Marlborough Decorative & Fine Arts Society (MaDFAS)
Welcome to MADFAS. Each lecture is delivered by our international and New Zealand experts and offers a wide range of fine arts including, art history, sculpture, design, porcelain, craft, archaeology and ceramics. Lectures are lively, interesting and beautifully illustrated.
Our lectures start at 6.15pm in the Marlborough Wine Research Centre, 85 Budge Street Blenheim. Lectures are an hour long and finish with a glass of wine and a sandwich and an opportunity to meet the lecturer.
OUR 2022 PROGRAMME
We are still challenged by the ongoing Covid-19 situation, however in 2021 we were able to deliver a full programme of eight lectures to members, either gathered at the venue or online at home.
For the first half of 2022 we do not expect to be bringing any lecturers into New Zealand from overseas although remain optimistic that this may change by the end of the year. However, we are still offering a full programme of eight lectures, and hope that we will be able to gather for them all at our venue. There will continue to be a mix of accredited The Arts Society lecturers from the UK (delivered by live broadcast) and a couple of New Zealand and Australian based lecturers – ideally with us in person. 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 gathering restrictions require it.
New members: The annual subscription is $100 per person, or $150 for a couple. To join Marlborough DFAS, please complete the
MaDFAS 2022 Membership Application Form and mail with your internet payment to the Membership Secretary, PO Box 296, Picton, 7250.
Membership is limited and if the Society is over-subscribed there will be a waiting list.
Membership is not transferable.
We have limited door sales available at $30.00 per lecture. Members wishing to bring guests are given priority for spare seats, provided you contact us by the Monday preceding the meeting date. After that date supporters and casuals will be accepted on a ‘first request’ basis.
The cost for a casual attendee is $30 and the fee for visiting DFAS members is $20.00.
For more information or to notify changes of contact details please email
MARLBOROUGH – 2022 LECTURER BIOGRAPHIES AND TOPICS
MARLBOROUGH Lecture Date : Thursday 3 March 2022 – Broadcast Live from the UK
direct to members at home – 6.15pm
A Londoner with a passion for art and architecture, Ian is an official guide at Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Guildhall Art Gallery and St Paul’s Cathedral, and gives tours around each venue. He is also a qualified and active freelance London guide and leads regular tours for various corporations and organisations. Since 2012 he has led a popular weekly independent art lecture group in his home-town of Richmond in West London. He is a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Art Scholars, one of the City livery companies.
THE MEDIEVAL GUILDHALL: LONDON’S NERVE CENTRE FOR 2000 YEARS
In the centre of the City of London stands its ancient headquarters, the medieval Guildhall, one of the capital’s hidden gems. The present building dates from 1411 and is still in use today. The whole building stands on the site of London’s Roman amphitheatre the remains of which are still visible today. This lecture describes the Guildhall exterior and interior. We look at some of the key monuments in the building and then study some of the many paintings depicting the Guildhall’s rich history contained in the adjacent Guildhall Art Gallery. We finish by going 18 feet below street level to the Roman amphitheatre. See also details of the Romans and Romantics lecture for a more in-depth look at the art gallery.
Marlborough Lecture Date : Thursday 31 March 2022 – Broadcast Live from the UK
direct to members at home – revised time: 7.30pm
Dr. Caroline Shenton is an archivist and historian. She was formerly Director of the Parliamentary Archives in London, and before that was a senior archivist at the National Archives. Her book The Day Parliament Burned Down won the Political Book of the Year Award in 2013 and Mary Beard called it ‘microhistory at its absolute best’. Its acclaimed sequel, Mr Barry’s War, about the rebuilding of the Palace of Westminster, was a Book of the Year in 2016 for The Daily Telegraph and BBC History Magazine, and was described by Lucy Worsley as “a real jewel, finely wrought and beautiful”. Caroline was Political Writer in Residence at Gladstone’s Library in 2017, has appeared at the Cheltenham, Hay and Henley literary festivals and on BBC radio and TV. Caroline’s third book, National Treasures, will tell the extraordinary and sometimes hilarious stories behind the saving of London’s art and museum collections in World War Two.
THE STORY OF WESTMINSTER HALL: 900 YEARS OF POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE
The great Anglo-Norman feasting hall created by William the Conqueror’s son, William Rufus, has stood at the heart of the Palace of Westminster for over 900 years. It has played host to royal magnificence, coronation feasts, chivalric games, law courts, government departments, bookstalls, state trials, and the lyings-in-state of Kings, Queens and Prime Ministers. Its famous hammerbeam roof has survived the Reformation, Cromwell, fire, war, terrorism, the Blitz and death watch beetle, and remains one of the greatest examples of medieval carpentry in the world. Discover the story of this extraordinary space – for centuries the largest secular building anywhere – through gorgeous images from Parliamentary Art Collection and insights from the former Director of the Parliamentary Archives.
Marlborough Lecture Date : Thursday 12 May 2022 – broadcast live from the UK
direct to members at home – revised time: 7.30pm
Stephen Taylor is an artist and art historian who studied John Constable as a post graduate at Essex and Yale, taught art at Felsted School and went on to became Head of Painting at The Open College of the Arts and course director for the Inchbald School of Design. In 2000, Stephen turned to landscape painting with early shows at King’s College Cambridge, Meisel’s New York and Vertigo in London. Now has pictures in private collections world-wide and his book Oak: One tree, three years, fifty paintings was featured in The Guardian, The New Statesman and on Oprah Winfrey’s website.
MORRIS TO IKEA: MODERNITY AND TRADITION AT HOME
20th Century Interiors. Before the First World War, the early homes of Frank Lloyd Wright and the designs of The Vienna Secession were exceptional, creative, attempts to square arts and crafts ideals with the industrial world. A desire for a fresh start after the war appeared in all forms of culture. Art Deco offered a way of decorating modern architecture, and domestic interiors throughout society began to reflect ‘The Modern’. We follow this story in America and Europe, through post-war Scandinavian design and the back story of Ikea to the present day. Designers and interiors include Adolf Loos; Le Corbusier’s Villa Savoye; Alvar Aalto ‘s Villa Mariea; Jon Wealleans and Mr Freedom; Colefax and Fowler homes; David Hicks; Charles Jencks and Philippe Starck.
Marlborough Lecture Date : Thursday 23 June 2022 – 6.15pm
Poet, essayist, editor and artist Gregory O’Brien is a busy and energetic presence in both arts and literature within New Zealand. With one foot in the literary world and the other in the visual art realm, Gregory has been on the cultural scene for nearly three decades. Gregory trained as a journalist in Auckland and worked as a newspaper reporter in Northland before returning to study art history and English at Auckland University. Between 1997 and 2009 he was curator at the City Gallery, Wellington, and was awarded the Arts Foundation Laureate in 2012 and the MNZM in 2013. Greg has illustrated his own poetry books and has written three publications introducing art to young people. His artworks can be found on book covers worldwide and his poems and drawings were the basis for a winter fashion collection by Auckland designer Doris de Pont in 2006. He has produced books on artists including Ralph Hotere, Graham Percy and Pat Hanly and is currently working on a monograph of Don Binney.
Note: this lecture was originally scheduled for March.
FROM AN ISLAND IN THE ANTIPODES: RECENT ART OF AOTEAROA
Expanding on the artistic territories covered in his recent book Always song in the water (AUP 2019) and his forthcoming monograph on Don Binney, art writer/curator/poet Gregory O’Brien will explore aspects of the relationship between place, visual art and the written word in the recent art of Aotearoa/New Zealand art. He will discuss the many ways that place–in particular the provincial landscape–has been a radicalising rather than a conservative force in this country’s imaginative life. Spanning the work of a number of artists O’Brien has written about in the past–among them Ralph Hotere, Colin McCahon, Robin White, John Pule and Elizabeth Thomson–he will explore the imaginative possibilities of the landscape genre as well as signalling an evolving awareness of Oceanic realities that both challenges and enhances our understanding of these islands on which we live.
Marlborough Lecture Date : Thursday 4 August 2022 – broadcast live from the UK – 6.15pm
Andrew Hopkins is a previous Assistant Director of the British School at Rome from 1998 to 2002 and since 2004, Associate Professor at the University of L’Aquila. Part of his PhD (Courtauld Institute 1995) on Venetian architecture was awarded the Essay Medal of 1996 by the Society of Architectural Historians (GB). A Fellow at Harvard University’s Villa I Tatti in Florence in 2003-2004, and in 2009 was the Paul Mellon Senior Visiting Fellow, Center for Advanced Studies in the Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. Amongst his many publications are, with Arnold Witte, Alois Riegl, The Origins of Baroque Art in Rome (2010), and Baldassare Longhena and the Venetian Baroque (2012).
THE GUGGENHEIMS: NEW YORK, VENICE AND BILBAO
The Guggenheim family managed to amass extraordinary art collections, and design or acquire astounding buildings to display their art, their name even becoming a brand. This talk, based on my experience working at the Guggenheim in Venice, examines the celebrated museums in New York, Venice and Bilbao, as well as the stunning works they display.
Marlborough Lecture Date : Thursday 8 September 2022 – 6.15pm
Barry Venning is an historian of British art with a particular interest in the work of JMW Turner, on whom he has published widely, including the volume on Turner in Phaidon’s Art & Ideas series, and several catalogue essays for exhibitions in the UK, Germany, Italy and Poland. He was the BBC’s script consultant on Turner’s Fighting Temeraire and has recently taken part (2013) in a BBC documentary called The Genius of Turner: Painting the Industrial Revolution.
Barry has also published a study of John Constable’s paintings. His interests and his teaching extend from medieval architecture to contemporary British art. He is currently Associate Lecturer with the Open University and lecturing on a freelance basis for The Arts Society, Christie’s Education and other organisations.
A CHILD OF SIX COULD DO IT! CARTOONS ABOUT MODERN ART
Modern art is often considered difficult, but it is much less so when seen through the eyes of some of the greatest cartoonists of the last one hundred and fifty years, who provide a funny and sceptical but instructive guide to modern art from Courbet in the later C19 to contemporary British art. A chance to enjoy the insights and cartoons of (among others) Daumier, Fougasse Larry, Thelwell, Matt, Giles and the wise guys at the New Yorker magazine. Collectively, they provide an absorbing, illuminating and (above all) hilarious sidelong view of 150 years of modern art.
Marlborough Lecture Date : Thursday 13 October 2022 – BROADCAST LIVE FROM THE UK – 6.15pm
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.
THE ARCHITECTURE OF MUGHAL INDIA: PALACES, MOSQUES, GARDENS AND MAUSOLEUMS
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.
Marlborough Lecture Date : Thursday 17 November 2022 – 6.15pm
Mary Kisler is an author, art historian and Radio New Zealand art commentator, having recently retired as Senior Curator, Mackelvie Collection, International Art at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. Mary earned her master’s degree in art history and Italian at the University of Auckland in 1994. She has been a curator at the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki since 1998, caring for a collection that spans from c.1150 to 1950, a large part of which is European art but which also includes a small collection of Indian miniatures and Japanese ukiyo-e prints. In 2010 Godwit published her book Angels & Aristocrats: Early European Art in New Zealand Public Galleries. In 2019 the Auckland Art Gallery published her Hodgkins catalogue raisonnée to accompany a major Hodgkins exhibition.
WISTFUL WOMEN, WINE AND WOMBATS – THE ART AND LIVES OF LONDON’S PRE-RAPHAELITE PAINTERS
This lecture examines the dialectic between Victorian morals and social constraints, not least for women, and how these ideas played out within the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the women they loved.
MaDFAS in the Community
MaDFAS is a registered charity and supports a range of local arts-related projects. In 2015 we were delighted to make a donation to the Marlborough Museum for the restoration of five very early vessels by well-known potter Elizabeth Lissaman. Along with all the other DFAS New Zealand Societies, we also contributed to the Frances Hodgkin’s project. In 2016, MaDAS funded the framing of works by AA Deans and Graham Percy for the Millenium Public Art Gallery so that they could be displayed as part of their new Collection exhibition. In 2017 we have funded a $500 First Prize in the Annual Members’ Exhibition of the Marlborough Art Society. Our MaDFAS Chair was one of the three judges, who selected ‘Beyond Measure’ by Danielle Yealands as a worthy winner.