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 2023 PROGRAMME
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.
New members: The annual subscription is $120.00 per person, or $220.00 for a couple. To join Marlborough DFAS, please complete the
MaDFAS 2023 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 $25.00 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 $25.00 and the fee for visiting DFAS members is $20.00.
For more information or to notify changes of contact details please email
MARLBOROUGH – 2023 LECTURER BIOGRAPHIES AND TOPICS
Marlborough Lecture Date : Thursday 2 March February 2023 – 6.15pm
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.
STREAMS OF FIRE AND TONGUES OF FLAME – A SHORT HISTORY OF THE ART OF GLASS
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.
Marlborough Lecture Date : Thursday 30 March 2023 – 6.15pm
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.
THE ANTIQUES ROADSHOW – 40 YEARS OF GREAT FINDS
Marc Allum has been a ‘miscellaneous’ specialist on the BBC’s flagship Antiques Roadshow for 21 years. His personal insight and experience of the show and his knowledge of the world of art and antiques, makes him well-placed to talk about the many great discoveries over the past four decades. Together with his ‘anniversary’ book (Co-authored by Paul Atterbury) Marc explains the many facets of working with great objects, wonderful stories and excited owners. A must for all fans of Antiques Roadshow.
Marlborough Lecture Date : Thursday 11 May 2023 – broadcast live from the UK – 6.15pm
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.
THE TREES WAVE, THE CLOUDS PASS: VIRGINIA WOOLF (1882 – 1941) ON ART, LIFE, LONDON AND BUYING SUSPENDERS
Virginia Woolf never painted or drew. But her writing was much influenced by artists of her day, in particular her beloved sister, Vanessa Bell. In her novel To The Lighthouse Woolf vividly describes the thoughts and feelings of a young artist as she works. And she enjoyed walking in London. According to her heroine Mrs Dalloway “Really it’s better than walking in the country!”
With paintings by Vanessa Bell, Walter Sickert, Spencer Gore, Robert Bevan, Malcolm Drummond and other members of the Camden Group of artists.
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.
Marlborough Lecture Date : Thursday 22 June 2023 – 6.15pm
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.
DIDO ELIZABETH LINDSAY BELLE: BRITISH PAINTING AND THE BEGINNINGS OF ABOLITION
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.
Marlborough Lecture Date : Thursday 3 August 2023 – broadcast live from the UK – 6.15pm
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.
THE GLAMOUR YEARS: JEWELLERY AND FASHION FROM 1929 TO 1959
In this talk which follows on from ‘Downton to Gatsby’, Andrew shows how the Great Depression and the Second World war had such an extraordinary impact on fashion and jewellery design with the rise of cinema and Hollywood. From the likes of Marlene Dietrich to Grace Kelly, he guides you through the various screen goddesses, how they were portrayed and what they gave to such dazzling effect.
Andrew also shows that with the development of advertising, labour saving devices and leisure time, people had more opportunities to enjoy themselves and spend money on the finer things in life, as well as how the political events of the time influenced design and what was worn. He also shows how the Belle Epoque and Art Deco styles did not end at the outbreak of the Second World War, but combined, to flower again with Christian Dior’s ‘New Look’.
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.
Marlborough Lecture Date : Thursday 7 September 2023 – 6.15pm
Leigh has been employed in the art industry as a valuer and specialist since 2013, and has worked at distinguished auction houses including Menzies, Mossgreen and Sotheby’s. In 2018, he became the Director of Belle Epoque Fine Art & Antiques, his mother’s business, known for supplying art and furniture to the Australian Film & Television industry, particularly Baz Luhrmann’s films. He is an accredited valuer of the Auctioneers & Valuers Association of Australia. Since 2019, Leigh has exhibited art and more recently has provided valuations at The Sydney Fair at Royal Randwick and The Melbourne Fair at Caulfield Racecourse. His projects have featured in Vogue Australia, ABC News, FilmInk magazine and The Daily Telegraph. He has also presented lectures across Australia as part of the Australian Decorative & Fine Arts Societies. His experience within the auction industry and outside as an art dealer provides a rounded perspective of the art market and art history.
THE VALUE OF ART
Leigh will discuss the value of art in our everyday lives and dissect the reasons why we consume art. Art is a universal language that transcends borders, socioeconomic, political and cultural constructs with numerous shared and distinguishing themes. Value can be broken down into five main areas; market, historical, cultural, contextual and sentimental value. All have relevant and contrasting factors that influence the importance and purpose of a piece of art. There are numerous individuals within society who determine value, and Leigh will identify and assess their importance and influence. He will analyse the current art market (primary and secondary), and discuss how trends are introduced and managed in relation to value. He will also discuss how research and provenance are an essential part of determining value in art.
Marlborough Lecture Date : Thursday 12 October 2023 – 6.15pm
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.
THE EDEN HORE COLLECTION: ITS STORY AND SIGNIFICANCE IN NEW ZEALAND FASHION HISTORY
The Eden Hore Collection comprises 200+ New Zealand extravagant designer dresses from the 1970s, now owned by the Central Otago District Council (CODC). Collected by a sheep and cattle farmer living near Naseby from the designers or retail stores, it has attracted many visitors to ‘Glenshee’ over the years. From the “why?” question to the “what next?” question, Jane will explain the collection and how they hope to show it in the future.
Marlborough Lecture Date : Thursday 16 November 2023 – 6.15pm
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.
ANCIENT ROOTS: CLASSICAL STORIES GROWING IN YOUR GARDEN
We celebrate our gardens as we dig deep to discover fantastical tales of myths and legends; gods, goddesses, demi gods and mortals and astonishing stories fill our garden borders and orchards with vibrant and dramatic life. Our kitchen gardens were sources of bizarre but sometimes true ancient beliefs. And even the seeds of our garden aesthetics were propagated from ancient cultures’ eye for delight. We travel back, over 2,000 years and more, to Babylon, Ancient Greece and Rome to find the blossoming of our gardens today.
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.