ADFAS Armidale

Australian Decorative & Fine Arts Society Armidale Inc.

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In 2016 ADFAS Armidale provides for its members and guests a program of ten illustrated lectures given by overseas and Australian lecturers chosen for their communication skills and expert knowledge in their fields.


Committee 2016

Chairman: Antony Deakin
Ph: (02) 67727208

Secretary: Les Davis
Ph: (02) 6772 3846

Treasurer: Stephen Gow

Membership Secretary: Barbara Deakin
Ph: (02) 6772 7208

Postal Address:

ADFAS Armidale
PO Box 1029
Armidale NSW 2350

Programme for 2016

February 25th (Memorial Hall)

Etruscan Places: Travels through Tuscany with DH Lawrence

Mr Michael Turner (Australian Lecturer)*

In April 1927, the author D.H. Lawrence set off from Rome, with his friend Earl Brewster, on a brief trip to the tombs and museums of the major Etruscan sites of Cerveteri, Tarquinia, Vulci and Volterra. He later described the trip in a series of essays, which were published posthumously in 1932 as Etruscan Places. The Etruscans fascinated Lawrence, he saw striking similarities with his own thoughts in their apparent ‘easy and earthy’ attitude to life, death and sex.

This talk uses Lawrence’s trip as the backdrop against which to set my own travels through Tuscany looking at these enigmatic people about whom we know so little yet who have left us some of the most beautiful and extraordinary art to have survived antiquity. 

Michael Turner is an antiquarian and art and garden historian. Since 2005 he has been Senior Curator of the Nicholson Museum at the University of Sydney. He has appeared regularly on television and radio discussing everything from the emperor Hadrian, to Lady Emma Hamilton, to ghosts in the Nicholson Museum. He is a leading expert on the figured pottery of South Italy in the 4th century BC and on the Etruscans; both of which he has written about extensively. He is currently researching the gardens and Classical sculpture of 18th century England.

Etruscan terracotta sarcophagus


March 10th (Memorial Hall)

Freemasonry: The Knights Templar and the Rosslyn Chapel

Ms Pauline Chakmakjian (UK Independent Lecturer) ***

Much information and misinformation have forever linked Freemasonry with the Knights Templar whose headquarters were the Temple Church in London as well as the eccentric Rosslyn Chapel a few miles away from Edinburgh. While there are some genuine connections amongst the three institutions, they do stand on their own.

Pauline is an independent lecturer on both eighteenth-century British Freemasonry and Freemasonry in contemporary Japan as well as certain aspects of Japanese culture such as Historical Periods, the City of Kyoto, and Machiya. Appointed a Visit Kyoto Ambassador by the Mayor of the City of Kyoto, she holds a BA in English Language & Literature (Whittier), a Dip Law (London) and an MA in Modern French Studies (London). She has given lectures since 2004 and was elected a Board Member of the Japan Society of the U.K. 2008-2014 as well as a Governor of the English Speaking Union for a three year term. She is a member of the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple and volunteered for the Temple Church 2009-2011.

Two knights on horseback (Copyright: Japan World/Pauline Chakmakjian)


April 21st (Michael Hoskins Centre)

Siena, City of the Virgin: Art in a fourteenth century Tuscan hill town

Dr Louise Marshall (Australian Lecturer)*

This lecture explores the art produced in the fourteenth century Tuscan hill town of Siena.   Although perhaps not as well-known as nearby Florence, Siena is in fact an incredibly rich depository of magnificent art, much of it still in the original locations for which it was designed.   This lecture looks at the way art was used in the fourteenth century to spell out loud and clear to both the heavens above and to citizens and foreigners below the self-image of the city.   As the “mirror of the citizens”, the cathedral was a highly visible symbol of the city’s wealth, honour and devotion, above all to their patron the Virgin Mary, who had given them victory over their hated enemies, the Florentines in a famous battle of 1260.   Siena is also well known for its stupendous town hall, which is unusual in preserving much of its fourteenth-century decoration, including a superb painted council room by Ambrogio Lorenzetti, which is one of the few instances of early Renaissance political art that has survived.   In each case, we will see how the visual imagery expresses ideals of good government appropriate to the city of the Virgin.

Dr Marshall graduated from the University of Melbourne in 1981 with a BA Honours First Class in History of Art & History then gained her MA Honours First Class in History of Art in 1983. She gained her PhD in the History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania in December 1989.

Louise is a Senior Lecturer at Sydney University, where she lectures on Medieval and Renaissance art.

Detail from "Good government in the country" by Ambrogio Lorenzetti


May 19th (Michael Hoskins Centre)

Nefertiti: Images of Ancient Egypt’s most intriguing Queen

Ms Lucia Gahlin (NADFAS Lecturer) **

Nefertiti is arguably the most famous queen of pharaonic Egypt. Her bust displayed in Berlin is iconic. She was the Chief Royal Wife of the Ancient Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten (c1352-c1336 BC), and together they continue to fascinate. Intriguing changes appear in the art and religion of this period of Egypt’s history – peculiar representations of the royal family, and an attempt at monotheism in what was traditionally a polytheistic society. The female members of this royal family were exceptional. In this lecture I shall examine the various roles (including political and cultic) played by Nefertiti and the other royal women of the time, and how these were expressed in stunning artistic representation.

Lucia is an Egyptologist who works in London’s Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology. She lectures for the Universities of Bristol and Exeter, and is the Co-Director of Bloomsbury Summer School at University College London. She is an Honorary Research Associate at University College London and has been the research data administrator at the Petrie Museum.

She has worked on archaeological excavations in Egypt at Tell el-Amarna. Lucia leads tours to Egypt and chairs the Friends of the Petrie Museum. Her publications include Egypt: gods, myths, religion (2001).

Bust of Nefertiti, Neues Museum, Berlin


June 16th (Michael Hoskins Centre)

Feast, Celebration and Spectacle in the Court of Alexander the Great and his Successors

Prof. Alastair Blanshard (Australian lecturer)*

Alexander the Great was famous for his drinking and feasting and his successors were no different. This lecture examines court life for the princes and rulers of the Greek kingdoms established by Alexander the Great. It was a world of fabulous and exotic entertainments. Nothing was too outlandish, costly, or decadent for this new breed of rulers. Accompanying this revolution in court life, we see a corresponding revolution in art. Today in the museums of Paris, London and St Petersburg, we can find many spectacular objects left behind from this fascinating period of history.

Professor Alastair Blanshard ‘grew up’ in Brisbane, where he was an undergraduate at the University of Queensland before heading off to Cambridge to undertake his doctoral studies.   He was a college lecturer at Merton College, Oxford and taught at the University of Reading.   Prior to returning to Australia in 2005 to take up a position at the University of Sydney, Alastair held visiting fellowships at the Centre for Hellenic Studies in Washington and Corpus Christi College, Cambridge.  In 2014, he was appointed the inaugural Paul Eliadis Professor of Classics at the University of Queensland.  He is the author of a number of books including Hercules: An Heroic Life, Sex: Vice and Love from Antiquity to Modernity, and Classics on Screen: The representation of Greece and Rome in Cinema.   Alastair also hosts a weekly radio slot of Sydney's 2GB discussing the relationship between the ancient and modern world.

Greek Banquet Scene


July 14th (Michael Hoskins Centre)

The Body in Movement: The Sculpture of Edgar Degas and Auguste Rodin

Mr Michael Howard (NADFAS Lecturer) **

Two of the greatest, most skilled and most admired artists of modern times, each rooted in traditional values and yet both unremittingly radical in their work. Renoir once said of Degas,” Even if he had never picked up a paint brush in his life, Degas would still have been the greatest artist of modern times. Rodin, the most highly regarded of nineteenth century sculptors and yet every major that he created was considered a failure in his lifetime. At the centre of their work is the human figure – in all its splendour, vulnerability and beauty.

Michael is Program Leader in the School of the History of Art and Design at the Manchester Metropolitan University where he teaches both academic and studio based students. Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and President of Bolton NADFAS and is an art historian as well as a practicing artist, painter, sculptor, printmaker and ceramicist. With his wife, also an artist and NADFAS lecturer, he runs weekend and one day courses. Has curated many exhibitions and published widely most notably on Lowry, Goya, Gauguin, Whistler and Cézanne. Exhibited at the Royal Academy. His work is in Manchester Art Gallery and in private collections in the UK and abroad. Has featured on TV and radio and had many awards including a prestigious Peabody award.

Sculpture by Auguste Rodin "Nijinsky"

Sculpture by Edgar Degas "Little Dancer aged 14"


August 18th (Michael Hoskins Centre)

Domes and Minarets: Mosques of the Islamic World

Prof. James Allan (NADFAS Lecturer) **

Images of Romanesque or Gothic cathedral architecture may linger in our memories, but many of us would be pressed to describe a typical mosque. We shall look at three of the most important forms, typified by the Friday Mosque in Cordova (now the Cathedral), the Mosque of Suleyman the Magnificent in Istanbul, and the Royal Mosque in Isfahan. The lecture explores their different styles, and the minarets and domes that enhance their skylines, and illustrates the rich designs, whether in mosaic, tile, or other media, that adorn these buildings.

James Allan spent most of his working life in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, as curator of the Islamic collections. He set up the University’s graduate degree course in Islamic art and architecture, and became Keeper of the Museum’s Eastern Art Department, and Director of the Ashmolean Inter-faith Exhibition Service. From 2006 until his retirement in 2013, he was lecturing in Islamic art in the University’s Khalili Research Centre.

He has published numerous books and articles, particularly in the field of Islamic metalwork and ceramics. His most recent book was: “The art and architecture of Twelver Shi’ism: Iraq, Iran and the Indian Sub-continent”. He has served as President of the British Institute of Persian Studies, and is an Emeritus Fellow of St. Cross College.

Domes and Minarets of the Islamic World


September 15th (Michael Hoskins Centre)

English Period Styles in Art 1848-1900: A Victorian Passion for the Eclectic

Mr Stephen Richardson (NADFAS Lecturer) **

This talk explores fashions in architecture, interior decoration and furnishing during the Victorian era, a period often viewed as staid and cluttered but in fact rich with exotic and eclectic influences. Opening with the scholarly Gothic Revival of AWN Pugin and his brilliant follower William Burges, and concluding with the art nouveau of designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the lecture features other leading personalities such as Ruskin, de Morgan, Morris and Whistler to illustrate the great variety and creativity of the Victorian age.

Stephen has long held a fascination with the art and architecture of the Georgian period, immersing himself in art history courses and historic house visiting. It was not until he sold his business in 2004 that he found time to devote more of his energies to this passion.

A full time Masters degree in the decorative arts and historic interiors at University College London was the first step. This was undertaken at the fabulous Wallace Collection in London, and was soon followed by appointment as an official guide at the Royal Academy of Arts. He has published a number of articles on country house visiting for lifestyle magazines around the South of England. He was recommended to and employed by the Victoria & Albert Museum as a guide specializing in the British Galleries, where his understanding of period style was particularly relevant. 

William Morris by George Frederick Watts, 1870


October 20th (Michael Hoskins Centre)

Conservation and Restoration: A Day in the Life of a Picture Restorer

Ms Sarah Cove (NADFAS Lecturer) **

This lecture discusses the nature of oil painting materials, from the Middle Ages to the present day, and common problems associated with the ageing and deterioration of, and damage to, easel paintings. These can be on canvas, panel, board or paper in a range of mediums: oil, acrylic, egg tempera, or mixed media. Problems can involve natural deterioration and neglect, accidental damage, vandalism and even war –the most surprising event being a large hole caused by a Turkish cannon ball going through a picture in the 18th century!! Modern ‘museum standard’ approaches to conservation and restoration will be illustrated with detailed slides ranging from early Italian religious paintings in egg tempera via rapid oil sketches on paper by John Constable to 20th century British paintings and modern abstract works. Hints and advice on the general care of paintings in homes is given in liberal doses throughout!

Sarah is an accredited Easel Paintings Conservator and specialist in historic painting techniques, especially British of the 16th-17th century and 19th-20th century. She is a foremost authority on Constable's painting materials and techniques and joint author of the Tate's 1991 'Constable' and 'Constable's Six-Footers' (Tate Britain, 2006) exhibition catalogues. She has a Fine Art background; BA (Hons) History of Art (Courtauld) and has undertaken Internships at the V&A and the National Portrait Gallery. Sarah was a Visiting Fellow at Yale 1989 and is a Fellow of the British Association of Paintings Conservator-Restorers and International Institute for the Conservation and Preservation of Historic and Artistic Works.

Sarah Cove examining a painting in her studio


November 17th (Michael Hoskins Centre)

Giant – Ancient and Historic Trees

Mr Geoffrey Edwards (Australian Lecturer)*

As with Geoffrey Edward’s publication [2004] of the same title, Giant – ancient and historic trees presents an aspect of environmental history seen through the lens of art history.   This is the story of famous trees as documented in 19th –century and modern paintings, prints, photographs and antiquarian books.

Beginning with an account of “great trees of the world”, Giant deals mostly with famous trees in Australia such as the legendary “Dig Tree’ associated with the explorers Burke and Wills, and other trees that have become symbols of personal, social or political aspiration.

Geoffrey Edwards is 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].

The Ada Tree


**NADFAS lecturer
***Independent Lecturer

*Australian lecturer

The 2016 AGM of ADFAS Armidale Inc. will be held at 5.30 pm prior to the November 17th Lecture.

Venue and Time of Lectures

Lectures are held at 6pm on Thursdays in the Michael Hoskins Centre, The Armidale School (TAS), entry from Chapel Street, Armidale. A light supper is provided after each lecture. (Please Note: February and March lectures will be held in the Memorial Hall, The Armidale School.)

TAS provides ADFAS Armidale the use of the TAS Michael Hoskins Centre or the TAS Memorial Hall as a venue for lectures and technical support as well.


Guests are most welcome and a $25 fee applies per lecture.
Full Time Students (over 18 years of age) $5 per lecture.
Secondary Students (in uniform) Free
There is no fee for visiting ADFAS members.
Gift Vouchers are available for Guest Tickets.


The annual membership subscription is $130
Gift Vouchers are available for membership subscriptions.

Membership Enquiries:

Barbara Deakin
Phone: (02) 6772 7208


In 2015 ADFAS Armidale supported more than two thousand young people in the New England region in art, music and film making.

The program will continue in 2016. Media articles will invite organisations providing visual and performing arts for young people to apply for grants.

Small grants are available from a pool of approximately $4,000 each year, raised by membership and raffles to support a wide range of programs. As funding is limited, youth programs which help address the challenges of geographic isolation, support activities which reach a wide cross section of the community, provide opportunities for young people which have the potential to be life-changing and have a long-term impact on the community are of particular interest to ADFAS Armidale.

ADFAS Armidale is in the early stages of negotiations with the Rotary Club of Armidale Central to form a partnership which will strengthen the program.

Please don't hesitate to contact Graeme Fordham (email for further information.