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21 May 2018Telling Time through the Ages
16 April 2018Cremona and the golden age of violin making
19 March 2018The Art Market : how does it work?
19 February 2018James Wyatt-Charlatan or Genius
15 January 2018Wonders of the Roman Empire-Off Limits
11 December 2017Nativity in Art from Giotto to Picasso.
20 November 2017The Gleaming Spires of London – an armchair tour of London’s finest buildings.
16 October 2017William Cobbett and James Gillray: Political and Personal Cartoons of the early C19th.
18 September 2017Nursery Notions: The Illustration, Music and History of Nursery Rhymes
19 June 2017Objects of Desire: Cabinets and Ornamental Boxes for the Collector
15 May 2017Contemporary Artist:Anthony Gormley and Anish Kapoor
10 April 2017 Vivaldi in Venice
20 March 2017The Glasgow Boys (this will follow the AGM)
20 February 2017Creating A Splash-The St Ives Society of Artists (1927-1952)
16 January 2017 Cobwebs of Fashion-Honiton Lace
12 December 2016Humour in Music
21 November 2016Inn Signia: the Artwork and Stories behind peculiar Pub Names
17 October 2016Lady Butler-Battle Artist
19 September 2016Dale Chihuly

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Telling Time through the Ages Kevin Karney Monday 21 May 2018

Throughout history, mankind has been absorbed with understanding the concept of Time and we have used the ‘tick-tock’ of nature (whether the cycles of sun, stars, moon, or the vibrations of the atom) to develop devices to tell WHEN things should happen. All kinds of other things (whether the flowing of water, the burning of wax or the falling of sand) have been used to tell HOW LONG things should take. A third class of things (bells, guns, or alarm clocks) has alerted us to the NOW – to get something done. As civilization has progressed, the social context of who needed to tell the time - whether civic leaders, the church, merchants or individuals - has varied dramatically. Equally, there has been a continuing drive towards greater accuracy, driven by the needs of navigators, commerce and scientists. But a significant feature of time-telling has been our perception of the transience of our own lives. This appears to have resulted in two things. Firstly, time-telling devices have always been produced with exceptional intricacy, craftsmanship and beauty. Secondly, while poets understand time, philosophers and scientists have struggled.

The lecture looks at all the various time-telling devices and charts, in four chapters, how their use has risen and fallen as history, fashion and technology have progressed

Kevin Karney, son of an Anglican clergyman, was brought up in Northumberland and educated at Rugby School and Trinity College Cambridge. He holds a Masters degree in Natural Sciences.

Since retirement, he has involved himself in charity work and as a Magistrate in Gwent - sitting on both the Adult and Family Benches. He is a long-term NADFAS member and was - for 6 years - Treasurer of the Monmouthshire branch.

With a great-grandfather and uncle who were both notable gnomonists (those interested in Sundials), he has had a lifelong interest in the subject of time-keeping - from both a technical and historical perspective. His specific technical expertise relates to the Equation-of-Time, which - discovered by the Greeks - is the variation between Mean Time and Solar Time. His other great interest is the history of antique cosmology and how Greek cosmological ideas were used extensively in Christian art.

He is a member of both the British Sundial Society (an affiliate of the Royal Astronomical Society) and the North American Sundial Society.