Orange & Districts

Select Society

ADFAS Orange and Districts provides for its members a yearly programme of illustrated, informative lectures on a wide variety of topics.  The lectures are offered by overseas and Australian lecturers, chosen for their communication skills and expert knowledge in their fields.

Committee 2018

David Boulton
(02) 6365 8380

Vice Chairperson:
Susie Fletcher
(02) 6392 0962

Vice Chairperson:
David Bracey
(02) 6364 3226

Brian Fisher
(02) 6365 4256

Membership Secretary:
Ellen Fisher
(02) 6365 4256

Nerralie Boulton
(02) 6365 8380

Programme for 2018

Treasures of the Silk Road 
March 13th 2018
Mr Christopher Bradley

The Silk Road extends over 8,000 kms from China through Central Asia to the Mediterranean. The route acted as a highway for beliefs, ideas, inventions and art, whilst silk was just one of the many products traded for 1,400 years. With the Greek invasion of Alexander the Great, early Persian routes spread east towards India, until stability finally allowed the Chinese to trade silk, jade and ceramics in exchange for horses, pearls and gold. Buddhism spread throughout Central Asia and there are wonderful paintings from the Magao caves at Dunhuang and the ‘Caves of the Thousand Buddhas’ at Bezeklik in the Flaming Mountains. Samarkand and Bukhara are the beginning of the great Islamic buildings that continue through Persia and further west. Along the way we will see traditional murals, ceramics, statues, carpets, architecture, mosaics, tile-work, rock carvings and of course, silk itself.

Plant Hunters and the Plants that made our Gardens 
April 17th 2018
Mrs Fiona Ogilvie 

When I started gardening I knew almost nothing about plants but I soon learned that the more I knew about them, the more interesting they became. Even the hay I use as mulch meant something to me when I discovered that the humble lucerne from which it was made was introduced by England’s first botanist of note, William Turner author of A New Herbal, the first botanical work printed in English. Researching introduced me to the adventures of the amazing plant hunters who travelled the globe to find new plants for gardeners. I grow many plants brought to Australia from Britain and found that many of my favourites weren’t British at all but had come from all over the world. I became enthralled by the lives of the plant hunters who first saw them growing in the wild, and how much their exciting adventures and discoveries since the mid sixteenth century have contributed to our gardens.

Les Parisiennes 
May 22nd 2018
Ms Anne Sebba 

Les Parisiennes is a story about women’s lives during the dark years of Nazi occupation and beyond and includes British and American women caught in Paris as well as native born resisters who were eventually sent to camps, couturiers and jewellers, some of whom flourished in wartime, as well as actors, singers, night club dancers and housewives.

The lecture opens with a magnificent circus ball held by Elsie de Wolfe at the magnificent Villa Trianon, a chateau in the grounds of the Palace of Versailles; many of the guests could not believe that war was imminent and ends with Christian Dior’s lavish new look in 1947 as well as a perfume, Miss Dior, named after his sister Catherine, a resister, who had only just survived a prison camp and never wanted to talk about her experiences.

Visit of Archduke Franz Ferdinand to Australia in 1893
June 19th 2018 

Mr John Broadley 

The much-maligned and often misrepresented Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Este, heir to the Hapsburg empire of Austria-Hungary, came to NSW as part of a world tour in 1893. The tour was ostensibly a fact finding tour, but it was really intended to benefit the health of the Archduke who suffered from tuberculosis. Franz Ferdinand was a passionate collector who assembled and eclectic range of items during his tour, during which he kept extensive diaries revealing much about his enigmatic personality. Franz Ferdinand was extremely positive about his experiences in NSW and regretted that he had extended his stay in India at the expense of his Australian visit. Find out about Archdukes tragic family background, where he went during his visit to Sydney, what Sydney looked like at the time and whom he met. He also made two excursions to the country to go on hunting expeditions to the Narromine and Nyngan areas, and to Moss Vale.

Summer Palaces of the Tsars – The Highlights 
July 24th 2018
Dr Alex Makhrov 

The royal estates in the environs of St Petersburg not only impress with their splendour but also give fascinating insights into the private life of the Romanovs. During the 18th century inhospitable terrain was transformed into idyllic locations in Oranienbaum, Peterhof, Strelna, Gatchina, Tsarskoe Selo and Pavlovsk. Peter the Great, his daughter Elisabeth, Catherine the Great and their successors spared no expense in building and decorating palaces, villas and gardens. During the Second World War most of the estates were heavily damaged but have since been lovingly restored. The lecture represents the palaces and gardens in the environs of St Petersburg and gives an account of their past and present.

Great Tarts in Art: High Culture and the Oldest Profession 
August 21st 2018
Ms Linda Smith

A mixture of art-historical analysis and scandalous anecdote, this lecture takes a generally light-hearted look at changing attitudes to sexual morality down the ages, by examining the portraits and careers of some of history’s most notorious mistresses and courtesans. It also charts the rather complex and ambiguous attitudes of art and society towards the numerous anonymous working girls at the lower end of the scale, by investigating how they have been represented in art at different times and places from the 17th to the 20th century.

The Wind in the Willows Revisited through its Illustrations 
September 18th 2018
Mr John Ericson

The beauty of Kenneth Grahame’s prose is widely acknowledged but the story is so full of wonderful imagery that it almost demands to be illustrated. First published in 1908 without illustration, the classic tale of Ratty, Mole, and the incorrigible Mr Toad has been in print ever since. What is less well known is that it has been illustrated by more than ninety artists – making it the most widely illustrated book in the English language.

However, ‘Willows’ is a far more interesting book than its popular and often young audience might appreciate. It deserves recognition as a novel in which adult readers will find not just humour and entertainment but wisdom and meaning. In this engaging presentation we will revisit the story as depicted by numerous well known illustrators such as E H Shepard, Arthur Rackham, Robert Ingpen, Val Biro and Inga Moore. Where appropriate we will compare and contrast the same scene in the book through the eyes of different artists, a study known as ‘comparative illustration’.

We will also explore how the story came to be written for Grahame’s son Alastair and the interesting but ultimately tragic life of Kenneth Grahame.

Art, Power and Money: The Life and World of Matthew Boulton 
October 23rd 2018
Mr Martin Ellis

The talk celebrates the achievement of Matthew Boulton, one of the most extraordinary figures of the 18th century. An entrepreneur and industrialist of brilliance, a visionary who changed the nature of manufacturing, Boulton stands at the very centre of the industrial and intellectual revolution which laid the foundations of the modern world. His business partnerships saw both the development of the steam engine with James Watt, and the creation of exquisite silver and ormolu with John Fothergill. He built the Soho Manufactory, the most advanced and productive factory in the world, and established the world’s first mechanised mint.

Venue and Time of Lectures

The lectures are held at the Orange Conservatorium, 73A Hill Street, Orange NSW 2800 at 6.00 pm for refreshments, with the lectures starting promptly at 6.30pm.


Our 2018 subscription opens in January 2018

Membership $130


We look forward to welcoming guests to our lectures: the cost is $25.00 for guests and $10 for visiting ADFAS members. For catering purposes, we would appreciate it if you could let a committee member know that a guest will be attending.

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