Anthony J. Batten


Tony sharing a laugh with the audienceIllustrated Lecture Series

In the late 1970’s Tony was contracted by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, CBC, to prepare a series of discussion based presentations on the history of art as part of their ongoing “in-house” educational program.

Specifically aimed at a group of designers working towards certification in set-design, it’s free-wheeling exchange of ideas and opinions revealed Tony’s flexibility and innate sense of humour. He continued to be one of their lecturers until the "Institute of Sceneography" was incorporated into Ryerson University in the 1980’s.

He was then asked to do a number of other presentations for community groups, cultural organizations and post secondary educational bodies. Unwittingly he had embarked on a second career.

Over the decades he has developed a number of researched illustrated presentations on such topics as...
“perspective and its development and use in western art”
“the ten most influential artists of the nineteenth century”
“the CSPWC’s Royal Collection Project, phases 1, 2, and 3”
“the great style periods in western art”
“watercolour painting and its development in the western world”
“watercolour painting and its development in Canada”
“the artist and the sketch book”

This last presentation resulted in him being asked to submit a synopsis of his own sketch book experiences for inclusion in the book “Work Small, Learn Big” which was published in 2003.

His talks on the development of watercolour painting have proven to be a staple of many symposiums. Given that many artists, professional and amateur, working in the medium know very little about the history of the material or of the great masterpieces that have utilized watercolour, Tony’s talk is frequently a revelation for the audience and has often been used as the introductory evening’s keynote presentation.

His involvement with the CSPCW’s Royal Collections Project since its inception has garnered him many invitations to talk about this ongoing endeavour and has, since 1984, been one of his most frequently requested presentations. It is a story about the difficulties of working with major galleries and government agencies and of the funny, accidental incidents that beset the best laid plans. It is also the story of making new international friends and of how important it is to be ready to think on one’s feet and be ready to adapt to change.

The presentations mentioned were all developed as projected slide presentation. Some of them have been reconfigured for use in power point presentations.