York Festival of Ideas 2018

Booking is now open for the 2018 York Festival of Ideas, which looks set to be as sparkling and thought-provoking as ever.  Check out the History of Art department website, which highlights department involvement, including PhD students Martha CattellKyveli Lignou-Tsamantani, and Amina Diab.

There are a number of talks by museum curators (click on event titles for further information and tickets):

Thursday 7 June:

Learn about the making of the V&A’s exhibition Ocean Liners: Speed and Style. Join the exhibition’s co-curator Ghislaine Wood as she explains how Ocean Liners explores the design and cultural impact of the ocean liner around the world, revealing the hidden design stories of some of the world's greatest ocean liners.  Chaired by James Boaden

Belmont Rooms, Bettys (St Helen’s Square)
6.00-7.30 p.m.
£14.95 (includes glass of prosecco & afternoon-tea-themed canapés)

Find out about the making of the Leonard Cohen: Une brèche en toute chose / A Crack in Everything exhibition with John Zeppetelli, Director and Chief Curator of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. This major exhibition was the first to be entirely devoted to the imagination and legacy of this great singer/songwriter, man of letters and global icon from Montréal.

Inspired by the world of Leonard Cohen and the great themes of his life and work, this truly multidisciplinary exhibition combined visual art, virtual reality, installations, performances, music and writing, presenting a life’s work revisited through contemporary art.

It offered the public a collection of brand new work commissioned from and created by local and international artists who have been inspired by Leonard Cohen’s style and recurring themes. At the same time, it was a particularly Montreal-centric exhibition that has received outstanding support from the community.

Ron Cooke Hub
7.45-8.45 p.m.

Monday 11 June

Join Irving Finkel, author of The Ark Before Noah: Decoding the Story of the Flood, to find out how he discovers and deciphers text from clay tablets to reveal ancient Mesopotamia.

As Assistant Keeper of Ancient Mesopotamian artefacts at the British Museum, Irving is able to use his familiarity with ancient writings preserved in museums across the globe to recreate a vanished world in his novels.

Travel back 4,000 years to a time when writing was in the world’s oldest script, cuneiform and find out about the background to his latest novel The Writing in the Stone, a blood-curdling story of madness and mayhem and murder in ancient Assyria.

Kings Manor
8.00-9.00 p.m.

(Irving is also giving a talk earlier in the day, suitable for age 9+: The Lifeboat that Saved the World)

Thursday 14 June

The world of tomorrow is shaped by the emerging design and technology of today. Join Rory Hyde, Curator of Contemporary Architecture and Urbanism at the V&A and co-curator of The Future Starts Here exhibition at the V&A in London, to find out about a landscape of possibilities for the future.

Rory discusses the background to this major new exhibition, running until November, which brings together 100 amazing objects. He and his fellow V&A curator, Mariana Pestana, spent two and a half years scouring the planet, visiting design laboratories, universities and private companies to find objects which are either newly released or in development.

Cycle Heaven, Hospital Fields Road
6.30-7.30 p.m.


Download the full programme, or explore it online, where it can also be viewed by theme (including  'Art and Design') or by event type, such as Exhibitions or Performances and Films.  All events are free, unless stated otherwise.