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.


All lecturers are professionals and experts in their field – their presentations are lively, informative and entertaining. 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.

Meeting format

A 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.

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


Helen Rufus-Ward

February  2018

Sarah Cove

March 2018

Simon Rees

April / May 2018

Jacqueline Cockburn

June / July 2018

Julian Richards

July / August 2018

Gavin Plumley

August / September 2018

John Benjamin

October 2018

Chloe Sayer

November 2018