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 lecturers 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 or nine lectures, delivered by subject matter experts. The first Society was formed in 2001 in Christchurch and there are now over 1,400 members nationally.

2022 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.

2022 we bring another full programme of eight lectures. However, due to the ongoing uncertainty of international travel,  we will have a mix of NZ and UK-based lecturers – some in person and some via live broadcast.  We hope to be able to gather in our venues for all lectures, but will have the option to deliver online lectures to members at home if required.

We are optimistically anticipating an undisrupted year, but of course our arrangements may be subject to change of 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, followed by Q&A with the lecturer. The lecture is hosted by the local society Chair and accessed online from home via a Zoom link distributed to members. Members from other Societies are also able to access the online lectures.

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


Ian Swankie [UK]

February / March 2022


Caroline Shenton [UK]

March / April 2022


Stephen Taylor [UK]

May  2022


Gregory O'Brien [NZ]

June 2022
(re-scheduled from Feb/Mar)

Following Greg’s lecture, he has kindly made available a written version, including just over half of the images used in the lecture presentation. For anyone who missed the lecture, or would like to go back and refresh themselves on all the wonderful information Greg imparted – download the lecture here.


Andrew Hopkins [UK]

July / August 2022


Barry Venning [UK]

August/September 2022


John Stevens [UK]

October 2022


Mary Kisler [NZ]

November 2022