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Gone in a flash ? A history of firework displays from the Renaissance to the age of electricity

Thu 3rd Jul 2025 @ 11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Featured Image Attribute

"Versailles Feu d'artifice" by Maurits Verbiest is licensed under CC BY 2.0.


Description of Lecture

The fireworks that mark great events such as the opening of the Olympics, or even the start of a New Year make an enormous impact. Despite their brevity, the displays live on through film and photography. For centuries, the very fact that the fireworks themselves were seen only for seconds and yet cost large amounts of money provoked a strong desire to record them and a large archive of visual evidence remains. When rulers such as Louis XIV or the Russian Emperors began to see the propaganda value of circulating images designed to impress and amaze, fireworks graduated from popular entertainment to become a sophisticated instrument of statecraft

Lecturer: Timothy Wilcox

Timothy Wilcox is a writer, lecturer and exhibition curator with special interests in British art, in landscape and in watercolour painting. He was a museum curator in the British Museum Department of Prints and Drawings following positions at the V&A, in Liverpool and Hove. As a freelance curator and lecturer since 1997, he has organised exhibitions on Laura Knight, Hilda Carline, John Sell Cotman and John Constable, at venues including Tate, The Lowry, the Wordsworth Trust and Dulwich Picture Gallery. He contributes regularly to the educational programmes at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford and lectures at museums and galleries in Britain, Europe and the USA


Thu 3rd Jul 2025
11:30 am - 12:30 pm
Event Category:


Stalbridge Hall
Stalbridge Hall, Lower Road, Stalbridge
Sturminster Newton, Dorset DT10 2NF United Kingdom.
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The Arts Society Blackmore Vale