Byron Bay

Select Society

Postal Address:

ADFAS Byron Bay & Districts
PO Box 356
Lennox Head, NSW 2478

ADFAS Byron Bay offers a yearly program of eight illustrated lectures on a diverse range of topics related to the arts. The lectures are presented by accredited International and Australian lecturers who are experts in their chosen fields and who are selected for their excellent presentation and communication skills.

Our lectures are held on a Monday evening at 6.30pm at the historic A&I Hall in the charming heritage town of Bangalow. We offer a glass of wine on arrival. After the lecture there is an opportunity to chat with other members over a glass of wine and a light snack of sandwiches and cheese and biscuits. Guests are most welcome.


Committee 2018

John Griffiths

Dianne Stuart
Phone: 0412 370 372  



Sue Brennan

Membership Secretary:
Sue Brennan

Programme for 2018

Medieval Manuscripts in Australasia
Monday 5
Dr Christopher de Hamel

There are (perhaps surprisingly) about 250 original medieval illuminated manuscripts in Australian libraries, and well over 100 in New Zealand. This is a lavishly illustrated introductory tour of what the oldest books are in Australasia, how they got here, why they matter, how to see them and how to read and understand them. There are illuminated Bibles, historical texts, medieval literature, music and magic, as well as the celebrated Rothschild Prayerbook in the Stokes Collection in Western Australia. It is a tale which involves the nineteenth-century history of collecting medieval art with twenty-first century connoisseurship and scholarship.

Presented by Dr Christoper de Hamel

Christopher de Hamel has studied medieval manuscripts since 1963 and has lectured about them extensively. He was involved in the Medieval Imagination exhibition at the State Library of Victoria and was responsible for catalogues and sales of illuminated manuscripts at Sotheby’s in London for 25 years, before taking up the Librarianship of the Parker Library in Cambridge University. He is a Life Fellow of Corpus Christi College and is widely published.


A Painter in Revolutionary Times: John Singleton Copley and the American Revolution 1760-80
Monday 16
th April
Peter McPhee (Australian lecturer)

This lecture examines the harrowing story of an outstanding portraitist caught in the deadly divisions of the American Revolution. Copley, born in 1738 to poor Irish parents in Boston, Massachusetts, became a highly sought-after painter of the professional and mercantile élite of the then small colonial port.  Increasing friction between Britain and her American colonies after 1763 polarised this élite into warring camps, and by 1774 Copley had to make a choice which would change his life tragically and permanently.

Presented by Peter McPhee:

Peter McPhee recently retired as Provost of the University of Melbourne. He has published widely on the history of France during the tumultuous Revolution, is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. He was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2012.

From Corot to Monet: developments in French landscape painting
Monday 14th May
Rosalind Whyte

This lecture traces the development of French Landscape Painting, from its humble beginnings to the gradual acceptance of landscape by the art establishment.  Its insistence on realism and the harshness of rural life was subsequently undermined by the Impressionists who, with their sketchy, visible brush strokes, attempted to capture the changing qualities of light in nature.  This story covers the battles landscape painters fought and won to gain acceptance and recognition for their subject, and culminates at the high point of landscape’s popularity at the time of the acceptance of the work of the Impressionists, whose work now attracts universal plaudits and huge sums on the art market.

Presented by Rosalind Whyte

Rosalind Whyte holds two Masters degrees from the University of London.  She is a Guide and Lecturer at Tate Modern, Tate Britain and the Royal Academy and lectures frequently at the Dulwich Picture Gallery, London.  She leads Art Appreciation holidays, is a guest speaker on cruises and is an experienced NADFAS lecturer.



Yehudi Menuhin: Prodigy and Phenomenon
Monday 18th June
Philip Bailey

This presentation focuses on Yehudi Menuhin’s remarkable career in performance, and the events and characters that shaped a life dedicated to the pursuit of utopian perfection in the art of music. It traces the careers of Yehudi and his sisters Hephzibah and Yaltah, three consummate musicians with often-complicated personal lives.  Related topics in the Menuhin saga unfold:  the precious violins, the architecture and furnishings of the various Menuhin residences; concert halls and their acoustics; yoga and its role in extending Yehudi’s career; and the role played by a group of formidable women.

Presented by Philip Bailey (Australian lecturer)

Philip Bailey’s introduction to the Menuhin world began when he attended a recital Yehudi and Hephzibah gave in Sydney in 1951.  After taking two degrees at UNE, Philip joined the Menuhin staff in Britain, assuming the role of Yehudi’s personal assistant, a job that was to last two decades. After Yehudi’s death in 1999, Philip began writing a two-volume Menuhin biography entitled Yehudiana – Reliving the Menuhin Odyssey.  

A Journey through the Imperial Wardrobe: Chinese Imperial Court Costume and Accessories
Monday 16
th July
David Rosier

This presentation provides an insight into mandated Court Costume and dress accessories, worn by men and women on formal and semi-formal occasions during the Qing Dynasty between 1644 and 1911. It will look at formal Court Costume and Insignia of Rank worn by the imperial clan as well as civil and military officials; then move to a review of the Emperor’s wardrobe from regalia to informal wear.  The lecture will include coverage of the highly decorative costume worn by high ranking Chinese ladies, from informal robes, outerwear and headwear to ornamental accessories. (Image from The Wendy & David Rosier Collection of Chinese Imperial Textiles).

Presented by David Rosier

David Rosier has over 25 years’ experience working and living in East Asia. While living in Hong King he assembled a collection of 700 predominantly Qing Dynasty Imperial and related textiles, costumes and dress accessories. David is a frequent speaker on Chinese Imperial Insignia of Rank, Court Costume and Dress Accessories.

The Genius of Antonio Stradivari
Monday 20
th August
Toby Faber

Two hundred and fifty years after Antonio Stradivari’s death, his violins and cellos remain the most highly prized instruments in the world. Loved by great musicians and capable of fetching fabulous sums when sold, their tone and beauty are legendary. Every subsequent violin-maker has tried to match them. Not one has succeeded. How can that be?  This lecture explores that central mystery by following some of Stradivari’s instruments from his workshop to the present day. The lecture is illustrated with pictures of violins and of key individuals and locations, as well as with some short musical recordings.

Presented by Toby Faber

Toby Faber has written two works of narrative history: Stradivarius and Fabergé’s Eggs, and has given lectures at venues including The Victoria and Albert Museum, Hay Literary Festival, The Library of Congress and the Huntington Library in California. Toby’s career is varied, including five years as managing director of the publishing company founded by his grandfather, Faber and Faber, where he remains on the board.




Who Done It?  Hitchcock:  Master of Suspense
Monday 10
th September
Mr John Francis

Alfred Hitchcock, film director and ‘the master of darkness’, made over fifty feature films where innocent people are often caught up in circumstances beyond their control.     His Catholic upbringing and uneasy relationship with femininity will be discussed in his early work of the Silent Era.  London based dramas, Blackmail[1929] and Dial M  for Murder [1954] will be closely analysed.  After moving to Hollywood, Hitchcock created several masterpieces of cinema including Vertigo[1958] and Psycho [1960]. Although often regarded as a skilled entertainer, cinema critics have argued that Hitchcock’s films should be regarded as artistic masterworks.  He remains by far the most studied film director of all time

Presented by Mr John Francis

John initially trained as a painter, He was awarded the Max Beckmann Memorial Scholarship in painting in Brooklyn, New York and went on to be artist in residence for the state of Texas.  Later in his career John produced and directed several short films and animations. He has taught film, art and pedagogy at various UK universities including Exeter and London as well as universities in Malaysia and the USA. John is an inspirational speaker who has delivered lectures and workshops in the US, Beijing, Malaysia and the UK.

Rembrandt’s Vision: Dutch history painting in the 17th century
Monday 22nd October
Dr Sophie Oosterwijk

With an emphasis on human drama and the human figure ‘history painting’ – which depicted stories from the Bible and antiquity with the aim of affecting the viewer emotionally – was a highly-regarded genre in the Dutch Republic during the Golden Age.  Trained in history painting by Pieter Lastman in Amsterdam, Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669) gradually developed his own interpretations of biblical stories, placing greater psychological emphasis on inner conflict and personal drama. His very personal visions can still move or disturb us in ways quite different from those of his contemporaries, not all of whom appreciated his approach, as this lecture will show.

Presented by Dr Sophie Oosterwijk

Sophie has two doctorates in Art History (Leicester) and English Literature (Leiden). Sophie is actively involved in the Church Monuments Society and has published widely. She is currently a freelance lecturer for the University of Cambridge, NADFAS, the V&A Museum in London, and a number of art tour companies. She is also an Honorary Research Fellow in Art History at the University of St Andrews (Scotland).


Venue and Time of Lectures

A & I Hall – Station Street Bangalow NSW 2479
Doors open: 6.00pm; Lecture 6.30pm – 7.30 pm;


Guests are most welcome – entry $25.


Annual membership for ADFAS Byron Bay & Districts is $140 per person or $250 per couple. Early bird discounts are available.  Guests are welcome at $25 per lecture. Guest fee for members of other societies is $5. Membership between societies is not transferable.

Byron Bay Newsletters

No Results Found

The page you requested could not be found. Try refining your search, or use the navigation above to locate the post.