Marlborough Decorative & Fine Arts Society (MaDFAS)
Please note : Due to the Coronavirus situation we have cancelled our April, May, June and August lectures. We will be in touch regarding subsequent dates in due course. Thank you for your understanding.
Marlborough Decorative & Fine Arts Society (MaDFAS) welcomes enquiries about the Society, the seventh to be established in New Zealand.
To join Marlborough DFAS, please download the Membership Application Form 2020, fill in your details and mail with your 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. Annual membership is $150.00 per person or $270.00 for a couple living at the same address. The fee covers the cost of the membership fee, venue and equipment, travel and accommodation cost for the lecturer and refreshments following the lecture. The fee for visiting DFAS members is $20.00. Limited door sales are available at the cost of $30.00 per lecture. Members wishing to bring accompanying guests will be given priority for spare seats, provided we are notified by the Monday preceding the meeting date. After that date supporters and casuals will be accepted on a ‘first request’ basis. The cost per casual attendee is $30. Membership is not transferable.
For further information or to notify changes of contact details please email email@example.com
Marlborough Programme: Lecturer Biographies and Topics
GUY DE LA BÉDOYÈRE
Blenheim Lecture Date : Thursday 27 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.
DOMINA: THE IMPERIAL WOMEN OF ANCIENT ROME
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.
Blenheim Lecture Date : Thursday 2 April 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.
AUCTIONEER’S TALES – 30 YEARS IN THE ART MARKET
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.
DR JOHN STEVENS
Blenheim Lecture Date : Thursday 14 May 2020
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.
Blenheim Lecture Date : Thursday 18 June 2020
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.
JOHN PETER RUSSELL
Australian artist and friend of the Impressionists. Two of his friends at art school in Paris were Toulouse-Lautrec and Vincent van Gogh. Monet highly rated Russell’s work, and Matisse, said that Russell had taught him everything he knew about colour. Another artist and friend, the sculptor Rodin, said that in the future Russell would be as famous as himself, Monet and Renoir. This did not turn out to be the case. But in later years Russell’s work has received increasing attention, and his paintings shown in exhibitions in Australia, France and England. Last year he was showcased in the exhibition of Australian Impressionists at London’s National Gallery. During their lifetimes Russell was more successful than the unknown van Gogh. What reversed this situation? How do artists become famous? Who writes the canon? A good story has much to do with it. And good publicity. Van Gogh’s story is well known. But the extraordinary story of his friend Russell is rarely told. But he was an excellent painter and led an interesting vagabond life in Australia and Europe. And his story of a life devoted to adventure, love, tragedy and art is one worth telling.
Blenheim Lecture Date : Thursday 6 August July 2020
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.
THE ART OF THE STEAL – NAZI LOOTING DURING WWII
The Nazis looted over 20% of Western Art during World War II, confiscating art from Jewish families and emptying museums throughout Europe. This lecture will provide an overview of Nazi looting by setting the scene in Nazi Germany, discussing Hitler’s obsession with art and how the Monuments Men recovered art after the war. Several landmark cases will be discussed in detail, including Gustav Klimt’s celebrated Portrait of Adele Bloch Bauer and the stash of over 1200 artworks found in possession of the son of a notorious Nazi dealer.
Blenheim Evening Lecture Date : Thursday 10 September 2020
Blenheim Special Interest Session : Friday 11 September 2020
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.
EVENING LECTURE: THE MAN WITH THE PITCHFORK – ICONIC PAINTINGS FROM EARLY 20TH CENTURY AMERICA
The first half of the 20th century was a golden age for figurative painters in North America. Many of the most reproduced images from American Art History were created during this time – Grant Wood’s ‘American Gothic’, Andrew Wyeth’s ‘Christina’s World’, as well paintings by Norman Rockwell, Edward Hopper and the Ashcan School of painting. This talk will explore the most iconic images to come out of America, all of which are firmly etched in the public consciousness.
SPECIAL INTEREST SESSION: HOW TO LOOK AT PAINTINGS
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.
MARY ROSE RIVETT-CARNAC
Blenheim Lecture Date : Thursday 15 October 2020
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.
UNCOVERING NEW ZEALAND PAINTINGS IN THE UK’S PUBLIC ART COLLECTIONS
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 (www.artuk.org), into which the lecture offers a fascinating insight.
BLENHEIM Lecture Date : THURSDAY 19 NOVEMBER 2020
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 jeweled 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.
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.