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. We have a friendly and enthusiastic membership 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

We gather for 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, many of whom are approved in the UK for their proven subject matter expertise and presentation skills.

Lectures are held on a Monday evening at 7.00pm. 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. For news on The Arts Society Hawke’s Bay, please follow us on Facebook and also on Instagram.

With the lecturers who deliver by live broadcast, there are opportunities to view additional topics from home. Links will be sent by email.


We have continued to be challenged by Covid-19 and the border situation, however in 2022 we were able to deliver a full programme of eight Society lectures to members, either gathered at the venue or online at home. Additional online topics were also offered for home viewing.

In 2023, we return more to normal with a mix of accredited The Arts Society lecturers from the UK, and one New Zealand and one Australian based lecturer – most will be with us in person with just a couple by live broadcast. We hope that things will run smoothly but will be ready to adapt our programme arrangements if necessary. We will continue to deliver lectures directly to members at home if any gathering restrictions should require it.

Download a copy of our 2023 Programme here


Returning members:  Renewing members can simply pay their subscription as outlined below. You can email us to confirm or to update any changed details if necessary:

New members: to apply for membership please download and complete 2023 TASHB Membership Form

Payment should be made by direct credit to BNZ Bank Account: 02 0644 0164828 00
Please include your full name and reference as ‘2023 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.

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 7 February 2023.

After 7 February 2023, the annual fee is $160 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 $25 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:

Hawke’s Bay – 2023 Lecturer Biographies and Topics

Geoffrey Edwards

Hawke’s Bay Lecture Date : Monday 20 February 2023 – 7.00pm

Geoffrey Edwards was Director of the Geelong Art Gallery, one of Australia’s oldest and largest regional galleries.   Prior to this appointment, he held Senior Curatorial positions at the National Gallery of Victoria where he was in charge of the collections of International and Australian sculpture and Melbourne’s celebrated holdings of ancient, antique and modern glass. His professional affiliations, here and abroad, are extensive and include, amongst others, the Visual Arts Board of the Australia Council, Visions Australia, the International Councils of Museums [ICOM], Craft Australia, Museums Australia [Victoria], the Winston Churchill Trust [he is a former Churchill Fellow], the George Baldessin Trust and the National Trust of Australia [Victoria]. He is the author of various monographs, numerous exhibition catalogues and contributes to journals in Australia, Japan, Britain and the US.


In this illustrated lecture, Streams of Fire and tongues of Flame, the ancient and remarkable history of glass as an art form is traced with reference to works in major public collections including the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne. The lecture also refers to glass-related imagery and symbolism in the visual arts, film and literature – a tradition that ranges in time and type from biblical allusion and Chaucerian dream visions of glass temples through to the novels of Daphne du Maurier, the films of Orson Wells, the poetry of Les Murray and recent science fiction.

Marc Allum

Hawke’s Bay Lecture Date : Monday 20 March 2023 – 7.00pm

Marc Allum is a freelance art and antiques journalist, writer and broadcaster based in Wiltshire. He is shortly to begin his 23rd year as a specialist on the BBC Antiques Roadshow and has appeared on numerous television and radio programmes. Marc regularly writes for mainstream magazines and is an author, antiques consultant and lecturer. He also runs a fine art valuation and consultancy service. Marc has his own unique style with interests ranging from pre-history to modern design and is a self-confessed collectaholic. He has a passion and reputation for divining the unusual through ‘a desire to connect with history through the interpretation and pursuit of objects and their origins’. Marc has lectured widely for many years to a number of different organisations in both the public and charity sector, including travel companies, The National Trust, The WI and many literary festivals including Cheltenham, Bath, Wells and Petworth. Marc is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.


Marc’s personal interests extend into many areas and his reputation for divining the unusual is well known. His passion for collecting ‘fakes’ forms a wonderful insight into the history of forgeries and reproductions and encompasses examples from many famous cases, including paintings, antiquities and silver, whilst also exploring the all-important subject of provenance.

Karin Fernald

Hawke’s Bay Lecture Date : Monday 1 May 2023 – broadcast live from the UK – 7.00pm

Karin is known for her entertaining lectures on writers and diarists connected with the arts from the mid-18th to 19th century and moving forward in time with Virginia Woolf. Extensive research into diaries and letters bring lectures to vivid life. Karin illustrates them with slides of contemporary pictures and portraits from varied sources.


In his heyday, the animal artist Edwin Landseer was hugely celebrated and loved for his dogs and Highland stags; later, for his lions in Trafalgar Square. He was a child prodigy; aged 5 years old he made a detailed study of a foxhound which astounded everybody; later he became known for his vivid and varied textures of animal skin, hair and fur, which he achieved with special brushes, keeping their design a secret. He was a party man, with party tricks; with his left hand he could draw a horse’s head and with his right a stag’s head complete with horns – at the same time!
Most widely appreciated for his dogs, he could paint comic dogs, tragic dogs and in-between dogs, and he became known – with some justification – as the Shakespeare of Dogs.
He was socially much in demand with the aristocracy and with Royalty, teaching the Queen and Prince to etch. But after a while it all gets too exhausting; the celebrated artist feels happier up in the Highlands of Scotland. He ends up stressed, drunk and mad, comparing himself to one of his own hunted stags. Nobody can get him to behave except his neighbour Mrs Pritchard, an elderly widow said to look like “ a very small monkey, with bright blinking eyes and a merry mouth.”
When Sir Edwin died they named a pub after him; they buried him in St Paul’s Cathedral, and someone put black wreaths around the necks of those lions in Trafalgar Square.

Note: With her online lecture circuit, Karin will be delivering eight unique lectures to all the NZ Societies so there is an opportunity to view additional topics from home. Details and links will be sent in advance.

Leslie Primo

Hawke’s Bay Lecture Date : Monday 12 June 2023 – 7.00pm

Leslie Primo holds a BA in Art History and an MA in Renaissance Studies from Birkbeck College, University of London. Was Visiting Lecturer in Art History at the University of Reading in 2005 and 2007, gave lectures and guided tours, plus special talks, at both the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery for 18 years. Currently he lectures at the City Literary Institute, Imperial College, London, and has presented a series of talks at the National Maritime Museum and the Courtauld Institute. 


In the late 18th century, Britain led the way in the major industry of slavery, which although it did not invent, it did industrialise to an extent never seen before in human history. However, the idea that the enslavement of human beings and the dehumanising to the status of animals was in fact wrong was just beginning to take hold of the consciences of some people in England at this time.
This lecture will trace the Beginnings of Abolition through the eyes of Dido Elizabeth Belle a black woman living in Kenwood House in the late 18th century, and the only known portrait of her painted by the German, but London based Neo-classical painter Johann Zoffany (1733-1810). What made her so different from other blacks living in London at this time, how did Dido come to live at such a grand house at the height of slavery in Britain, what exactly was her status and how was she treated?
In the light of these fundamental questions, this lecture will take us back in time on a journey that will not only look at the image of Dido, but will also look at a variety of images by artists such as Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792) and Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851). These artists and their paintings will be seen in the context of abolition, the changing social attitudes towards the industry of slavery, and the first stirrings of the Anti-Slavery movement in Britain.

Andrew Prince

Hawke’s Bay Lecture Date : Monday 24 July 2023 – broadcast live from the UK – 7.00pm

Andrew grew up with a passion for jewellery and was always determined that he would forge a career in jewellery design. At sixteen he started work in London’s Bond Street with the Antiques Roadshow expert Ian Harris. From there he worked with renowned contemporary jeweller Elizabeth Gage, working in design and production. Andrew has a love of fine ’costume jewellery’ and antique pieces, realising the beauty of elegant design and fine craftsmanship. Andrew’s work started to become well-known and private commissions came from celebrities including Shirley Bassey and the late Michael Jackson. In 2002 the V&A commissioned a collection of jewels to accompany the ‘Tiaras, Past & Present’ exhibition – and this exposure led to Andrew’s jewellery appearing in films. In 2005 he made pieces for ‘Mrs Henderson Presents’ starring Judy Dench: in 2009 for ‘The Young Victoria’ starring Emily Blunt and Miranda Richardson; in 2012 for the third series of Downton Abbey for characters played by Maggie Smith, Elizabeth McGovern and Michelle Dockery.


In this talk Andrew shows that following the turbulent political times between 1870 and 1929, which culminated in the final collapse of the Russian and European Monarchies, countless astonishing art and jewel collections were dispersed, looted or sold. Fortunately, this coincided with the growing wealth and power of America and its industrial millionaires, who were intent on creating sumptuous palaces of their own and filling them with the greatest paintings and furniture, together with weighing down their wives and daughters with the finest of recently purchased royal jewels.
In this talk, Andrew explains how these fabulously wealthy heiresses then married into the British aristocracy, bringing many of these treasures with them. He shows with the decline of aristocratic power and the British Empire, how these legendary jewels have again been parted with and can now to be seen by everyone, in the world’s great museums.

Note: With his online lecture circuit, Andrew will be delivering six unique lectures to all the NZ Societies so there is an opportunity to view additional topics from home. Details and links will be sent in advance.

Paul Roberts

Hawke’s Bay Lecture Date : Monday 28 August 2023 – 7.00pm

Dr Paul Roberts is Head of the Department of Antiquities at the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, Oxford University.  Paul has been a lecturer with The Arts Society for two decades, has travelled extensively to societies across the country, and has also lectured on numerous cruises. He studied Classics at the University of Cambridge, and Classical Archaeology at Sheffield and Oxford.  He then lived in Italy for several years, teaching, researching (and eating!). He has travelled the Roman Empire from Britain to Syria and has excavated in Britain, Greece, Libya, Turkey and in particular Italy. He is currently excavating a Roman Villa in the Molise region of Central Italy. His research focuses on the daily life of ordinary people in the Greek and Roman worlds, and he has written books and articles on Greek and Roman daily life, Pompeii and Herculaneum, Sicily, Roman Emperors, mummy portraits, and Greek and Roman ceramics and glass. He is now writing a walking guide to ancient Rome.   From 1994 to 2015 he was Senior Roman Curator in the Greek and Roman Department at the British Museum, where he curated the exhibition Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum (2013). At the Ashmolean from 2015, he co-curated Storms, War and Shipwrecks: Sicily and the Sea (2016) telling the history of Sicily through shipwreck finds. Most recently (2019/20) at the Ashmolean he curated Last Supper in Pompeii, a tribute to the Roman love affair with food and wine.


In this talk we look at one of the most beautiful cities of the ancient world, the fabled city of Palmyra, in the Syrian desert. Palmyra arose on a trade route that brought silk, spices and other luxuries across the desert from the east. Her wealth and power are displayed in gorgeous monuments, while her people, wealthy, sophisticated and cosmopolitan, are preserved in their hauntingly beautiful stone funeral portraits.
Palmyra became so powerful during the Roman empire that the warrior queen Zenobia challenged Rome itself. We’ll see Palmyra’s meteoric rise and its dramatic fall, its rediscovery by English lords and its desecration by Isis. But there is hope that beautiful Palmyra will rise again…

Jane Malthus

Hawke’s Bay Lecture Date : Monday 2 October 2023 – 7.00pm

Dr Jane Malthus is a former Clothing and Textile Sciences and Design academic, and a dress historian and curator. Historical, social and cultural intersections and implications of dress and textiles worn and used by nineteenth and twentieth century New Zealanders are at the heart of her research practice.  She has published papers and chapters on topics including settler dress, dress reform, fur, lace, exhibition design, and co-curation, and is Honorary Curator of the Dress Collection at Otago Museum. A member of the Eden Hore Collection steering group and one of its patrons, she has been involved with that collection since the 1980s. She is currently a member of the Board of iD Dunedin Fashion.


As a dress historian and honorary curator, Jane curates collections (Otago Museum, and the Eden Hore Collection), exhibitions (in Dunedin, Shanghai, and Auckland for example), and studies, writes and talks about dress and textile topics. This lecture offers stories about her research into collection items and for exhibitions, with a wealth of images of nineteenth – twenty-first century fashion.

Gillian Hovell

Hawke’s Bay Lecture Date : Monday 6 November 2023 – 7.00pm

Gillian Hovell gained a BA (Hons) in Latin and Ancient History, Exeter University, and then branched out into archaeology. She is an ex-BBC, lecturer for the British Museum and York University, and an award-winning writer and author who specialises in relating the ancient world to our modern lives, in person, in the field, on line and in the media (most recently on Radio 4). Publications include Visiting the Past: A guide to finding and understanding Britain’s Archaeology and Roman Britain. Forthcoming are Latin Yesterday, Today and For Ever, and A Mediterranean Tour: Not just a Load of Old Stones. Gillian teaches adult education courses in Latin, archaeology and ancient history and has publicly lectured widely and passionately, on cruises and tours and for museums such as the British Museum & Ashmolean, national press, universities, literary festivals, and diverse societies including Classical Associations, the U3A and the National Trust.


A tour of the Mediterranean is a visit into the past; ancient sites are littered with ruined architecture, and museums are full of works of art testifying to once great civilisations. Explore who those civilisations were and how they fit together into a ‘big picture’. Find out how you can you identify whose art or architecture are whose, and why their self-expression is so distinctive. Learn what to expect from cultures’ sites and how to find the special details that thrill archaeologists. You’ll never look at ancient sites in the same way again …

The Arts Society Hawke’s Bay supports these local arts-related organisations:

Creative Napier
Toitoi Hawke’s Bay Arts & Events Centre
MTG Hawke’s Bay
Keirunga Creative Arts

Contact The Arts Society HB


Chair :  Meg Bremner /
Membership :  Pamela Reading-Windle  /
Treasurer : Alison Ritchie
Committee  :  Jeanette Kelly, Jan Cunningham, Ashley Macpherson, Charlotte Jackman, Jenny Corban, Hugh McBain

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