Select Society

Postal Address:

ADFAS Brisbane
PO Box 441
Red Hill QLD 4059

ADFAS Brisbane Inc provides a yearly programme of eight lectures, presented by six overseas and two Australian lecturers. To complement some of these lectures, there are four Interest Days per year which explore topics in greater detail.

The annual membership of $185 provides access to the eight lectures with a choice of two different days/times at comfortable venues in Brisbane.  Wednesday night lectures are held at 7.30pm in the Education Centre at Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital Herston followed by a wine and cheese. Thursday afternoon lectures are held at 1pm in Auditorium 1 at the beautiful State Library of Queensland followed by afternoon tea on the deck.  (PLEASE NOTE:  the first lecture in March is to be held on Wed 15 March at 1pm at the State Library, not on Thursday 16 March).

Our four Interest Days are held on Thursdays in Auditorium 2 at the State Library from 10.15am – 2.30pm.  Morning tea and lunch are included in the $75 members’ fee.

Membership is invited by those interested in joining by contacting our Chairman Mr Keith Hawken at the email listed below, or by downloading and completing the Membership Form for 2017.

Members are encouraged to invite guests for a small $30 fee for lectures and $80 for Special Interest Days.

The lecture series presented by ADFAS Brisbane is assisted by a partnership arrangement with the State Library of Queensland and Queensland Library Foundation.


Committee 2017

Keith Hawken
Tel:  07 3862 3387

Vice Chairman:
Fran Maitland

Hon. Secretary (email):
Ann Graham
Mob: 0488 598 723

Vicki Williams

Membership Secretary:
Margaret Brannock
PO Box 441 Red Hill Qld 4059

Programme for 2017

Wed 8th / Wed 15th March
Venice, Canaletto & His Rivals
Anthony Russell (Cultural historian, writer and artist) NADFAS Lecturer

(Please note, the first March afternoon lecture will be held on Wednesday 15 March at 1.00pm at the State Library – not on Thursday 16 March)

A look at magical paintings by an Italian artist greatly influenced by British taste. Britain boasts the greatest collection of his works, both in public and private hands. While these views depict a serene dreamland and have always been highly prized, Venice is now in serious trouble and needs a truly global cooperation to save it from sinking forever.

INTEREST DAY 1 – Thurs 9th March
The Power and the Glory of British Country Houses – their Evolution and Changing Role
Anthony Russell

This lecture explains the origins of British country houses, the changing nature of society and the way country houses have evolved. This journey through their history illustrates the most magnificent examples in all their grandeur and beauty, while considering the impact they have had on society and its development. Consideration is given to changing roles and if they can still exert a powerful hold on society. How should we look on them today and how are they to survive and evolve in the future?

Wed 5th / Thurs 6th April
Women Artists in Australia Today – An Abbreviated Handbook
Julie EWINGTON (Authority on contemporary Australian art) Australian Lecturer

This lecture will consider what Australia’s women artists are making and doing today, in major solo and group exhibitions, but also as teachers, advocates and mentors. Who are the major contributing figures? What are the latest developments in women’s work as artists? Are there specifically feminine subjects and mediums? What does it mean for an artist to consider herself (or himself) a feminist?

Wed 17th / Thurs 25th May
Spain’s 20th Century Artists who challenged the Art World
Sandra MOWRY (Author, historian and world traveller/lecturer) NADFAS Lecturer

From the modernism of architect Gaudi to the Surrealism of Miro & Dali, this talk focuses on art produced in the city of Barcelona, a city that defies convention. Barcelona spawned the artist expression of Gaudi’s ‘drip castle’ structures, the bizarre dreamlike images of Dali and Miro, and the abstract shapes and forms of Picasso.

Wed 21st / Thurs 22nd June
Discovery, Diggers & Adornment
Charlotte NATTEY (National Diploma of Design {Dress}) Australian Lecturer

The influences of fashion on antique jewellery, with particular reference to the Australian colonial and goldfields jewellery.  This lecture follows the changes in fashion that influence jewellery design from the sixteenth century to the turn of the twentieth century. However it isn’t until the 19th century that the influence of fashion is more widespread in a social sense and jewellery becomes available to those other than the wealthy.

Wed 12th / Thurs 20th July
The Foundations of Fashion – the History of Underwear
Kate Strasdin (Museum Curator of dress and textiles) NADFAS Lecturer

Christian Dior said that ‘Without foundations there can be no fashion’. For centuries, the clothed silhouette was determined not so much by what the outer garments looked like but how they were shaped by the foundation garments. From corsets to farthingales, busks to camisoles, crinolines to bustles, this is a lecture that considers how these foundations shaped our ancestors’ approach to dress. It also debunks some of the long held myths about the dangers of the corset and asks what we really think about comfortable dress.

INTEREST DAY 2 – Thurs 13th July
A Cut Above – Traditions of Tailoring
Kate Strasdin

This interest day combines the lectures on British tailoring, Mr Selfridge and department stores, and the analysis of Downton Abbey and clothing the classes. It is an analysis of traditions in the methods of production and the retailing of dress over a long period. In addition to the lectures themselves, there is also the chance in this interest day to look at some of the available archives relating to dress, both actual archives and online collections that members can explore including the British Pathe archive, the National Archive, museum collections and Australian collections as well.

Wed 23rd / Thurs 31st August
Stolen Masterpieces
Shauna Isaac (runs an art recovery business/ advisory board of European Shoah Legacy Institute) NADFAS Lecturer

Looks at famous works of art that have been stolen, such as Munch’s The Scream and the masterpieces that were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, including works by Vermeer and Rembrandt. Works looked at include Leonardo da Vinci’s Madonna with the Yarnwinder and Vermeer’s The Guitar Player.

INTEREST DAY 3 – Thurs 24th August
The stories behind the thefts of the great treasures of the Western World
Shauna Isaac

Lecture on stolen art and its many guises as well as The Assault on Modern Art in Nazi Germany.  As part of the third lecture, we will delve into the specific types of works that the Nazi liked and the kinds of art that they abhorred. This will keep with the theme of harming culture through thefts of great art treasures.

Wed 13th / Thurs 21st September
The Consolation of Movement: sculptures of Edgar Degas & Auguste Rodin
Michael Howard (Teacher, author, artist, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist) NADFAS Lecturer

Two of the greatest and most accessible artists of the nineteenth century – at once traditional and revolutionary, Degas and Rodin continue to excite and disturb the modern viewer.  Rodin was a sculptor whose vision is fired by his vibrant spiritual and sensual search for expression; his figures struggle between heaven and hell.  Degas was an artist who seemingly disparaged the spiritual and yet his work is, like Rembrandt’s, profoundly human, to such a degree that he teaches us to see the spiritual in the earthbound.

INTEREST DAY 4 – Thurs 14th September
A Marriage Made in Heaven – Drawing and Painting
Michael Howard

Session 1.  An introduction to the essential elements of drawing;
Session 2.  A celebration of the emotive and expressive power of colour and paint;
Session 3.  An informal session which will give an insight into a particular artist’s working methods – to really see how paintings and drawing weave together to form a dynamic emotional package.

Wed 18th / Thurs 26th October
Bags, Bags, Fabulous Tribal Bags! – The Antique Weavings & Dowry Bags of the Persian & Central Asian Nomads
Brian MacDonald (Dealer, lecturer, consultant in tribal rugs & dowry bags) NADFAS Lecturer

This lecture concentrates on the fabulous utilitarian weavings and dowry bags made by the nomadic tribes of Persia and Central Asia solely for their own personal uses in their everyday lives. Discover and examine little known utilitarian weavings – saddlebags, unusual salt bags, vanity bags, bedding bags, stunning bread and dining flat-weaves and the now extinct wheat-sacks. The 1940s saw the decline of these utilitarian bags which, until then, were highly prized possessions amongst the nomadic peoples. Why did this happen?  What caused it?  Today these magnificent woven containers, many depicting the very best of tribal work, have virtually disappeared and are not likely to be seen again amongst the nomadic tribes.

Lectures are held on Wednesday Evening at 7.30pm at the Royal Brisbane Hospital & repeated on Thursday at 1pm at State Library

For information on these lectures or to book in a guest please email

An annual subscription is $185.This is for 8 lectures and relevant refreshments. Guests are very welcome at a cost of $30.

Interest Days are $270 for 4 full days or $75 individually. Guests are welcome at $80.