Waikato Decorative & Fine Arts Society (Waikato DFAS)

WaikatoDFAS meets at 7:30pm at The Centre for Performing Arts, Southwell School, Peachgrove Road, Hamilton. The evening starts with a one-hour lecture followed by light refreshments with a glass of wine or a cup of coffee.

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 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.

Our 2023 brochure and programme can be downloaded here: Waikato Brochure 2023


New members: To join WaikatoDFAS, please download and complete the 2023 WaiDFAS New Members Form  Our annual subscription is $140 per person.

A half year membership is available for $70 for new members who join any time after June. This membership will cover the last four lectures for 2023. Please use the 2023 New Members Form on this page or contact the Membership Secretary.

Please scan or photograph the completed form and return to the Membership Secretary –  dfaswaikato@gmail.com.

For further information, or to notify changes of contact details, please advise Jill Brown, Membership Secretary, phone 021 273 2161 or Lyn Jones, Chairperson, 021 0610 716. Or email dfaswaikato@gmail.com.

Membership is non-transferable.

Returning members: For members renewing for 2023 whose contact details have changed, please download and complete the
2023 WaiDFAS Returning Members Form 

Returning members are encouraged to pay their subscriptions on-line – Note that the Returning Members Form does not need to be completed unless your contact details have changed.


Guests are welcome. Please advise our Membership Secretary, Jill Brown, (021 273 2161) or dfaswaikato@gmail.com of their attendance prior to the lecture. A $20 per lecture guest fee is payable on the night. The fee for other visiting DFAS members is $15.00.


Waikato 2023 Lecturer Biographies and Topics

Geoffrey Edwards

Waikato Lecture Date : Thursday 23 February 2023, 7.30pm

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.


In the spirit of Michelangelo’s remark about “seeing and angel in a block of marble and carving until I set him free”, so too has the story of modern sculpture been a process by which artists have discovered new purpose, meaning and motifs in the materials and processes of the modern industrial world. These dramatic shifts in style and technique that define the development of modern sculpture during a period when the art form shed any sense of its being either ‘a handmaiden to architecture’ or ‘forever in the shadow of painting’

Marc Allum

Waikato Lecture Date : Thursday 23 March 2023, 7.30pm

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.


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.

Karin Fernald

Waikato Lecture Date : Thursday 4 May 2023 – broadcast live from the UK – 7.30pm

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 countrywoman Jane Austen found inspiration in the sea and in the maritime careers of her brothers Frank and Charles, on whose accounts she based varied and lively characters in Mansfield Park and Persuasion. Her unfinished novel Sanditon deals with the dreams, hopes and delusions raised by a fictional resort based on Brighton. And she herself enjoyed the odd daring dip in the sea. “ ….I fear I stayed in rather too long….”
With cartoons by James Gillray, drawings by Hugh Thomson and maritime paintings by artists including Constable and Turner.

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.

Leslie Primo

Waikato Lecture Date : Thursday 15 June 2023 – 7.30pm

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. 


In 1866 William Bürger, a pseudonym for Étienne-Joseph-Théophile Thoré (1807-69) published in the Gazette des Beaux-Arts his article called “Sphinx of Delft” about the mysterious painter called Vermeer, and so began the modern-day revival of Vermeer.
However, this lecture will begin by tracing Vermeer’s origins, his early training and influences, and how he came to the genre of painting domestic interiors. The lecture will look at his earliest known paintings and how he gradually migrated to the genre of domestic set-piece paintings we know him for today. This lecture will also set Vermeer in the context of contemporaneous Dutch artists and contemporaneous Delft artists; tracing the early beginnings of the town of Delft, its rise in prosperity and the low points of the town also. We will see how Vermeer went from being referred to as ‘the excellent and famous Vermeer’ in 1669 to being declared bankrupt towards the end of his life in 1675. How did it all go so wrong, were the signs there at the beginning or was there some great disaster in his life that prompted his financial demise? Finally this lecture will look at the late 19th century and 20th century revival of Vermeer that became the cult of Vermeer, and why this cult of Vermeer endures to this day.

Andrew Prince

Waikato Lecture Date : Thursday 27 July 2023 – broadcast live from the UK – 7.30pm

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.


For the series and film Downton Abbey, Andrew was commissioned to make many jewels for the main characters and this inspired him to create a talk based on this unique period.
Jewellery and Fashion are often seen as two entirely separate and distinct fields of design, but this is very far from the case.
In his talk, Andrew guides you through the extraordinary decades and events between 1890 and 1929, where the great couturiers collaborated with the finest of jewellers to produce jewels and clothes of outstanding quality and glittering opulence. Along with this, he illustrates the clients and patrons who commissioned the jewels and shows how they were worn with their sumptuous gowns.

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.

Paul Roberts

Waikato Lecture Date : Thursday 31 August 2023 – 7.30pm

Dr Paul Roberts is Head of the Department of Antiquities at the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology, Oxford University.  Paul has been a lecturer with The Arts Society for two decades, has travelled extensively to societies across the country, and has also lectured on numerous cruises. He studied Classics at the University of Cambridge, and Classical Archaeology at Sheffield and Oxford.  He then lived in Italy for several years, teaching, researching (and eating!). He has travelled the Roman Empire from Britain to Syria and has excavated in Britain, Greece, Libya, Turkey and in particular Italy. He is currently excavating a Roman Villa in the Molise region of Central Italy. His research focuses on the daily life of ordinary people in the Greek and Roman worlds, and he has written books and articles on Greek and Roman daily life, Pompeii and Herculaneum, Sicily, Roman Emperors, mummy portraits, and Greek and Roman ceramics and glass. He is now writing a walking guide to ancient Rome.   From 1994 to 2015 he was Senior Roman Curator in the Greek and Roman Department at the British Museum, where he curated the exhibition Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum (2013). At the Ashmolean from 2015, he co-curated Storms, War and Shipwrecks: Sicily and the Sea (2016) telling the history of Sicily through shipwreck finds. Most recently (2019/20) at the Ashmolean he curated Last Supper in Pompeii, a tribute to the Roman love affair with food and wine.


Athens and Rome were two of the most beautiful, powerful and important cities of the ancient world, cities that have framed our modern lives more than any others. Each stood at the centre of its world: Athens the home of democracy, the cradle of the arts, Rome the eternal city, the capital of the world.
In this talk we explore the art and architecture of these extraordinary cities at the height of their power. We wonder at their monuments, from Parthenon to Pantheon, from stadium to circus and from theatre to amphitheatre. We admire the products of their craftsmen, from the bronze and marble masterpieces of the Greeks to the fine paintings and mosaics of the Romans, and from the red figure vases of Athens to the silver cups and cameo glass of Rome.
We also look at the people who helped make these cities great. From slaves, who were the engine of both societies, to statesmen and thinkers such as Socrates, Pericles, Augustus and Hadrian, and writers such as Euripides and Vergil.

Jane Malthus

Waikato Lecture Date : Thursday 5 October 2023 – 7.30pm

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.


As a dress historian and honorary curator, Jane curates collections (Otago Museum, and the Eden Hore Collection), exhibitions (in Dunedin, Shanghai, and Auckland for example), and studies, writes and talks about dress and textile topics. This lecture offers stories about her research into collection items and for exhibitions, with a wealth of images of nineteenth – twenty-first century fashion.

Gillian Hovell

Waikato Lecture Date : Thursday 9 November 2023 – 7.30pm

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.


Early Christians celebrated Christmas at the same time as the ancient Romans were feasting and partying for their pagan Saturnalia festival. That annual midwinter party had astonishing tales of myths and legends behind it. Meanwhile, many of the pagan habits were absorbed into our Christmas traditions. Present-giving, holly and even party-hats all have their origins in this 2,000-year-old party. This talk will revel in artwork that is ancient and modern as we un-wrap the images and stories behind our festive season.

Contact Waikato DFAS


Chair  :  Lyn Jones [lynmarkjones@gmail.com]  P:  021 061 0716

Treasurer  :   Julie Sergel

Membership Secretary  :  Jill Brown  [dfaswaikato@gmail.com]

Programme Secretary :  Susan Law

Committee  : Brett Douglas, Anne Henzel, Lee Elliott, Heather Douglas