Blue Mountains

Postal Address:

ADFAS Blue Mountains
PO Box 100
Wentworth Falls NSW 2782

ABN: 54 699 436 472


Membership Enquiries:

ADFAS Blue Mountains provides a yearly program of nine illustrated lectures for its members and guests. The lectures are given by overseas and Australian lecturers chosen for their communication skills and expert knowledge of their field. The lectures are held at the Wentworth Falls School of Arts on Friday afternoons at 2 pm and are followed by a delicious home cooked afternoon tea provided by members of the society.  However, during the COVID-19 pandemic our arrangements have changed.  Throughout 2020 and 2021 our lectures have been provided on-line allowing members to view lectures in the comfort of their own homes at times convenient to them.  In recognition of the current changed arrangements the membership fees have been considerably reduced.
We plan to return to live lectures in early 2022.
Consider joining our society. Members enjoy many benefits including a considerably cheaper cost per lecture as compared to the amount paid as a visitor.


Lectures are held on Fridays at 1.30pm for 2.00pm start.
The School of Arts, Great Western Highway, Wentworth Falls
(Parking at rear of hall)


To Join:
Cheque/Money Order:
Payable to ADFAS Blue Mountains Inc.
PO Box 100, Wentworth Falls, NSW 2782

Payment Options:
Current Members: $50
New Members: $75

Direct Deposit:
Account name: ADFAS Blue Mountains Inc.
BSB: 633000  Account: 145276374 (Please quote your name as transaction reference)
Email details of payment to:

Committee 2021

Sharryn Ryan
Ph: 0410 580 257

Denise Shoer
Ph: 0417 261 341

Membership Secretary:
Denise Shoer
Ph: 0417 261 341


5 February 2021
The Importance of being Oscar – The life and works of Oscar Wilde
Susannah Fullerton

Oscar Wilde said that he had put only his talent into his works, but had put his genius into his life. Susannah Fullerton discusses Wilde’s extraordinary life story, his fall from fame and the creation of his great works of literature. Dramatic readings bring those works to life and slides provide the sort of sumptuous visual background that Wilde himself would have appreciated.

19 March 2021
The Classical Reinvented – the Brilliant Legacy of Sir Christopher Wren
Ian Swankie

In this talk we wind the clock back to the seventeenth century and enjoy an armchair tour of some of Wren’s magnificent structures including city churches, the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich and, of course, his greatest masterpiece St Paul’s Cathedral. Wren was primarily a mathematician and astronomer and we’ll see how these disciplines are harnessed in his work. We will also look at the origins of the classical orders of architecture and discover how Wren’s love of this ancient system is everywhere to be seen in his legacy.

17 April 2021
Antarctica – A Global Village
Robert Clancy

Robert Clancy sees maps not only as decorative documents of history, but as a way of understanding the past. This lecture will explore how Antarctica has evolved from a land mass to become the reality of what it is today – a global village.

28 May 2021
Jewel of the Crown – Sainte Chapelle
Nicola Mezey

Sainte Chapelle is a gem of beauty and technical innovation in the heart of Paris, possibly the most perfect surviving medieval ensemble. It was designed not only to celebrate France and its kings, but as a life-size reliquary, a worthy shrine for some of the most significant and talismanic of Christian remains, including the Crown of Thorns. Built in a mere 5 years (1243-1248), this extraordinary survival captures the best of the arts at a precise moment in time, summoned up by all the resources available to a king. This lecture looks at the architecture, the sculpture but, above all, the exquisite stained glass, setting Louis IX in the company of the blessed and turning the interior into a floating vision of heaven on earth.

21 June 2020
The Venice Biennale – Modern and Contemporary Art in Venice
Nick Gordon

Venice is one of the world’s great art cities, with its medieval mosaics, Renaissance masterpieces and wonderful collections of modern art. It also has a rolling series of biennales – of art, cinema, architecture, dance and theatre – which take up half of each year, and which have expanded phenomenally since the Biennale was invented in Venice in the 1890s. In this lecture, Dr Nick Gordon explores how the Biennale has transformed Venice from a provincial town on the edge of Italy into the pre-eminent playground for modern and contemporary art.

23 July 2020
Ladies of the Night – Art History’s Most Scandalous Muses
Stella Lyons

Prostitutes have been used as muses and models by artists throughout art history. In 16th century Venice, courtesans were frequently depicted as luscious nudes reclining as Venuses or scantily clad Floras, serving as early advertisements for the most successful courtesans of Europe. In 19th century Paris, prostitutes were a key subject for artists, painted by Toulouse-Lautrec, Edgar Degas and most famously, by Manet. This talk looks at the many different depictions of prostitution, from Titian’s seductive women, to Ingres’ sensual odalisques, to Egon Schiele’s erotically charged sketches and examines how the role of prostitution has been idealised, glamorised and brought to public attention.

27 August 2021
John Peter Russell – The Lost Impressionist
Lucrezia Walker

John Peter Russell was an impressionist painter born and raised in Sydney. Russell moved to Europe in his late teenage years to attend art school where he became friends with Vincent van Gogh, He was regarded by Rodin as equal to Monet, Renoir and Matisse. Walker, a regular lecturer at the National Gallery, will tell us more about how important this Australian artist is.

24 September 2021
Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera – The Golden Age of Mexican Painting
Chloe Sayer

Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) and Diego Rivera (1886- 1957) have iconic status in Mexico. The Mexican Revolution of 1910 swept away the old régime and banished European influence in the arts. Kahlo and Rivera, in their different ways, helped to shape the cultural identity of twentieth-century Mexico. Together they made Mexico a magnet for the rest of the world. The Mexican mural movement, born during the 1920s, was destined to produce some of the greatest public art of the last century. Diego Rivera’s panoramic images adorn the walls of public buildings, combining social criticism with a faith in human progress. Inspired by early Italian fresco painting, as well as by Aztec and Maya imagery, his intricate visual narratives incorporate allegory and symbolism. Compared with the monumental scale of Rivera’s work, Kahlo’s work is small in format. Arguably Mexico’s most original painter, she made herself the principal theme of her art. Her paintings reflect her experiences, dreams, hopes and fears. Kahlo and Rivera were married in 1929. Their volatile marriage and the turbulent times they lived through are the subject of the film ‘Frida’ (USA, 2002). They are key figures in ‘The Lacuna’, a historical novel published in 2009 by Barbara Kingsolver and currently on the reading list of many Book Clubs in Australia and the UK.

29 October 2021
Pompeii – Digging Deeper with the Muddy Archaeologist
Gillian Hovel

This lecture provides a deep insight into the many kinds of art found in the homes and streets of Pompeii. They reveal a thoroughly modern world, one full of material goods and works of art, in which craftsmanship and artistry were draped around the Romans themselves and amidst their everyday lives. Hovel will explore how the Empire provided materials and the opportunity for this wealth of art to be accessible to more people than ever before. Pompeii’s survival gives us a glimpse of the Roman Empire in all its vastness. Its burial captured a moment in time when the Empire was a multicultural, vibrant and growing power, that reached into the lives of everyone, rich or poor. It’s triumph and tragedy still speak to us across the millennia.

(nb: July to October lecture topics TBC)