzerland. Delegates were welcomed to Canterbury by the city’s Council Leader, Mr John Gilbey.

Warnborough Program Director, Dr Jill Kiefer, opened the convention with an interesting twist of ‘Finding the Past in the Present’. This was followed by Dr Michael Henss, a world-renowned expert on Tibetan art and history, who talked about the differences in conservation of history and art in the East versus the West.

Dr Linda Wilde, whose paintings hang in places such as the Vatican, presented a paper on iconology, and Dr Denver Sasser entertained the audience with his humorous take on postmodern art theory.

Mr Allan Peejay Lappay talked about how faith could be taught through the arts, and vice versa, and mentioned Warnborough’s role in the building of the new chapel at St Paul University. Local gallery owner, David Lilford, provided a view of art from a completely different perspective – that of an investor’s. Bringing along paintings and artwork by such luminaries as Turner, Banksy, Tracy Emin and up-and-coming artists like Pure Evil, he questioned how artists could remain true to their artistic visions, and yet, not ‘suffer for their art’. On the flipside, art investors were also challenged on what sort of art would make an adequate return on investment.

The event was a great success and plans are now underway for another convention next year.  The event will be broadened out over several days and include other media such as film.

Dr Jill Kiefer opens the convention

Dr Denver Sasser talks about postmodern art theory.

Audience participation was great!
Dr Michael Henss talks about Tibetan art and conservation.

David Lilford presenting 'Art for Investment'.

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