Orange & Districts

ADFAS Orange and Districts welcomes you. 

ADFAS Orange and Districts Inc provides for its members a yearly program of illustrated, informative lectures on a wide variety of topics. The lectures for 2022 are offered by Australian lecturers, chosen for their communication skills and expert knowledge in their fields.

ADFAS Orange and Districts is one of 38 societies in Australia and offers eight high quality lectures per year. Each lecture is preceded by members and guests gathering for informal drinks and finger food, then the lecture is presented in the Conservatorium auditorium with opportunity for questions following. No special knowledge is required – just a natural curiosity and an interest in the arts (and a sense of humour of course).


Lectures are held at the Orange Regional Conservatorium, 73A Hill St, Orange.

Lectures are on a Tuesday.
6pm for pre lecture drinks and finger food.
6:30pm lecture starts

Annual membership – $160
Click here to join or email Ellen Fisher

Guests welcome:
$30 per lecture

For all enquiries please email Ellen Fisher
Postal Address: PO Box 749 Orange NSW 2800
ABN: 41 653 352 171

Committee 2023
Chair: Julie Linton
Treasurer: Wendy Sissian
Membership: Ellen Fisher


Tuesday 21 March 2023
Architectural masterpiece or was prince Charles right after all?
Presented by Alan Read
Time & Venue: 6pm, Orange Regional Conservatorium, 73A Hill St, Orange.

The architecture of the Royal National Theatre divides opinion so much that it once appeared twice in a poll of the buildings of London – in the top ten best and the top ten worst. Famously, Prince Charles once described it as a nuclear bunker. Was he right? The lecture looks at the life and work of Denys Lasdun, including other buildings he designed, but focuses on the National Theatre and pleads for an appreciation of the austere beauty of this architectural masterpiece.

Alan Read 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.

Tuesday 18 April 2023
Presented by Bill Burnheim
Time & Venue: 6pm, Orange Regional Conservatorium, 73A Hill St, Orange.

What is a netsuke? (Pronounced “nets-keh”) A netsuke is a small sculptural object which has gradually developed in Japan over a period of more than three hundred years.  Netsuke is an art form that is unique to Japan. Netsuke are little sculptures where the artist can choose his subject freely however, they are limited in size and form. They originally performed a utilitarian function and are collected by individuals and museums.

Bill Burnheim gained interest in Netsuke after reading “The Hare with the Amber Eyes”. He has now been collecting important Netsuke for about 8 years and has some pieces comparable to those displayed in museums in England, Europe and the USA. He now resides in Orange NSW.

Tuesday 23 May 2023
Presented by Leslie Primo
Time & Venue: 6pm, Orange Regional Conservatorium, 73A Hill St, Orange.

The Sublime in the Everyday: Johannes Vermeer 1632-1675 and the Delft School of Painting In 1866 William Bürger, a pseudonym for Étienne-Joseph-Théophile Thoré (1807-69) published in the Gazette des Beaux-Arts his article called “Sphinx of Delft” about the mysterious painter called Vermeer, and so began the modern-day revival of Vermeer. The lecture will begin by tracing Vermeer’s origins, his early training and influences, and how he came to the genre of painting domestic interiors. The lecture will look at his earliest known paintings and how he gradually migrated to the genre of domestic set-piece paintings we know him for today. This lecture will also set Vermeer in the context of contemporaneous Dutch artists and Delft artists, tracing the early beginnings of the town of Delft, its rise in prosperity and its low points. We will see how Vermeer went from being referred to as ‘the excellent and famous Vermeer’ in 1669 to being declared bankrupt towards the end of his life in 1675. How did it all go so wrong, were the signs there at the beginning or was there some great disaster in his life that prompted his financial demise? Finally, this lecture will look at the late 19th century and 20th century revival of Vermeer that became the cult of Vermeer, and why this cult of Vermeer endures to this day.

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.

Tuesday 20 June 2023
Presented by Donna Riles
Time & Venue: 6pm, Orange Regional Conservatorium, 73A Hill St, Orange.

The Orange Regional Conservatorium’s Motto is Inspire, Create, Enjoy. They truly value these words and the commitment to deliver music to the Orange community and beyond. The ORC provides high quality, diverse and inclusive music education across all ages and skill levels. Music has proven to be an amazing and healthy benefit to any individual or group. They host a wide range of music events with many visiting artists, concerts and workshops for Orange and members of the community.

Donna Riles is the Director of the Orange Regional Conservatorium and has served as a passionate advocate for Music in the Western region of NSW for over 30 years. She delights in being able to provide musical experiences to people of all ages and abilities in the Orange community. In her talk she will be outlining the work of the Orange Regional Conservatorium and it’s journey into the future in its new home.

Tuesday 18 July 2023
Presented by Jacqui Ansell
Time & Venue: 6pm, Orange Regional Conservatorium, 73A Hill St, Orange.

In 18th century France a new style emerged which encompassed furniture, paintings, prints, décor, and fashionable dress. Light and airy decorations (whimsically inspired by nature) climbed up walls, and encircled mirrors, wound up and down chair legs and drove out the heavy symmetry of the Baroque style. Madame de Pompadour was a champion of the Rococo, which coincided with her reign as mistress of Louis XV. When and why did she (and the Rococo style) lose favour? Through the paintings of Hogarth, Boucher, Fragonard and others we will address this question, though close examination of Pompadour’s elegant image and personal style.

Jacqui Ansell is a senior lecturer at Christie’s Education, London.  She has an MA in History of Dress from the Courtauld Institute, was formerly an Education Officer at the National Gallery, London, and a tutor and writer for the Open University. She continues to lecture regularly at the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery in London and to publish on dress as a cultural marker and indicator of class, gender, national and professional identity.

Tuesday 22 August 2023
Presented by Chloe Sayer
Time & Venue: 6pm, Orange Regional Conservatorium, 73A Hill St, Orange.

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. Frida Kahlo and Diego 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 still on the reading list of many Book Clubs in Australia and the UK.

Chloë Sayer, based in London, is an independent scholar, author and curator, specialising in the art and culture of Latin America. In 2016 the Mexican Government awarded her the prestigious Ohtli medal to thank her for her long-standing commitment to Mexican culture. As well as undertaking fieldwork and curating exhibitions, she is also widely published on Latin American art and culture.

Tuesday 19 September 2023
PEDER SEVERIN KRØYER – A Painter of Northern Lights
Presented by Kathy McLauchlan
Time & Venue: 6pm, Orange Regional Conservatorium, 73A Hill St, Orange.

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 “when the sun is going down, when the moon is rising over the sea, hanging there, crystal-clear, and the water, smooth as glass, reflects its light….” 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 into 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, organising courses and study days on the history of art and design.  She is 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.

Tuesday 24 October 2023
Presented by Gillian Hovell
Time & Venue: 6pm, Orange Regional Conservatorium, 73A Hill St, Orange.

A frequently requested fascinating, informative and entertaining playful look at the Greek and Roman gods in art.  Discover how to identify the ancient gods in ancient and modern art and discover the ancient tales of metamorphoses and of gods behaving badly that so frequently adorn our modern world.  We explore why and how their images are still used today.

Gillian Hovell: After graduating with 2-1 (Hons) in Latin and Ancient History from Exeter University, Gillian worked in BBC Television and went on to become an award-winning freelance writer, author, international public speaker & broadcaster, specialising in archaeology, prehistory and in the Greek and Roman eras.  She is a lecturer at York University and has spoken at the British Museum and frequently on TV & Radio (including BBC News Channel, BBC World Service, BBC R2 & R4 programmes such as ‘Today’ and ‘Broadcasting House’).


Date:  December 2023

Venue & Time: To be advised