Postal Address:

ADFAS Adelaide
PO Box 565

ABN: 54 559 495 272

ADFAS Adelaide is one of thirty eight ADFAS societies in Australia. ADFAS is a not for profit organisation run by a committee of volunteers. We aim to promote an interest in the study of decorative and fine arts by offering nine high quality monthly lectures on a wide range of subjects including social history, landscape gardening and design, architecture, textiles and music.

Committee 2021

Name: Gill Potter
0418 369 012

Name: Sandie Meyer
Ph: 0417 841 925

Name: Ross Burton
Ph: 0452 292 691


Membership Secretary:
Name: Margaret Stableford
Ph: 0407 070 722

Membership Enquiries:
Margaret Stableford
0407 070 722 or


17 February 2021
Festivals and the Arts: why they matter and why culture underpins an informed society
Ian Scobie

Ian is Director of Arts Projects Australia a company he co-founded in 1997 where he has continued since 1999. He is Chair of Festivals Adelaide – an organisation established to represent Adelaide’s 11 major arts & cultural festivals and director of the WOMADelaide festival.

Ian will talk about his career and the importance of culture and the arts to an open, inclusive and thoughtful society.  Ian has experienced first-hand the interaction & challenge between artist and audience – which is new every time ‘the curtain rises’  but always reflects the ancient beginning ‘let me tell you a story……’ – having produced and presented an extraordinarily diverse range of works across art forms to audiences across Australia & New Zealand.

24 March 2021
Bessie Davidson in Paris: The domestic avant garde
Tansy Curtin

Tansy Curtin commenced as Curator of International Art pre-1980 at the Art Gallery of South Australia in April 2020 after having previously held curatorial positions at Bendigo Art Gallery for more than 13 years. Originally from Adelaide, Tansy Curtin holds a Masters in Art History from the University of Adelaide and before leaving SA held positions at Adelaide Central Gallery, Flinders Art Museum and the Samstag Museum.

Tansy will talk about Bessie Davidson who was Born in Adelaide in 1879, and left Australia in the early part of the twentieth century to pursue an artistic career in Paris, where she remained until her death in 1965. Throughout her career Davidson was the recipient of many awards and accolades, including being made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour, the highest award conferred by the French government. Davidson was also a founding member of the Salon des Tuileries and vice president of La Société Femmes Artistes Moderne but despite the recognition her influence and legacy remains under acknowledged. In this presentation Tansy Curtin will explore the life and work of Bessie Davidson to re-contextualise her work within a national and international framework.

5 May 2021
The Art of Architecture
Max Pritchard

The work of Max Pritchard speaks eloquently of its unassuming creator – deft, grounded and genuine (Francesco Bonato). It is appropriate at a time when the profession is going through a period of self examination of its role and relevance in South Australia and Max has been recognised as a person who has quietly built a reputation as an architect of people and place, unaffected by the transient trends and fashions around him.

Max’s architecture provides a background for exploring the practice of architecture as an art form. Is it still possible to achieve timeless beautiful architecture in the fast paced modern world?

9 June 2021
A Brief History of the Tiara
Angus Trumble

Angus Trumble was born and raised in Melbourne. He studied Fine Arts and History at the University of Melbourne, graduating in 1986. In summer of 1987, he was an intern at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice. He studied for a year at the Bibliotheca Hertziana in Rome, graduating MA (University of Melbourne) in 1993. In 1994 Angus won a Fulbright Scholarship for further study at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University.

In January 1996 Angus was appointed Associate Curator of European Art at the Art Gallery of South Australia in Adelaide, and was promoted Curator in 1998. He was appointed Curator of Paintings and Sculpture at the Yale Centre for British Art in May 2003, and served in that capacity until January 2014. Angus was Director of the National Portrait Gallery of Australia from February 2014 until December 2018.

Angus will speak about the history of the Tiara. Through the 50 years following the Kimberley diamond strike in 1868 and an unprecedented upsurge in the supply of consistently bigger stones, magnificent jewels underwent a series of transformations, largely driven by a rash of European coronations. Court protocol dictated that even in a relatively informal  family environments, royal women wore their orders, ribands and tiaras to dinner. This happy state of affairs kept the better jewellers in business, but more importantly it deployed a small army of mostly unsung designers and makers for whom the magnificent head ornament held boundless potential and possibility.

7 July 2021
Nora, Stella & Sybil
Gavin Fry

Gavin Fry is a writer, artist and museum professional with fifty years experience working in curatorial and management positions in Australian museums, galleries and educational institutions.  He is the author of twenty-five books on Australian art and history and a large number of catalogue and journal essays. In retirement Gavin has returned to his art training and exhibits as a painter in Newcastle and Melbourne.  Gavin holds the degrees of Bachelor of Arts [Hons] and Master of Arts from Monash University and Master of Philosophy from Leicester University.

Gavin will speak about the three women , the only women, who worked as Official War Artists during World War Two – Nora Heysen, Stella Bowen and Sybil Craig. They each made a significant body of work, bringing fresh vision to the official expression of Australia at War.  

4 August 2021
Modernist Adelaide: Our mid-century architectural revolution
Stuart Symons

Stuart Symons is a mid-century architecture and design enthusiast who celebrates Adelaide’s modernist architecture online and through tours, exhibitions, publications and events. Over the past three years, more than 1700 people have attended 70 of Stuart’s architecture tours and events and his book, Modernist Adelaide: 100 Buildings 1940s–1970s, has sold over 1000 copies. Stuart was awarded South Australian Emerging Historian of the Year 2019 for raising the community profile of Adelaide’s architectural heritage and bringing it to new audiences.

From Australia’s first curtain-wall high-rise of the 50s to the brutalism of the 70s, this engaging talk through time will appeal to anyone with a love of mid-century architecture and design, history or just looking up and seeing the beauty in our everyday built environment. Adelaide was fertile ground for architectural experimentation in the 1950s, 60s and 70s, when a new breed of forward-thinking architects redefined the city by embracing the aesthetic, technological and environmental aspirations of modernist architecture.

Join Stuart Symons, Founder of Modernist Adelaide and South Australian Emerging Historian of the Year, to discover the mid-century jet age of Mad Men era Adelaide.

1 September 2021
“they are just making it up on the spot”
Exploring the concept of improvisation from the perspective of a jazz musician
Mark Ferguson

Composer/arranger/pianist Mark Simeon Ferguson was a finalist in the National Jazz Awards in 1999 and in the same year he completed a Master of Music in Jazz Performance at the University of Adelaide (where he is now Head of Jazz).  

His commissions for the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra include ASO Does Latin with the Marmalade Man (a concert of his own latin jazz works arranged for orchestra) , Herman and Rosie (based on Gus Gordon’s children’s book), Gospel Messiah (a revision of Handel’s Messiah) and The Bush Concert (based on Helga Visser’s children’s book). The Bush Concert has been performed by the Sydney Symphony Orchestra in the Opera House, the Melbourne Youth Orchestra in the Recital Centre and the ASO in Harbin, China (after translation into Mandarin).  

He composed the song cycles The Moral of the Story (2013) and Next Stop North Terrace (2018) for the SA Public Primary Schools Music Festival, the opera The Unknown Man for Singular Productions and he has recently written arrangements for the Australian String Quartet (featuring Johanna Allen) which they performed as part of their Ukaria Livestreams. He has just released his sixth album Songs From an Imperfect World on the Wizardtone Label. 

As a pianist Mark has performed with artists including Rufus Wainwright, Nancye Hayes, Lady Rizo, Mark Murphy and Ray Vega. He has been Musical Director for Johanna Allen, Camille O’Sullivan, Rhonda Burchmore, the Adelaide Cabaret Festival’s Closing Gala, Children’s Gala, the Backstage Club, and for the Adelaide Festival Centre’s Walk of Fame Gala, Her Majesty’s Closing Gala and A Right Royal Gala. He was Musical Director and pianist for QPAC’s 2019 Songs of Hope and Healing in the Brisbane Concert Hall and he was co-curator of the 2018 International Jazz Day celebrations for the Adelaide Festival Centre.  

13 October 2021
William Morris and the interiors of Adelaide’s most fashionable houses
Rebecca Evans

Rebecca Evans is the Art Gallery of South Australia’s Curator of Decorative Arts & Design. She is responsible for the Gallery’s extensive collection of Australian and international decorative arts objects, dating from antiquity to contemporary, a collection that includes ceramics, glass, furniture, metalwork, jewellery, fashion and textiles. Prior to joining the Gallery in 2016 she was Assistant Curator, Decorative Arts and Design (2008-2016) at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney. Rebecca has strong interests in contemporary and historic fashion, textiles and jewellery and has curated To have and to hold, the Daalder contemporary jewellery collection (2018), Paolo Sebastian: X (2017) and Catherine Truman (2016). She has also written extensively on Australian and international decorative arts and design. 

The Art Gallery of South Australia holds the most comprehensive collection of Morris & Co. furnishing outside of the United Kingdom. This collection is due to Adelaide’s wealthy Barr Smith family, who furnished their large houses with Morris & Co. designs. This lecture will examine the interiors of these houses and surviving works by Morris & Co. and how they signified the taste, status and identity of the Barr Smith family and by extension proclaimed Adelaide as cosmopolitan in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

17 November 2021
Australian Film: Defining Moments in National Cinema (Preceded by the AGM)
Karen Pearlman

 Karen, senior lecturer in Screen Production at Macquarie University, is the co-director of the multi-award winning Physical TV Company, through which she has been responsible for development, production of numerous highly acclaimed and award winning dance-films, documentaries and dramas. She is a five time nominee and two time winner of Best Editing Awards from the ASE, as well as an Australian Teachers of Media (ATOM) Award for best short fiction and numerous film festival awards. 

Before taking up filmmaking, editing and film studies, Karen had a distinguished career as a professional dancer – performing on the Opera House stages of the world and directing two dance companies. She holds a Doctorate of Creative Arts from UTS, two MAs – one from UTS and one from AFTRS, and a BFA in dance from NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

Karen’s lecture introduces some key moments in Australian Film History from the early 1900’s to the present and looks at the questions of how this country’s film industry and aesthetics have been profoundly shaped by the impediments and opportunities of government legislation. Enjoy the clips and images that reveal these defining moments.

Special Interest Half Day
Thursday 2 September 2021
Paul Vasileff: The Art of Design in Fashion

At just 29 years of age, designer Paul Vasileff has truly made his mark in the fashion industry with his unique skill and the scope of his creative vision. The young boy who learned to sew with his grandmother, has built a label that has become a national icon – PAOLO SEBASTIAN. Paul studied at Milan’s prestigious Instituto Europe di Design and has since captivated clientele and media alike with his whimsical designs and expert tailoring. This special morning will delight everyone who admires the skill of beautiful fashion design and the power of creative vision. You will be captivated by Paul’s story of how he began in Adelaide and now shows his magnificent creations on national and international catwalks.

This half day session will be held at Beaumont Bowling Club, 71 Devereaux Rd, Beaumont.
Start time: 9.30am
Finish time: 12.30pm (approx)
Morning tea will be served mid way.

Application forms to attend this event will be sent in August 2021. Put the date in your diary now!


Walkerville Civic Centre, 66 Walkerville Terrace, Walkerville.

Lectures commence at 10.30am. Morning tea is provided at the conclusion of the lecture.

Beaumont Bowling Club, 71 Devereaux Road Beaumont

Lectures commence at 7.30pm. Wine and sandwiches are provided at the conclusion of the lecture

NB: Members may only attend the session to which they have subscribed

Beaumont Bowling Club, 71 Devereaux Road Beaumont
Lecture commences at 9.30am and concludes at 12.30pm
These are optional extras and an additional fee applies. Registration forms are sent out approximately one month prior to the lecture.


Single membership (9 lectures) $150.00
Double membership (9 lectures) $280.00
Pro rata rates apply after 1 July. Please contact the Membership Secretary for rates if joining after 1 July.


Guests are most welcome. A $25.00 fee applies or $15.00 if a member of another ADFAS Society. Prior notice is required.
Phone: Margaret Stableford 0407 070 722


Margaret Stableford email: