Thursday 4 July

Bloomsbury Publishing

Step inside Bloomsbury’s beautiful  for an exciting pop-up display of our books to browse and buy and a range of literary prize giveaways.

Bloomsbury Publishing is a leading independent publishing house, established in 1986, with authors who have won the Nobel, Pulitzer and Booker Prizes, and is the originating publisher and custodian of the Harry Potter series. Bloomsbury has offices in London, New York, New Delhi, Oxford and Sydney. 

No booking necessary - just pop in!

Architectural Association

AA Projects Review is the Architectural Association’s annual end of year show. Student work is displayed throughout the buildings to showcase the different unit or programme’s year-long brief and agenda. Every student who has passed through the Architectural Association, from Foundation to PhD, Zaha Hadid to Richard Rogers, has had their work scrutinised by the public in the annual AA Projects Review.

This year, almost 800 students will showcase their visions for the future of architecture, to anyone with an inquiring eye. This year’s show will merge the work of students and alumni, breaking the traditional boundaries between academia and practice to look at the much longer trajectory of an AA project.

No ticket or booking is necessary for this exhibition!

Bedford Square

Explore the history of London through the paintings collected by Paul Mellon! For the duration of the Festival there will be a unique opportunity to journey through London via paintings of the city by Constable, Canaletto and Zoffany. Just by walking around Bedford Square Garden you will be able to see views such as those of the river at Greenwich to the markets of Camden – as seen by the eyes of the artists.


The replicas of these paintings (which are held at the Yale Center for British Art) will be accompanied by text compiled by Martin Postle from the Paul Mellon Centre.

No ticket or booking required.

Paul Mellon Centre

An opportunity to visit the Paul Mellon Centre’s Public Study Room at 16 Bedford Square. This is the main reading room for consulting material from the PMC’s Research Collections, which includes a library of books on British art and architecture and the archives of art historians, curators, critics, dealers in the field of British art.

The Public Study Room reference library is arranged on the open shelves and visitors are welcome to walk around and browse these books. There will also be an opportunity to view particular items from the Research Collections relevant to the ‘The artist in the garden and the garden in art’ theme of the BSF talks held at the PMC.

Booking is not necessary, just pop in.

9-10am | Talk | Dr Lilian Cameron

Sotheby’s Institute of Art

Curating is one of the most talked about professions in the art world, but what do curators do, and how do they acquire their expertise? This talk will address the role of the curator today, examining key developments and changes to the profession in the public sector. It will also touch on the history of curating, especially the exciting developments of the late twentieth-century, before honing in on contemporary changes, trends and developments and the daily realities of curating in and outside the art museum.

9.30-10.30am | Talk | Bryan Fuermann

Paul Mellon Centre

Landscape Historian Bryan Fuermann will explore the three phases of the privy garden at Hampton Court, in this informal breakfast talk.


12.30-1.30pm | Talk | Charlotte Grant

New College of the Humanities

r Charlotte Grant, Senior Lecturer in English (and Art Historian) at NCH will be discussing the work of Martin Bloch, a collection of whom's paintings are on long-term loan and display at the College. Martin Bloch is well-known for his landscape paintings, architectural and city portraits. Dr Grant is Bloch's granddaughter and can, therefore, offer both academic and personal insights into the artist.

1-2pm | Walking Tour | Martin Postle

Bedford Square

Join Martin Postle, Deputy Director at the Paul Mellon Centre, for a guided tour of the outdoor gallery created for Bedford Square Festival. Journey through London's history via some of the paintings collected by Paul Mellon and view the city through the eyes of painters such as Canaletto, Constable and Zoffany.

1-2pm | Talk | Gareth Fletcher

Sotheby's Institute of Art

This lecture by Gareth Fletcher will examine the nature of ownership in the context of contested cultural objects, and will employ relevant case studies to consider the complexities associated with the process of repatriation and restitution. The session will conclude by considering future challenges and opportunities that have the potential to influence this necessary subject.

Workshop | Qu Lei Lei

Sotheby's Institute of Art

Join artist Qu Lei Lei for a Chinese brush painting workshop at this year's Bedford Square Festival. Qu Lei Lei will demonstrate the relationship between traditional Chinese painting and calligraphy in his combined talk and practical demonstration.

There will be two 45 minute classes, please book one of the time slots below.

3-4pm | Film Screening

Paul Mellon Centre

In this moving documentary, a community of sculptors (and a potter) face crisis as their London NW1 studios are threatened with demolition. New community amenities are being created, but at the expense of vulnerable - and talented - individuals whose world is being turned upside down. Peter Laszlo Peri, today the best-remembered of these artists, is the central figure of a lyrical, thought-provoking film.

5-6pm | Talk | Kim Tasso

Bloomsbury Publishing

This talk on building better business relationships is ideal for anyone who wants to improve their relationships at work and gain a greater understanding of critical social and communications skills required to succeed in any professional environment.

Kim Tasso advises business leaders all over the world and is qualified in marketing, management, coaching and psychology. As an independent strategy and business development executive, Kim has over 30 years' experience in the UK and internationally.

6-8pm | Workshop & Panel Discussion | Niamh Bhalla

New College of the Humanities

The Art History Faculty of NCH will be running a pop up event comprised of micro papers followed by a panel discussion on the theme of the value of and barriers to visual literacy. Bedford Square is home to some of the most specialised institutions teaching the history of art and architecture in London, and this panel seeks to draw together a range of perspectives to initiate a dialogue on the challenges and opportunities around teaching, interpreting and access to visual culture in the 21st century. 

The event will be chaired by Patrycja Kaszynska, Head of the Art History Faculty at NCH and will feature mini talks from Niamh Bhalla and Susan Green of NCH, Elisabeth Bogdan of Sotheby’s Institute of Art, Mark Morris of The Architectural Association and Gilda Williams of Goldsmith’s College.

6-8pm | Film Screening, Archive Tour & Drinks Reception

Architectural Association

In 1998 the Dutch Architect and alumnus of the Architectural Association, Rem Koolhaas, was commissioned to design Maison à Bordeaux, a contemporary house suited to the needs of the client, a wheelchair user.

Koolhaas Houselife is the first project in the “Living Architectures” series, which unlike most movies about architecture, focusses less on explaining the building, its structure and its technical details than on letting the viewer enter into the invisible bubble of the daily intimacy of some icons of contemporary architecture. Koolhaas Houselife tells the story of this house through the daily chores of Guadalupe Acedo, the housekeeper, and the other people who look after the building.

6-8pm | Talk & Concert | Charlotte de Mille (speaker) Lana Bode (piano) and Jennifer Witton (narrator)

Paul Mellon Centre

Debussy in Bloomsbury explores one of the Friday concerts at the Omega Workshop at 33 Fitzroy Square, encouraged by Roger Fry to raise funds for Belgian refugees following the outbreak of war in 1914. Although the details of these concerts are largely undocumented, these events nonetheless included some remarkable achievements including the premiere of Debussy’s children’s ballet La boîte à joujoux (‘The Toy Box’), written to a scenario by André Hellé. 


The concert features the solo piano version of La boîte à joujoux, narrated and accompanied by Hellé's original scenography. The performance is set in the context of Bloomsbury's long-standing interest in Debussy, music and theatre by a pre-concert talk looking at the Omega Workshop’s original set designs and designs for children's toys.