ADFAS Newcastle welcomes you.

ADFAS Newcastle is a thriving Society with over 185 members.  While we are located in Newcastle we welcome members from Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Port Stephens and the Hunter Valley (while noting that there is also ADFAS Pokolbin).

As well as hosting nine lectures a year and two special interest mornings, members and volunteers are also involved in Church Recording, School of Arts recording and raising funds to support Young Arts grants.

So far we have completed 11 School of Arts reports (East Gresford, Gresford, Minmi, Merewether, Plattsburg, Stroud, Tighes Hill, Wallsend 1, Wallsend 2, and Wickham) and one Church Recording (St John’s Anglican Church, Cooks Hill).

In 2021 the Society received the prestigious Marsh Award for our community activities. Watch our presentation to the Marsh Committee.


All lectures take place at the Hunter Theatre, Hunter School of the Performing Arts, Cameron St, Broadmeadow.

Parking is on Cameron Street and in the parking lots to the north and south of the theatre.

Lectures are on a Monday evening and begin at 6:30pm.

We offer nine lectures and two special interest mornings a year.
Click the links to find details of our 2023 lectures and special interest mornings.

Annual membership (for 9 lectures) is $170
Student membership is $85 (a student is under 25 and studying full-time at school, TAFE or university)

Click here for the ADFAS Newcastle membership form and return with payment.
If you have membership questions, please contact Jenny at

Guests welcome:
Guests may attend up to three lectures per annum.
The cost is $25 per person per lecture.
For members of other ADFAS societies the cost is $5.
For more information visit ADFAS Newcastle website

For all enquiries please contact Jenny at
Postal Address: PO Box 531, Newcastle, NSW 2300
ABN: 42 374 836 979

Committee 2023
Chair: Kathy Heinrich
Click here for more information about the ADFAS Newcastle committee


Monday 27 February 2023
Presented by Gavin Fry
Time & Venue: 6:30pm. Hunter Theatre, Hunter School of the Performing Arts, Cameron St, Broadmeadow.

Just three women 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 a fresh vision to the official expression of Australia at War.

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. As well as working as a professional writer, he also designs and publishes books on behalf of other writers and artists. Gavin holds the degrees of Bachelor of Arts [Hons] and Master of Arts from Monash University and Master of Philosophy from Leicester University.

Monday 27 March 2023
Presented by Alan Reed
Time & Venue: 6:30pm. Hunter Theatre, Hunter School of the Performing Arts, Cameron St, Broadmeadow.

In the two centuries since they were removed from the Parthenon by Lord Elgin, the meaning and significance of the ‘Elgin marbles’ has changed dramatically. From architectural decoration to disputed cultural objects this lecture looks at the response to them over their time in Britain, from the original controversy over their purchase to the current debate surrounding the restitution of the marbles to the new Acropolis Museum in Athens.

Alan holds a master’s and first class honours degree in History of Art from Birkbeck College, London.  He is a gallery guide at Tate Britain, Tate Modern, National Portrait Gallery and for Frieze Masters and regularly lectures at the NPG, Dulwich Picture Gallery, Plymouth City Art Gallery and other galleries in the UK. He also works as a London Blue Badge Guide and a City of London Guide.

Monday 1 May 2023
Presented by Jos Hackforth-Jones
Time & Venue: 6:30pm. Hunter Theatre, Hunter School of the Performing Arts, Cameron St, Broadmeadow.

The triangular slave trade was seldom directly represented in art. However, many artists including Hogarth and Reynolds included slaves and slave owners in their portraits. This lecture will examine some of the complexities of this process. We will consider some of the abolitionist sympathies of artists such as Augustus Earle and Joshua Reynolds and the effect of the ‘turn’ against slavery and the abolition of the slave trade and the impact it had on the art of the period.

Professor Jos Hackforth-Jones has served as Director of the London Institute since 2008.  Hackforth-Jones is a distinguished academic administrator, noted art historian, author, curator and lecturer. Since joining Sotheby’s Institute she has worked closely with colleagues to refine the academic standing and raise the international profile of the London Institute. Hackforth-Jones has recently edited (with Iain Robertson) Art Business Today: 20 Key Topics (Lund Humphries and Sotheby’s Institute of Art, 2016).  This accompanies the launch of an exciting and innovative new MA curriculum in Art Business, Contemporary Art, Fine and Decorative Art and Design and Modern and Contemporary Asian Art. Prior to her post at the Institute, Hackforth-Jones served as President and Provost at Richmond The American International University in London.


Monday 29 May 2023
Presented by Leslie Primo
Time & Venue: 6:30pm. Hunter Theatre, Hunter School of the Performing Arts, Cameron St, Broadmeadow.

The nude is still seen in our modern age, and indeed has been seen for quite some time as the pinnacle of creative artistic perfection but, throughout the course of art history the notion of the perfect body and consequently gender has been constantly reshaped and redefined. This lecture will look at the continuing fascination with representation of the body in sculpture and in painting across the ages.

Leslie Primo Holds a BA in Art History and an MA in Renaissance Studies from Birkbeck College, University of London. He was the Visiting Lecturer in Art History at the University of Reading in 2005 and 2007, and gives lectures and guided tours, plus special talks, at both the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery. He also lectures at the City Literary Institute and has presented a series of talks at the National Maritime Museum and the Courtauld Institute. The first lecture in this list is based on his book, called The Foreigners that Invented British Art: From Renaissance to Enlightenment, which will be published by Thames and Hudson in Spring 2023.

Monday 26 June 2023
Presented by Leigh Capel
Time & Venue: 6:30pm. Hunter Theatre, Hunter School of the Performing Arts, Cameron St, Broadmeadow.

This lecture will look into Hitler’s often overlooked artistic background; a frustrated artist in the traditional school, rejected due to the rise of Modern Art in the early 20th Century. It will also analyse some of the most important artworks and artists lost in Hitler’s war on Modern Art, the Monuments Men and the search for the stolen art, and the aftermath and impact on Post Wat art, including the impact and influence of the Holocaust on past war and immigrant art in Australia.

I fell into art by accident. I studied filmmaking in Sydney and San Francisco, worked on the London Olympics Games with NBCUniversal, then moved home in 2013 without a job. As a favour to my mum, a small auction room gave me a start moving furniture and disposing of dead people’s possessions. Within six months I was the fine art photographer for the business and within two years, the art researcher and valuer. Following stints at Menzies and Mossgreen, I finally rose to Sotheby’s, working on Russell Crowe’s ‘Art of Divorce’, ‘Kirk Pengilly (INXS) Collection’ and ‘Important Art from the John Schaeffer Collection’. Disenchanted with the auction industry and working for other people’s dreams, I quit my job to start my own art gallery in Petersham as an extension of mum’s antique furniture business, Belle Epoque Fine Art and Antiques. I had just turned 30.

Monday 24 July 2023
Presented by Jacqui Ansel
Time & Venue: 6:30pm. Hunter Theatre, Hunter School of the Performing Arts, Cameron St, Broadmeadow.

Had his older brother Henry not died in 1612, Charles I would never have been King. Had Van Dyck not arrived at the Stuart Court the stiff body language of Jacobean portraiture may never have been enlivened by the introduction of Renaissance values, giving rise to the splendour of Baroque. Van Dyck transformed the awkward and ungainly Charles; through his portraits the tiny King (and his even tinier wife) seemed to grow in stature. Van Dyck’s male sitters exuded elegance, and with his depiction of sumptuous satins and shimmering silks he was hailed as ‘the first that ‘ere put ‘ladies’ dress into a careless romance’.

Jacqui Ansell is a Senior Lecturer at Christie’s Education, tutoring online and face-to-face courses. She read History of Art and Theory at the University of Essex before going on to gain an MA in History of Dress from the Courtauld Institute under Professor Aileen Ribeiro.  Formerly an Education Officer at the National Gallery, London, and a tutor and writer for the Open University, she lectures for the Art Society and has devised and delivered many short courses for the National Gallery and Wallace Collections. She lectures on aspects of art history and dress history 1450-1950 (with particular interest in portraiture). Specialist research and publications focus on European Courtly Cultures, The Grand Tour and Traditional Welsh Costume.


Monday 28 August 2023
Presented by Chloe Sayer
Time & Venue: 6:30pm. Hunter Theatre, Hunter School of the Performing Arts, Cameron St, Broadmeadow.

The ancient goldsmiths of Peru and Colombia produced some of the most spectacular treasures of South America. Adept at casting and hammering, they transformed this sacred metal into elaborate pendants and breastplates, ear-ornaments, musical instruments, flasks, human figures, funerary masks, and lifelike representations of birds and animals. Colour tones went from pale yellow to deepest red.

Author, lecturer, photographer, and curator, Chloe specialises in the art and culture of Mexico. She has made an ethnographic collection featuring clothing and culture for the British Museums of Mexico, Belize, and the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. The Mexican Day of the Dead was also a source of inspiration as co-curator of the ‘Exhibition of Mankind’ for the British Museum.

Monday 25 September 2023
Presented by Kathy McLauchlan
Time & Venue: 6:30pm. Hunter Theatre, Hunter School of the Performing Arts, Cameron St, Broadmeadow.

Looking back on his work towards the end of his life, Peder Severin Krøyer recalled his work at Skagen, the Danish artists’ colony at the northernmost tip of Denmark and expressed his particular love for that time.  Krøyer was referring to the ‘blue hour’ of northern Scandinavian summer nights, when sea and sky appear to merge into a single luminous whole.  This lecture explores Krøyer’s life and work in Skagen,and evaluates the paintings that made him one of Europe’s most celebrated artists by the end of the 19th century.

Kathy McLauchlan is a lecturer specialising in 19th-century art history. She is currently a course Director at the Victoria & Albert Museum and also a freelance lecturer who teaches at several institutions, including the Arts Society and Art Pursuits. She is a graduate of Oxford University and the Courtauld Institute, with a Ph.D. in French 19th-Century painters in Rome. She has published catalogues and articles for the British Council and the Barbican Art Gallery.​

Monday 30 October 2023
Presented by Dr Gillian Hovell
Time & Venue: 6:30pm. Hunter Theatre, Hunter School of the Performing Arts, Cameron St, Broadmeadow.

This extremely popular virtual tour of the ancient Mediterranean explores the distinctive civilizations. Learning how they fit together into a “big picture”. Discover how to identify special art or architecture of each culture. Find out what to expect from each culture’s sites and how to find the special personal details that thrill archaeologists. You’ll never look at ancient sites in the same way again.

Author, historian, archaeologist and public speaker of considerable experience and range, I specialise in providing passion, colour and depth to the present by visiting the past – whether it be through books, lively illustrated talks, articles, archaeological tours and cruises, walks, community archaeology projects, curses and classes, media. My clients include the British Museum and York University.

Ex-BBC, I’m delighted to contribute via radio/audio, film, apps or printed media and I love meeting you in person at events too.

As Author, award-winning Writer, Tutor, Presenter and Public Speaker at events, in the media, on tours and cruises etc, I work as a freelance independent self-employed professional.