Lectures on the decorative and fine arts from world experts

Become part of our network of over 90,000 people worldwide – brought together through a shared curiosity for the arts and our artistic heritage.

We offer enjoyable opportunities to discover and support the arts of yesterday, today and tomorrow, wherever you are. Our events provide welcoming places – locally, nationally and globally – to hear excellent speakers share their specialist knowledge about the arts.

Internationally, The Arts Society is a leading arts education charity with a global network of 385 local Societies, which bring people together through a shared curiosity for the arts.

Here in New Zealand, we have eight local Societies, offering an annual program of eight lectures, delivered by subject matter experts. The first Society was formed in 2001 in Christchurch and there are now over 1,400 members nationally.

2024 Programme & Lecturers

All lecturers are professionals and experts in their field – their presentations are lively, informative and entertaining. UK lecturers are required to meet stringent criteria established by The Arts Society in the UK to ensure lectures and images are of the highest quality.

In 2024 we bring another full programme of eight lecturers – a mix of NZ, Australian and UK-based, mostly in person and a couple via live broadcast.  We will gather in our venues for all lectures, but members will have the option to view multiple dates and topics from home for the online lectures.

We anticipate an undisrupted year, but of course our arrangements may be subject to change if the need arises.

Meeting format

At Venue:  one-hour lecture, followed by light refreshments and opportunities for members to mingle and meet the lecturers are part of the meeting format. Coming along to a lecture is a great way to learn and an enjoyable way to develop friendships.

At Home: one-hour lecture as the guest of another NZ Society. The lecture is hosted by the local society Chair and accessed online from home via a Zoom link distributed in advance.

Click here for Zoom Viewing Instructions

The Arts Society in New Zealand

The international society has recently changed its name from the National Association of Decorative & Fine Arts Societies (NADFAS) to The Arts Society.  All the New Zealand Societies come under The Arts Society umbrella and operate in a similar way although each is an autonomous entity.

While the international body has changed its name, for several of our New Zealand Societies, there are already well-established art societies in their area. This has meant that, to avoid confusion, those with existing local art societies will retain their DFAS name, while others will move to The Arts Society – a great example of unified diversity!

Auckland | Canterbury | Hawke’s Bay | Marlborough | Nelson | Otago | Waikato | Wellington

Upcoming Lecturers

Visit Society pages for more information


John Walsh [NZ]

February / March 2024


Dr. Natalia Murray [UK]

March / April 2024


Peter Medhurst [UK]

May 2024


Sarah Burles [UK]

June/July 2024


Charlie Waite [UK]

July / August 2024


Kathleen Olive [AUS]

August / September 2024


John Francis [UK]

September / October 2024


Jill Trevelyan [NZ]

November 2024