nedfasNelson Decorative & Fine Arts Society (NEDFAS)

The Nelson Decorative & Fine Arts Society (NEDFAS) aims to foster interest in and knowledge of Decorative & Fine arts, artistic heritage, culture and history.

The Nelson Society provides its membership with eight high quality lectures per year. Our lecturers primarily come from the UK where they have undergone a stringent selection process to qualify as NADFAS lecturers.

NADFAS lecturers have a reputation as excellent speakers who deliver well-researched and illustrated talks. Recent lectures have focused on architecture, design, glass, fashion, porcelain, ceramics, artists, art and art history, sculpture and literature.

As an adjunct to this, NEDFAS members meet and enjoy the company of others socially after the formal lecture.

NEDFAS Programme Details

The Nelson lectures are held on a Wednesday evening with a 6.30 pm start. The lectures are of one hour duration and are followed by a social time during which a glass of wine or juice and sandwiches are served. This provides an opportunity for members to meet the lecturer and other members.


The annual subscription is $135 per person, or $245 for a couple living at the same address.

The annual subscription covers the cost of venue and equipment, travel and accommodation for the lecturer, and refreshments after the lectures. Membership is limited to 180 members and a Wait List is managed by our Membership Secretary. Please download and complete the 2018 NEDFAS Membership Subscription Form  and email it to

Members are required to advise our Membership Secretary if they wish to bring a guest. We regret that any one guest is restricted to attending just two lectures per year.

There is a charge of $25.00 per guest. Members of other DFASNZ or The Arts Society (international) are welcomed to our lectures at a charge of $15.00.

To enquire about membership or guest attendances, please contact our Membership Secretary

2018 Lectures

Please click on the button to the right for biographies of lecturers and topic synopses.

Helen Rufus-Ward

A Pilgrimage to St Catherine’s Monastery

Wednesday 21 February 2018

Sarah Cove

A Day in the Life of a Picture Restorer

Wednesday 21 March 2018

Simon Rees

Opera & Design

Wednesday 9 May 2018

Jacqueline Cockburn

Gaudi & Catalan Modernista Architecture

Wednesday 4 July 2018

Julian Richards

Inspired by Stonehenge

Wednesday 1 August 2018

Gavin Plumley

Cultural Experiments in the Weimar Republic

Wednesday 5 September 2018

John Benjamin

A History of Jewellery from Elizabeth I to Elizabeth Taylor

Wednesday 10 October 2018

Chloë Sayer

Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera: The Golden Age of Mexican Painting

Wednesday 14 November 2018

NEDFAS Supporting the Arts

The Suter Art Gallery was opened in 1899, barely 40 years after the city of Nelson was established.

At the time, it was only the third art gallery in the country, and The Suter has since become a greatly loved and admired regional gallery with an extensive collection of art and ceramics.

117 years on, the gallery was in urgent need of restoration and redevelopment. The Nelson community was asked to pull together to raise funds for a major reinvigoration of The Suter to ensure it endures and prospers well into the 21st century.

Nelson DFAS has made a significant contribution to the redevelopment project, both from their Society funds and a Heritage House Tour fundraiser organised by the Society. The splendid Suter Art Gallery re-opened in October 2016.

Contact NeDFAS


Chair  :  Claire Grant /
Deputy Chair  :  Catherine Butchard
Committee : Ainslie Riddoch, Michele Van der Post, Deborah Moore, Raphaella Carver, Susie Kirk, Claire Dowson

Membership enquiries :