Waikato Decorative & Fine Arts Society (Waikato DFAS)

Please note : Due to the Coronavirus situation we have cancelled our March, May, June, July and September lectures. We will be in touch regarding subsequent dates in due course. Thank you for your understanding.

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.


To join WaikatoDFAS, please download and complete the WaiDFAS New Member Form 2020. For members renewing for 2020, please download and complete the WaiDFAS Returning Members 2020. Please return your completed form to the Membership Secretary, PO Box 851, Hamilton, 3240. 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 2019.  Please use the 2019 New Members Subscription form on this page or contact our membership secretary, Lyn Jones. Guests are welcome to attend a maximum of twice a year. Please send notice of their attendance prior to the lecture, to the Membership Secretary, Lyn Jones (07 849 7211 or 021 061 0716). A $20 per lecture guest fee is payable on the night. The fee for visiting DFAS members is $15.00. For further information or to notify changes of contact details, please advise Lyn Jones our Membership Secretary, Phone 07 849 7211 or 021 061 0716 or email dfaswaikato@gmail.com.  Membership is non-transferable.

Waikato 2020 Programme: Lecturer Biographies and Topics


Hamilton Lecture Date : Thursday 20 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.


Roman Britain was a remarkable period in British history. This is the time of the first recorded individuals from soldiers to slaves. Tombstones bring us the first recognizable faces and their inscriptions the first personal details of ordinary people. The story starts with a centurion whose tombstone was found at Colchester. His is the first carved realistic portrait in British history. We can trace the history of the province through these remarkable monuments while at the same time realizing that it is only through the mechanisms of classical culture that we are in a position to access the period, with serious implications for what we ‘see’. Why is that? The answer lies in the fact that we are ourselves members of a classicised society, educated from birth to have certain expectations about the way art and language represents life. The lecture explores the record and explains why it is so biased, and the challenge to identify the nature of indigenous society. The lecture has specific references to the experience of Australia, which inspired the book in the first place.


Hamilton Lecture Date : Thursday 26 March 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.


Marc’s personal interests extend into many areas and his reputation for divining the unusual is well known. His passion for collecting ‘fakes’ forms a wonderful insight into the history of forgeries and reproductions and encompasses examples from many famous cases, including paintings, antiquities and silver, whilst also exploring the all-important subject of provenance.


Hamilton Lecture Date : Thursday 7 May 2020 / Cancelled due to coronavirus

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.


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.


Hamilton Lecture Date : Thursday 11 June 2020 / Cancelled due to coronavirus

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.


“Beauty should be convulsive, like the chance encounter on the dissecting table of the umbrella and the sewing machine” This definition of convulsive beauty describes the Surrealist iconography. Weird, strange and uncanny. Excited by Sigmund Freud’s Interpretation of Dreams, the Surrealists painted their dreams and explored their unconscious to create the Surrealist mindscape which lives on beyond its initial beginnings in 1920s Paris into the present day.


Hamilton Lecture Date : Thursday 30 July 2020 / Cancelled due to coronavirus

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.


We have all heard about audacious art heists that are more like blockbuster movies than run-of-the-mill burglaries. In this lecture, we are going to look at famous art thefts, discuss what motivates art thieves as well as examine what aspects the thefts have in common. We will also look at where the burglars made mistakes, which enabled investigators to swoop in and recover stolen masterpieces. In many cases, the police sting operations were just as daring as the thefts.


Hamilton Lecture Date : Thursday 3 September 2020 / Cancelled due to coronavirus

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.


A recent survey found that an average viewer looks at a painting in a museum for two seconds. Why are gallery goers spending so little time interacting with art? Paintings are often designed to be ‘read’, they contain hidden messages and symbols. These aren’t always obvious upon first glance; why are there oranges in van Eyck’s ‘Arnolfini Portrait’? Where did Hans Holbein hide his messages about mortality in ‘The Ambassadors’? This talk will help to arm viewers with the necessary skills to approach a painting in a gallery or museum, and examine it in detail, delving beneath the surface of the work.


Hamilton Lecture Date : Thursday 8 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.


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.


HAMILTON Lecture Date : THursday 12 NOVEMBER 2020

David Maskill studied at the University of Canterbury (MA) and for a PhD at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London. From 1993-2019, he was senior lecturer in Art History at Victoria University of Wellington where he taught courses on European art from the medieval period to the French Revolution. He has participated in both the Attingham Summer School (2010) and the Attingham Royal Collection Studies course (2017) for the study of historical country houses and their collections.


Two decades before the Revolution of 1789, another revolution took place in French garden design. This earlier revolution was effected by a small group of enlightened aristocrats who were all devotees of the philosophies of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. One in particular, the marquis de Girardin, created a new garden at his château of Ermenonville and invited Rousseau to come and live there. The philosopher died and was buried there. His tomb became a site of pilgrimage for many. No less a personage than Queen Marie-Antoinette came to pay her respects to the great man.

Waikato DFAS Supporting the Arts

Over the past two years DFAS has supported the Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato with restoration and conservation of several paintings held in the Museum’s collection. These paintings – four works by artist Melvin day – were included in the Museum’s exhibition Melvin Day: A Modernist Perspective, held from June to October 2019. Two of the works, Portrait of Professor Arundel del Rey and Standing Nude are shown below, before (l) and after (r) restoration.


Contact Waikato DFAS


Chair  :  Sue Primrose [susanmprimrose@gmail.com]

Vice Chair :   Lyn Jones

Treasurer  :   Julie Sergel

Secretary:   Janet Sceats [dfaswaikato@gmail.com]

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

Programme Secretary :  Fran Connell

Committee  : Karen Johnson , Wanda Marais-Buitendach, Julie Menzies, Susan Law, Brett Douglas, Aileen Gabelich