David Starkey: The Goldsmiths’ Company Lecture

May 11, 2017


The Goldsmiths’ Company were delighted to welcome Dr. David Starkey for the inaugural Goldsmiths’ Company Lecture. When I Hear the Word ‘Art’, I Reach for my Gun, focused on art: the word and the idea. Starkey is convinced that the misappropriation of the word ‘art’ by the conceptual art clique in the last half-century or so has poisoned the term beyond redemption. It has made it useless historically and hopelessly discriminatory when applied to the so-called ‘decorative arts’ in contemporary culture.

He claimed: “Art must go. We need to start afresh!” In presenting his case, Starkey drew on two particular areas of his own work: his attack on the bad faith and dishonesty of the intellectual foundations of conceptual art, which expands upon his essay ’The Treason of the Scholars’ in 2015, and his familiarity with an unusually wide range of material culture which he acquired as the founder-general editor of the Henry VIII Inventory Project.

A Q&A session followed the lecture and Thomas Fattorini, Director of the manufacturing firm Thomas Fattorini Ltd, presented Starkey with a specially commissioned medal to commemorate the lecture.

Podcast below:



Watch the lecture in full on YouTube.


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