The Arts Society Hawke’s Bay

Founded in 2013, The Arts Society Hawke’s Bay helps open up the world of the arts to everyone and supports the preservation of our New Zealand artistic heritage. We have a friendly and enthusiastic membership of approximately 220 who come together to enjoy an annual programme of eight lectures on a wide spectrum of arts-related topics. We also support the arts through a grant giving programme. Since inaugurating in 2013, The Arts Society Hawke’s Bay has contributed more than $40,000 to local and national arts projects and causes, including many with a youth focus.

Programme Details

There are eight lectures annually covering a diverse range of topics from architecture, design, glass, fashion, porcelain, ceramics, art and art history, sculpture and literature. The success of the Society is built on the high quality of presentations delivered by accredited specialists, all of who are approved in the UK for their proven subject matter expertise and presentation skills. Our lecture venue is the Magdalinos Room in the Havelock North Function Centre, 30 Te Mata Road. The Centre is situated beside the Library in the centre of the village. Light refreshments with a glass of wine or juice are provided after each lecture. Members and guests enjoy this opportunity to mingle with friends, talk with the lecturer and meet other members. In 2020 we are also offering a Special Interest Session with Stella Lyons – see our full 2020 programme below for further details. For news on The Arts Society Hawke’s Bay, please follow us on Facebook and also on Instagram.


Our 2020 Programme was affected by the Covid-19 situation, however we were still able to deliver two live lectures and two broadcast lectures – one to members at hoe and one to our venue. In 2021 we have made the decision not to attempt bringing any lecturers in from overseas due to the ongoing uncertainty of travel and border restrictions. However, we are still offering a full programme of eight lectures, the first and last two being New Zealand based lectures who will be with us in person. The middle four will be UK-based Arts Society lecturers who will deliver their lectures by live broadcast to our venues. We are optimistically anticipating an undisrupted year, but of course our arrangements may be subject to change of the need arises.


Returning members: due to the disruption of our 2020 programme, and thanks to the money that we have in reserve, TASHB committee has agreed that we will roll over all 2020 paid membership subscriptions to cover the full 2021 programme as well. Therefore current members will not need to do anything for the new year except update any changed details if necessary. Please email: to do this.

New members: to apply for membership please download and complete TASHB Membership Form 2021 
Our bank is phasing out cheques, so the preferred payment is by direct credit to BNZ Bank Account: 02 0644 0164828 00 and include your full name and reference as ‘2021 subs’. Either complete and scan the membership form back by email, or post it to the Membership Secretary, TASHB, PO Box 8444, Havelock North 4157.

The annual fee is $150 per person or $280 for two people living at the same address. This covers the cost of the venue and equipment, travel and accommodation costs for the lecturer and refreshments after the lecture. As an incorporated charitable trust we are a non profit organisation. Guests are welcome to attend two lectures a year at a fee of $20 per lecture. Membership is not transferable. The fee for visiting members from other NZ Societies will be $15.  Please notify the Membership Secretary, Pamela Reading-Windle by the Friday prior to the lecture if you are bringing a guest or to notify changes of contact details.   Phone: 027 568 8720 or Email:

Early Bird Special : Take advantage of a discounted subscription rate for the full year of 8 lectures – $130.00 per person for subscriptions fully paid no later than 1 February 2021.

2020 Lecturer Biographies and Topics


Havelock North Lecture Date : Monday 17 February 2020

Guy de la Bédoyère is a historian and archaeologist well-known for his frequent appearances on Channel 4’s Time Team and his numerous books on Roman history and other topics for Batsford, Thames and Hudson, Yale University Press and others. Guy has degrees from the universities of Durham and London and worked for many years in the BBC. He also taught History and Classical Civilization at a girls’ grammar school for nine years. Guy has lectured to societies in Britain, the Gloucester History Festival and also in Australia. He is an elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London.


One of the most extraordinary facts about the Roman Empire is that the first five emperors were members of the same family but not one was the son of his predecessor. In reality the bloodline passed down through the female line. Descent from Augustus’ sister Octavia, his wife Livia’s sons by her previous husband, and Augustus’ daughter Julia, turned out to be the only way Rome’s first and longest-lasting dynasty existed at all. Alongside such famous emperors as Caligula, Claudius and Nero were the women of the Julio-Claudians whose dynastic significant conferred on them exceptional power. Some almost ruled in their own right, challenging the customs and traditions of the male-centric Roman world to the core. This lecture looks at these women through the art and sculpture of the time and later centuries, and also on coins, telling their remarkable stories.


Havelock North Lecture Date : Monday 23 March 2020 / Cancelled due to coronavirus

Marc Allum is a freelance art and antiques journalist, writer and broadcaster based in Wiltshire. He has worked as a specialist on the BBC Antiques Roadshow for 22 series and has appeared on numerous other television and radio programmes. Marc regularly writes for mainstream magazines and is an author, antiques consultant and lecturer. He has contributed to or written 15 books including the 40th anniversary Antiques Roadshow – Forty Years of Great Finds, which he co-authored with colleague Paul Atterbury. He also runs a fine art valuation and consultancy service.


An amusing and anecdotal collection of stories and personal insight from Marc’s 30 years in the world of art and auctions. From million pound pots to a lock of Nelson’s hair, this is a riveting romp through the life of a working auctioneer.


Havelock North Lecture Date : Monday 4 May 2020 / Cancelled due to coronavirus

Dr John Stevens is a Research Associate at SOAS, University of London, and a member of academic staff at the SOAS South Asia Institute.  His PhD in History is from University College London. He teaches British Imperial history, Indian history and Bengali language, and is a regular visitor to India and Bangladesh. He publishes widely in the fields of British and Indian history. His biography of the Indian guru Keshab Chandra Sen – Keshab: Bengal’s Forgotten Prophet – was published by Hurst and Oxford University Press in 2018. He appears regularly in the Indian media and was recently a guest on BBC Radio Four’s In Our Time, discussing the poet and artist Rabindranath Tagore.


Before the British arrived in India, the Indian subcontinent was ruled by the Mughal Emperors. The stunning buildings and gardens they constructed from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century have left an indelible stamp on India’s architectural and cultural landscape. Mughal architecture fused elements from Islamic, Persian, Turkish and Indian architectural traditions, and gave rise to some of the most beautiful and iconic buildings in the world. From the Jama Masjid in Delhi, to the Taj Mahal in Agra, to the Shalimar Gardens in Lahore, this lecture will take you on a tour of some of India’s greatest buildings, and provide insight into the historical contexts and colourful personalities involved in their construction.


Havelock North Lecture Date : Monday 8 June 2020 / Cancelled due to coronavirus

Lucrezia Walker Is a regular lecturer at the National Gallery both in front of the paintings and in the lecture theatre. For the Tate Gallery’s Development Department she speaks to their corporate sponsors in their offices and at their private receptions in both Tates. She teaches US undergraduates on their Study Abroad semesters in London. She was Lay Canon for the Visual Arts at St Paul’s Cathedral 2010-2014.


Living and working in Montmartre and Montparnasse in turn of the century Paris, Modigliani embodies the quintessential image of the bohemian artist: handsome, impoverished, living hard, engrossed in his own distinctive mode of expression, dying young only to be celebrated after his short life ended.


Havelock North Lecture Date : Monday 27 July 2020 / Cancelled due to coronavirus

Shauna Isaac has been active in World War II art restitution for several years and has worked with families and government organisations to recover Nazi looted art. She set up the Central Registry on Looted Cultural Property and served as a member of the Working Group for the Holocaust Era Assets Conference in Prague. Shauna studied at the Courtauld Institute of Art in the UK and Smith College in the USA. She is a regular lecturer at the Sotheby’s Institute of Art. Her publications include articles for The Art Newspaper, The Times Literary Supplement and Art Quarterly. She is a contributor to the book Insiders/Outsiders: Refuges from Nazi Europe and their contribution to British Visual Culture.


We have all heard about audacious art heists that are more like blockbuster movies than run-of-the-mill burglaries. In this lecture, we are going to look at famous art thefts, discuss what motivates art thieves as well as examine what aspects the thefts have in common. We will also look at where the burglars made mistakes, which enabled investigators to swoop in and recover stolen masterpieces. In many cases, the police sting operations were just as daring as the thefts.


Havelock North Special Interest Session : Monday 31 August 2020 – 9.00am-12.00pm ($30pp)

/ SPECIAL INTEREST SESSION Cancelled due to coronavirus

Havelock North Evening Lecture Date : Monday 31 August 2020 at 7pm 


Stella Lyons gained her BA in the History of Art with a 1st class in her dissertation from the University of Bristol, and her MA in History of Art at the University of Warwick. She spent a year studying Renaissance art in Italy at the British Institute of Florence, and three months studying Venetian art in Venice. In addition, she attended drawing classes at the prestigious Charles H. Cecil studios in Florence. In 2017, Stella was selected by The Arts Society to lecture at the launch of ‘Drawing Room Discussions’ in association with ROSL ARTS, hosted by Guardian arts correspondent Maev Kennedy. Stella runs her own art history courses and she is also a regular lecturer in the UK and Europe for The Arts Society, National Trust, Contemporary Arts Society Wales (CASW), Classical Education Forum, WEA, and several travel companies. Stella also works as an artist’s model for the internationally renowned figurative artist, Harry Holland.


Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognises before it can speak – John Berger, Ways of Seeing. A recent survey found that an average viewer looks at a painting in a museum for just 2 seconds. Why are gallery goers spending so little time interacting with art? Paintings are often designed to be ‘read’, they contain hidden messages, secrets and symbols. These aren’t always obvious upon first glance. This course will help to arm viewers with the necessary skills to approach a painting in a gallery or museum, examine it in detail, and delve beneath the surface of the work. During the course we will ask pertinent questions relating to how we view paintings: What  makes a ‘masterpiece’? How much should we let an artist’s life story affect how we view their work? How do artists create drama and beauty in their works? How important is it to understand symbols when looking at a painting? We will draw upon a wide variety of artistic periods and movements, looking at iconic works from the Italian Renaissance, British 18th Century, French 19th Century, the Pre-Raphaelites and from the American 20th Century.


It’s the most intimate space there is. The room in which we lay bare our souls. It’s where we share our deepest secrets, and where we hide them. For this reason, the bedroom has a long tradition in art history. This talk explores the diverse ways in which artists have approached the subject looking at works from the medieval period, through the Renaissance and right up until the present day. Do you feel strongly about Tracey Emin’s infamous bed? This talk is for you!


Havelock North Lecture Date : Monday 5 October 2020 / BROADCAST FROM THE UK due to coronavirus

Mary Rose Rivett-Carnac gained a 1st class honours degree in History of Art & English Literature, and an MA (Distinction) in Victorian Media & Culture from Royal Holloway, University of London. She has written several arts-related articles and is a guide at Dorich House Museum, studio-home of the Russian sculptor Dora Gordine, and at Turner’s House in Twickenham. Since 2007 Mary Rose has worked part-time for the acclaimed arts project, Art UK.


In the 19th century enterprising artists travelled from Britain to New Zealand to forge new lives, teaching art and painting. Britain provided a large and ready market for their works. Remarkable paintings of New Zealand’s landscapes, culture and people, and by artists including Frances Hodgkins, Charles Goldie, John Drawbridge, Ralph Hotere and many others are held in UK public collections. Remarkably, around 80% of the paintings are held in store but have been uncovered in a unique project called Art UK (, into which the lecture offers a fascinating insight.


Havelock North Lecture Date : Monday 9 November 2020

David Maskill studied at the University of Canterbury (MA) and for a PhD at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. From 1993-2019, he was senior lecturer in Art History at Victoria University of Wellington where he taught courses on European art from the medieval period to the French Revolution. He has participated in both the Attingham Summer School (2010) and the Attingham Royal Collection Studies course (2017) for the study of historical country houses and their collections.


Two decades before the Revolution of 1789, another revolution took place in French garden design. This earlier revolution was effected by a small group of enlightened aristocrats who were all devotees of the philosophies of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. One in particular, the marquis de Girardin, created a new garden at his château of Ermenonville and invited Rousseau to come and live there. The philosopher died and was buried there. His tomb became a site of pilgrimage for many. No less a personage than Queen Marie-Antoinette came to pay her respects to the great man.

Supporting the Arts

The Arts Society provides grants and donations to support and promote the arts in Hawke’s Bay with a focus on youth-related organisations and initiatives. In 2019 we continued our support of the Project Prima Volta Trust in their work with teenagers from diverse backgrounds as well as MTG Hawke’s Bay and their arts education programme. Previous recipients of support from The Arts Society HB have included Hastings City Art Gallery, Massey University and the Frances Hodgkin’s Project. Please contact the Chair of The Arts Society HB for further information about our charitable grants process and criteria for giving.

Contact The Arts Society HB


Chair :  Meg Bremner /
Membership :  Jan Cunningham /
Treasurer : Alison Ritchie
Committee  :  Jeanette Kelly, Carol Nelson, Diane Morris, Lyn Mouat, , Craig Kilgour, Pamela Reading Windle, Ashley Macpherson

Keep in touch with news from The Arts Society on Facebook  and Instagram