The Slade Lectures, organised by the History of Art Department at Cambridge University, are held annually in different spaces across the city.
This year, they took the form of a hybrid event at Murray Edwards College over a seven week period, with early evening one-hour lectures delivered by Dr Maria Balshaw, Director of Tate. The final lecture incorporated a Q&A session, reception and dinner.
The first event attracted over 100 online bookings, averaging around 30 people for each lecture, the majority online. Filming the lectures was also important and Murray Edwards’ in-house AV technician was on hand throughout, with additional equipment provided by Venue AV to meet the brief.
Zara Kuckelhaus, is Faculty Manager & Secretary of the Faculty Board in the Faculty of Architecture and History of Art at Cambridge University. She said:
“The main criteria in choosing a venue this year and going forwards, is the AV capability for hybrid events as the recorded lectures are a really useful resource for students. It’s also more engaging for those attending online to be able to interact with in-person attendees which requires dedicated AV support before and during the events.
Drinks and dinner
“There is usually an associated dinner with the last lecture, and so high quality catering is important. On this occasion we were able to hold a drinks reception in the foyer of Paula Browne House before moving to the Fellows’ Dining Room for dinner.
“And of course using an academic venue is essential as the Slade Professorship is a University role.
“Murray Edwards met all our requirements well and the team was very helpful. The College comes across as relatively modern (whilst retaining Cambridge charm) and somewhat less intimidating than other venues in Cambridge.”
Dr Maria Balshaw CBE, Director of Tate added: “The very special aura of Murray Edwards College has been an inspiration as I have prepared and delivered this lecture series.
“To be surrounded by art by women of such quality and power as part of daily life and work has been spirit lifting. The welcome I have been given by students and faculty has been equally powerful. This is a learning environment that has care and creativity at its core and I thank President Dorothy Byrne and Deputy President Rachel Polonsky for their support and welcome.”
Date of event: The Slade Lectures ran on Tuesdays from 1 Feb and culminated with the final lecture and dinner on 14 March 2022