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.
GOOD NEWS – WE HAVE A FULL PROGRAMME PLANNED FOR 2021
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 lecturers 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 if the need arises.
New members: The annual subscription is $150 per person, or $270 for a couple. To join Marlborough DFAS, please complete the MaDFAS Membership Application Form 2021 and mail with your internet payment to the Membership Secretary, PO Box 296, Picton, 7250.
Please note we are currently fully subscribed and new applicants will be placed on 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
2021 LECTURER BIOGRAPHIES AND TOPICS
Marlborough Lecture Date : Thursday 25 February 2021
BArch (Hons), NZCD (Arch), Registered Architect (NZ), Fellow NZIA, RAIA, NZIA Gold Medal 2012, Alliance Partner Group GSA, Chair NZIA Auckland 2006-2008
Pete Bossley has an extensive reputation in architecture and interior design, with particular experience in galleries, museums and residential. He is known for several memorable buildings such as the Museum of NZ Te Papa Tongarewa, the Sir Peter Blake extension to the National Maritime Museum in Auckland, many iconic houses throughout the country, apartment buildings and social housing projects. He has exhibited and lectured extensively on his work here and overseas. He has also taught architectural design for over 25 years and was adjunct professor of Architecture at Unitec Architecture and Landscape School. In 2012 Pete was awarded the NZIA Gold Medal, the highest honour in New Zealand Architecture.
ARCHITECTURE: IDEAS, THEMES AND OBSESSIONS
Pete will discuss the importance of ideas to underline good architecture, identifying themes which have run through 40 years of architecture, using projects from his practice as examples. Themes which have been developed over the years and in numerous projects include…
-Fault lines: architectural responses to the perils of living in a faulted land. This is not in terms of seismic engineering, but more of the narrative arising from our fragile geological situation, and how this awareness has generated ideas which have driven the design of architectural projects.
-Encampments: a series of projects which respond to the New Zealand landform by referencing the traditional courtyard house, modified to accept the power of our landscape, incorporating it in to the design of the houses rather than precluding it. Camp formations ranging from Roman military bases to kiwi campsites suggest the value of creating a large whole from a series of smaller pods. Other themes will include the importance of our skyscapes, natural light, balance and imbalance. Click Here for Guest Registration
Marlborough Lecture Date : Thursday 25 March 2021
Arthur Tompkins is a District Court Judge based in Wellington. Judge Tompkins teaches the ‘Art in War’ component course as part of the annual Graduate Certificate Program in Art Crime and Heritage Protection Studies, presented by the Association for Research into Crimes against Art in Amelia, Umbria, Italy, and has lectured around New Zealand and abroad on various aspects of art crime. In 2016 he edited Art Crime and Its Prevention: A Handbook for Collectors and Art Professionals, and in 2018 wrote Plundering Beauty: An illustrated history of art crime in war, both published by Lund Humphries in London. He is the editor of Provenance Research Today: Principles, Practice, Problems, scheduled for publication by Lund Humphries in London in December 2020.
STEALING BEAUTY: PILLAGE AND PLUNDER OF ART DOWN THE CENTURIES
This talk is a survey of the theft, displacement, plundering and loss of great works of art during war down the centuries. The survey includes the art work with the longest history of crimes being committed against it, the most-often stolen work of art, and ends with the surreal story connecting James Bond, Francesco Goya, the Duke of Wellington, and television licensing fees.
Marlborough Lecture Date : Thursday 13 May 2021 – broadcast live from the UK
Nigel Bates was the Music Administrator of The Royal Ballet from 2012 to 2020 and has been a performer for nearly forty years in and out of London’s Royal Opera House, including seventeen years as Principal Percussionist with the Orchestra. He has worked with many of the leading figures in the classical music industry and was also a producer for both the BBC’s Maestro at the Opera and Pappano’s Classical Voices documentary series. He is a regular contributor to the printed and online content of the ROH. Nigel has given lectures for over twenty years, including arts societies and conservatoires in the UK and across Australia.
TANTRUMS & TIARAS
Tantrums & Tiaras is a look at backstage life at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and the pressures faced by performers, be they singer, dancer, conductor or musician. We see how the building copes with the demands of modern productions and examine audience expectations both inside the theatre and out. We also look at some of the highs and try to understand some of the lows that have been the fortune of this world-class performing venue over the years. Fully illustrated including audio and video clips.
Marlborough Lecture Date : Thursday 24 June 2021 – broadcast live from the UK
Dominic Riley is an internationally renowned bookbinder and teacher. He specializes in the restoration of antiquarian books and the creation of contemporary fine bindings. He teaches bookbinding both in the UK and USA, and his prize-winning bindings are in collections worldwide, including the British Library. He is a Fellow of Designer Bookbinders and President of the Society of Bookbinders. In 2013 he won the prestigious Sir Paul Getty award in the International Bookbinding Competition, and his winning binding was acquired by the Bodleian Library in Oxford.
LOST ON THE TITANIC: THE MAKING OF THE GREAT OMAR BINDING
When it was completed in 1912, the Great Omar was the most elaborate and opulent binding ever created. It was embellished with over one thousand jewels, five thousand leather onlays and a hundred square feet of gold leaf and took a team of craftsmen over two and a half years to make. It went down with the Titanic. This lecture tells the story of the Great Omar and the bookbinders Sangorski and Sutcliffe, who were known for their fabulous, jewelled bindings. It is also the story of life after the tragedy, and of one young man in particular, who decided against the odds to recreate the binding – a venture which itself is mired in tragedy and which occupied him for the rest of his life.
Marlborough Lecture Date : Thursday 5 August 2021 – broadcast live from the UK
Neil Faulkner was educated at King’s College Cambridge and Institute of Archaeology UCL. He works as a lecturer, writer, archaeologist and occasional broadcaster. Research Fellow, University of Bristol. Editor, Military History Monthly. Director, Sedgeford Historical and Archaeological Research Project. Director, Great Arab Revolt Project. Author of The Decline and Fall of Roman Britain, Apocalypse, Hidden Treasure, Rome: Empire of the Eagles, and The Ancient Greek Olympics: a visitor’s guide. Author of forthcoming Lawrence of Arabia’s War. Major TV appearances include Channel 4’s Time Team, BBC2’s Timewatch, Channel Five’s Boudica Revealed and Sky Atlantic’s The British.
LAWRENCE OF ARABIA: EXCAVATING A LEGEND
On the basis of sensational new evidence from archaeological fieldwork, this lecture will contrast the legend of Lawrence of Arabia with the true story of what happened in the famous desert war of 1916 to 1918. Is the legend a myth? Was Lawrence, as some claim, a liar and a charlatan? Or does legend reflect reality? Was he, in fact, a brilliant military commander and a sincere advocate of the Arab national cause? ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ is an early 20th century instance of celebrity culture. We will analyse the invention and re-invention of the legend from 1919 onwards through memoirs, photos, films, paintings, biographies, and documentaries. We will then contrast the legend with the biography of the man himself, focusing on key aspects of his early years and his character, and using archaeology as the basis for a detailed examination of the role which made him famous – his participation in the Arab Revolt of 1916 to 1918.
Marlborough Lecture Date : Thursday 9 September 2021 – broadcast live from the UK
Nicholas Merchant’s career has mirrored his abiding interest in antiques. He has worked for some of the major auction houses in London as well as running his own book business devoted to the decorative and fine arts. His particular interest is English 18th century furniture and country houses; he enjoys discussing objects, particularly in their historical context. He lectures extensively in the USA, South Africa, Europe and UK, including the V&A, as well as for the principal cruise lines. He is the Art Fund’s West Yorkshire Representative. He arranges specialist short breaks for collectors and a range of prestigious clients including groups of The Arts Society who enjoy visiting the treasures of the UK.
MY ONE GREAT HOBBY: QUEEN MARY AND HER COLLECTING INTERESTS
Queen Mary was born in May 1867, as the only daughter of Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge, cousin of Queen Victoria and her husband, Francis, Duke of Teck. As the daughter of a minor (and impecunious) member of the Royal family, her position was somewhat equivocal, but her subsequent marriage to the heir to the throne, and so becoming in 1910 Queen of England and Empress of India, brought out her sterling qualities. The travails she witnessed in her life, with a complete reversal of all that she had known as a girl imposed an enormous strain. However, through all these vicissitudes collecting and re-arranging the extensive Royal Collection was, in her own words, “My One Great Hobby”. This lecture explores in detail these collecting interests and shows how her influence remains today.
Marlborough Lecture Date : Thursday 14 October 2021
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.
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 18 November 2021
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.