Hilary Smith

Hilary Smith

I am studious and bookish but with a great love of nature, the countryside and gardens. A historian with a higher degree, originally grounded in Renaissance studies, I now describe myself as a cultural historian with interests ranging from South and Central Asia to Western Europe. I have more than 30 years experience touring Britain and the World with cultural groups and yet have maintained a toe hold in the academic world; I am currently a member of both Indian and Islamic Art Circles at the School of Oriental & African Studies in the University of London. I have recently had published a revised guidebook to Iran. Interested in gadgets, I have been using computers for many years, and now with an ECDL (European Computer Driving Licence) I am confident in IT and working with images on screen, both setting images and supplying captions and using images in PowerPoint for presentations. My main interests are in the field of the transmission of ideas and motifs. This applies equally to fashions in gardens and landscapes and even types of plant, and to motifs in the decorative arts. I am particularly interested in religious syncretism, both in ideas and pictorial representation, but cross cultural influences occur widely in the secular field as well. I continue to hone my skills and information particularly in the field of the decorative arts, and I give occasional lectures. Recently I have spoken on the early history of Somerset House, 'The Best Address in London' as well as on ideas behind and development of religions in South Asia. I am a member of the rota of guides in the British Museum where I also provide tailor made talks for groups with special interests such as visiting university groups from overseas. A further interest is modern architecture. I have led several tours for architects and planners from overseas to examine modern buildings in London and the Southeast. However my background as a historian provides a link with the past which also enables me to address questions of conservation and sensitivity to the environment.

Languages

EnglishItalian

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