Brisbane River

Select Society

Postal Address:

ADFAS Brisbane River
PO Box 1904
Carindale QLD 4152

ADFAS Brisbane River provides a yearly programme of eight illustrated lectures given by six overseas and two Australian lecturers all chosen for their communication skills and expert knowledge in their fields.  Additionally three Interest Events are held where topics are examined in more detail.

The annual membership fee provides access to the eight lectures, which are followed by friendly conversation and refreshments, and to the special Christmas Morning Tea following the Annual General Meeting.  Our Interest Events are limited in attendee numbers and have a modest separate charge of $60 each which covers the lectures and refreshments.

brisbaneriver-2016-members

Anyone with an interest in the arts or who wishes to develop an interest in the arts is very welcome to join.  No prior knowledge is needed and the lectures are very accessible.   Our friendly members all have one thing in common – an interest in learning more about the arts.

Please contact the Chairman or Treasurer for all enquiries.

Contact: brisbaneriver@adfas.org.au

Committee 2018

Chairman:
Judy Winston Smith
Ph: (07) 3371 6851
adfasbrisbaneriver@gmail.com

Vice-Chairman:
Terry Cronin
Ph: (07) 3870 8799
adfasbrisbaneriver@gmail.com

Treasurer:
Chris Rylands
Ph: (07) 3398 4827
payadfasbr@hotmail.com

RSVP for Guest Attendance and AGM:
Maria Hansen
Ph: (07) 3374 3530
mariahansen2@bigpond.com

Programme for 2018

Interest Morning
Wednesday 7th March – 10.30am – 1.15pm 
The Making of Illuminated Manuscripts 
Christopher de HAMEL DPhil PhD FSA FRHistS

The word ‘manuscript’ means ‘written by hand.’ People looking at an illuminated manuscript for the first time often ask how they were actually made, how long it took, who made them, and how we know.  Before about 1100, most books were made by monks; after about 1250, most were made by professional craftsmen.  The lecture looks at the making of parchment and pigments; what we know about the personal lives of the medieval scribes and illuminators; and how they actually produced some of the finest and smallest works of art ever made in Europe.  A great deal is known about the copying and execution of illumination.  The lecture will include practical demonstrations of the use of quill pens and the application of gold leaf.  Any members of the audience who have practical experience of calligraphy will be especially welcome, and their knowledge can be compared with what we know of making books 500 and a thousand years ago.

Christopher de Hamel was brought up in New Zealand and he began looking at medieval manuscripts in Dunedin in 1963. He knows the medieval manuscripts in Australia and New Zealand intimately – and there are unexpectedly many of them – and he has lectured to large audiences in Sydney, Melbourne and Tasmania.  The State Library of Victoria has a podcast about their hugely successful Medieval Imagination exhibition in which Christopher was much involved.  Christopher is quite probably the best-known writer and lecturer of illuminated manuscripts in the world.  He was responsible for catalogues and sales of illuminated manuscripts at Sotheby’s in London for twenty-five years until 2000, when he took up the Librarianship of the Parker Library in Cambridge University, one of the finest small collections of medieval manuscripts in the world.  He retired at the end of 2016, and is now a Life Fellow of Corpus Christi College.  Christopher has doctorates from both Oxford and Cambridge and two honorary doctorates (one from Otago University in New Zealand), and has written numerous books on illuminated manuscripts, including the best-selling Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts, published by Penguin, and winner of the Duff Cooper Prize as the best non-fiction book of 2016 and the Wolfson History Prize for 2017.

Friday 9th March
Medieval Illuminated Bestiaries
Christopher de HAMEL  DPhil PhD FSA FRHistS

Bestiaries are medieval illustrated encyclopedias of all the known animals of the world, domestic and exotic, including elephants, crocodiles, unicorns, basilisks, yales, and many others, real and mythological (and medieval people had no way of knowing the difference). Manuscripts of Bestiaries were mostly made in England, between about 1150 and 1300 and all are richly illuminated. They are among the most beautiful and enchanting of all medieval manuscripts. They are often engagingly quaint and credulous, and sometimes startlingly well-informed. They offer an extraordinary insight into the medieval imagination and humour. The lecture looks at what Bestiaries contain, and how they were actually used in medieval monasteries by monks whose experience of wild animals was negligible. It considers the sources of the legends and how the ancient Bestiaries and their tales have survived into modern times.

Christopher de Hamel was brought up in New Zealand and he began looking at medieval manuscripts in Dunedin in 1963. He knows the medieval manuscripts in Australia and New Zealand intimately – and there are unexpectedly many of them – and he has lectured to large audiences in Sydney, Melbourne and Tasmania.  The State Library of Victoria has a podcast about their hugely successful Medieval Imagination exhibition in which Christopher was much involved.  Christopher is quite probably the best-known writer and lecturer of illuminated manuscripts in the world.  He was responsible for catalogues and sales of illuminated manuscripts at Sotheby’s in London for twenty-five years until 2000, when he took up the Librarianship of the Parker Library in Cambridge University, one of the finest small collections of medieval manuscripts in the world.  He retired at the end of 2016, and is now a Life Fellow of Corpus Christi College.  Christopher has doctorates from both Oxford and Cambridge and two honorary doctorates (one from Otago University in New Zealand), and has written numerous books on illuminated manuscripts, including the best-selling Meetings with Remarkable Manuscripts, published by Penguin, and winner of the Duff Cooper Prize as the best non-fiction book of 2016.  and the Wolfson History Prize for 2017.


Friday 27th April
The Possessions of the Duke and the Duchess of Windsor: Art or Obsession?
Adrian Dickens

Adrian carried out research in Paris into the story of the Abdication of England’s King Edward VIII, and the purpose of the legendary jewellery and art collection of the Duchess of Windsor.  We will learn why a man who didn’t want the British throne spent the rest of his life trying to replicate it.  We will hear the stories behind the Duchess’ obsession with fashion and displays of jewels and come to understand how the Windsors used their collections and possessions to undermine the occupants of Buckingham Palace.  We also discover who ‘Cookie’ and ‘Shirley Temple’ are and why the Windsors loathed them.

Adrian Dickens trained in the UK for 6 years and has been a fixture on the Melbourne and Sydney Fine Jewellery scene for over 30 years. He has managed some of Australia’s fine jewellery houses including Paul Bram, Jan Logan and Bunda Fine Jewels. Adrian’s knowledge of recent jewellery trends and opinions on the future of retail jewellery is insightful. He regularly gives talks and presentations for both fund-raising and corporate and private functions. Since July 2013 as well as running Circa AD Jewels, Adrian consults on jewellery and silver matters for Shapiro Auctioneers who specialise in 19th and 20th Century design.

Friday 18th May
Breeches Bonnets and Bags: British Fashion in Art through the Centuries
Rosalind WHYTE BA (Hons) MA MA

Portraits provide a fascinating insight into the changing styles of dress over the centuries. This lecture follows the different fashions as revealed in paintings, looking at dress and accessories, and some of the more ridiculous styles of fashion from the 16th century to the 19th century. It focuses particularly on fashion in England, but looks also at some contrasting Continental fashions.  In times when Sumptuary Laws prescribed what you could wear, according to your status in society, fashion was much less of a personal choice and more a reflection of social standing.  The colour of your clothing or a plunging neckline could mark you out as belonging to a particular class.  Whilst the ordinary working folk might have longed for a wardrobe full of reds, purples and golds (or, indeed, for a wardrobe at all!), their ‘superiors’ may well have envied them their ability to move freely in their clothes, without the restrictions of ruffs, stuffed sleeves, enormous petticoats, or headdresses the size of small animals …. sometimes also containing small animals!  Have fun exploring the wildest extremes of fashion through the ages.

Rosalind Whyte has a Masters from Birkbeck College, University of London as well as a Masters degree in Art History from Goldsmiths’ College, 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 to various places of interest and has been a guest speaker on many cruises, both as an individual and as part of a team from the Tate Gallery.  Rosalind is an accredited NADFAS lecturer and lectures extensively for them and other Art Societies in Britain, Europe and South Africa.

 

Friday 22nd June
Life Along the Dordogne: Magdalenien and Ice Age Art
Rodna SIEBELS  Ph.D, M.A, B.A, Dip. Ed

France has a very rich treasure trove of Prehistoric Sites, particularly along the Dordogne.  The Upper Palaeolithic Period has been divided into many cultures by pre-historians but that of the Magdalenian (22,000-18,000 BC) is of particular interest because it is to this period that the cave paintings at Lascaux belong.  The lecture examines this period with particular reference to Lascaux and the artistic techniques used to produce these wonderful paintings.  It also looks at other cave paintings and artefacts of this period to shed light on life in this ancient period.

Rodna Siebels became interested in Egyptology while attending Macquarie University where she studied for a B.A in Ancient History and German Language. As part of her degree, she completed several courses on Ancient Egypt and in her final undergraduate year was invited to accompany the Macquarie University Archaeological team for its 1988/9 season under the directorship of Professor Naguib Kanawati. This involved 10 weeks of field work, excavating and recording the Old Kingdom tombs at El-Hawawish, near Sohag, in Middle Egypt. After completing her B.A in 1989, she continued her studies, graduating with an M.A in Egyptology in 1992. On taking an early retirement from teaching, Rodna resumed her studies at Macquarie University after being awarded a scholarship to undertake a Ph.D.  Rodna has provided courses as part of Macquarie University’s Continuing education Programme, as well as delivering lectures at the Ancient History Teachers’ Conference at both Sydney and Macquarie Universities.  She has also been invited to lecture at the Australian Museum.  Rodna was a programme Leader for Odyssey Travel for 14 years taking tours to many countries including France.

The Emperor Qianlong: The Ultimate Art Collector
Friday 20th July
David ROSIER FAMS

Qianlong was arguably one of the greatest of all the Chinese Emperors guiding China through a period of unquestionable political, economic and cultural prosperity which rivalled previous periods of high achievement in Chinese history. Territorially, Qianlong added more than 30 per cent of land-mass to the Empire through successful military campaigns and astute diplomacy. He was passionate about preserving his Manchu culture whilst respecting and nurturing other ethnic Chinese cultures. The Emperor travelled his Empire regularly undertaking lavish expeditions to the South and West designed to forge loyalty to his Imperial rule. Despite all these successes as a ruler it is in the fields of art and culture that Qianlong made the greatest contribution to China’s heritage. Qianlong was a noted scholar who during his lifetime wrote and published over 43,000 poems, painted on virtually a daily basis and was accomplished in the art of calligraphy. It was as a collector and curator of Fine Art and Antiques that Qianlong created his greatest legacy. He amassed a huge treasure trove of works of art from previous dynasties. His collection spanned all genres of the arts including paintings, porcelain, jade, textiles, enamelling, ivory carvings and snuff bottles. The lecture is an insight into Qianlong as a scholar and ‘ultimate’ collector of fine art.

David Rosier is a Chartered Insurer by profession and a Fellow of the Assurance Medical Society, with extensive international experience as an author and lecturer in Medical Risk Assessment. He has over 25 years’ experience of working and living in East Asia. Whilst living in Hong Kong he assembled a collection of approximately 700, predominantly Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), Imperial and related textiles/costume and dress accessories. David is a past Committee Member of the Hong Kong Textile Society and a frequent speaker on Chinese Imperial Insignia of Rank, Court Costume and Dress Accessories plus the mechanics of the Imperial Government and the Emperors of the Qing Dynasty.

Friday 24th August
The Genius of Antonio Stradivari
Tony FABER  BSc

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. It is a story that travels from the salons of Vienna to the concert halls of New York, and from the breakthroughs of Beethoven’s last quartets to the first phonographic recordings. Stradivarius was described in The New York Times as ‘more enthralling, earthy and illuminating than any fiction could be.’ The lecture is illustrated with pictures of violins and of key individuals and locations, as well as with some short musical recordings.

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. He became a NADFAS lecturer in 2012.  Toby’s career began with Natural Sciences at Cambridge and has been through investment banking, management consulting and five years as managing director of the publishing company founded by his grandfather, Faber and Faber, where he remains on the board. He is also non-executive Chairman of Faber Music and a director of the Copyright Licensing Agency and Liverpool University Press.

Interest Morning 
Friday 24th August – 12.45pm – 3.15pm
Faberge’s Imperial Easter Eggs
Tony FABER BSc

The first egg, given by Tsar Alexander III to his beloved wife, Marie Fedorovna, was apparently plain white. It was the ‘surprises’ hidden inside that made it special: a golden yolk that further concealed a hen, a diamond miniature of the Imperial crown and a ruby pendant. The gift began a tradition that would last for over three decades and that would send Fabergé on a relentless search for novelty, exploiting and extending almost every jewellery technique and style available.  The designs that resulted would inevitably reflect the lives and characters of the empresses who received them. Lavishly extravagant eggs commemorate public events that now seem little more than staging posts on the march to revolution. Others contrast Marie’s joie de vivre with the shy and domestic spirituality of her daughter-in-law, Alexandra. The muted austerity of the final few eggs seems all too appropriate for a country fighting for survival in the First World War. Above all, the eggs illustrate the attitudes that would ultimately lead to the downfall of the Romanovs: their apparent indifference to the poverty that choked their country; their preference for style over substance and their all-consuming concern with the health of the sickly heir – a preoccupation that would propel them toward Rasputin and the doom of the dynasty.  After the Revolution, the eggs embarked on a journey that included embattled Bolsheviks, desperate for foreign exchange, acquisitive members of the British royal family, eccentric salesmen, and such famous business and society figures as Armand Hammer, Marjorie Post, and Malcolm Forbes. Now, the interest of Russian oligarchs means that their story is turning full circle, as the eggs begin to return to Russia.  We discover the emergence of new information, with researchers delving into the Kremlin archives, in particular to piece together the designs and possible fates of the seven missing eggs. The extra time available in a half-study day means that I will be able to take people through the information available – from photographs of old exhibitions and Fabergé’s original invoices to auction catalogue descriptions – to explain why one egg has just been rediscovered and why at least two more are likely to re-emerge.

 

Friday 14th September
The Urge to Buy and The Art of Advertising
John FRANCIS

This fascinating lecture looks at early advertising including Edward Bernays, regarded by many as the ‘father of advertising and public relations’. Bernays, nephew of Sigmund Freud, developed ideas of opinion-moulding or the ‘engineering of consent’. How did the advertising industry become so successful, and why is advertising often thought of as Art?  From posters to the fifteen second television advertisement, we will explore some of the most successful advertisements and unpack the psychological and cultural context behind them. Sir John Everett Millais’s painting Bubbles (1885) was sold for £2,200 to sell Pears soap. It worked. Award winning advertisements by Guinness, Levi jeans and Fosters will also be among those explored.

Dr John Francis is an inspirational speaker who has delivered lectures and workshops in the UK, US, China and Malaysia. Born on Merseyside, England, and having trained as a painter and film maker he has exhibited widely in the UK and US. John was awarded the Max Beckmann Memorial Scholarship in painting in New York and went on to be artist in resident for the state of Texas. Later in his career John produced and directed several short films and animations. He was an Exchange Fulbright Professor at Southwestern College, California and has taught film, art and pedagogy at the University of Exeter; Arts University, Bournemouth; University Sains, Malaysia; Brunel University, London and currently lectures at Kingston University, London.

 

 

Interest Morning
Wednesday 24 October – 10.30am – 1.15pm

Rembrandt’s Vision: Dutch History Painting in the 17th Century 
Sophie OOSTERWIJK  MA MA PhD PhD FSA

‘History painting’ was a special genre for a distinct clientele in the Dutch Republic. It depicted stories from especially the Bible and Antiquity with the aim of moving the viewer. There was thus an emphasis on human drama and the human figure; however, that could also provide an excuse for depicting the female nude, evidently for a male clientele. Trained in history painting by Pieter Lastman in Amsterdam, the Leiden painter Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669) initially focused on drama and spectacle, using light to great effect. Yet he was also a Realist and gradually he developed his own, very personal and more introspective interpretations of stories such as that of Bathsheba and David, Susanna and the Elders, Danaë, or the tragic figure of Lucretia, placing greater emphasis on emotion, inner conflict and personal drama. His distinctly personal visions can still move or disturb us in ways quite different from depictions of the same stories by his contemporaries, as this talk will show through comparisons with other artists.

Sophie Oosterwijk was born in Gouda (Netherlands) and studied English at Leiden and Medieval Studies at York before obtaining a doctorate in Art History (Leicester) and another in English Literature (Leiden). She taught Art History at the universities of Leicester, Manchester and St Andrews, and returned to the Netherlands in 2011 to work on the Medieval Memoria Online (MeMO) project at Utrecht University. Sophie is actively involved in the Church Monuments Society and has published widely. She is currently a free-lance lecturer for the University of Cambridge, NADFAS, the V&A Museum in London, and a number of art tour companies, including Martin Randall. She is also a Research Fellow in Art History at the University of St Andrews (Scotland).

Friday 26th October
The Fruits of Sin: The Art and Time of Hieronymus Bosch
Sophie OOSTERWIJK MA MA PhD PhD FSA

To a modern viewer the fantastic world that the Early Netherlandish painter Hieronymus Bosch (d. 1516) presents in his paintings may seem bizarre. His scenes of Creation, the Last Judgment, Hell, temptations, martyrdoms, and the life of Christ are full of caricature characters and hybrid monsters who torture their human victims in highly imaginative ways. Unsurprisingly, Bosch’s art has often been ‘explained’ as the work of a visionary, a heretic, or even a hallucinating madman. Yet to his contemporaries Bosch was a gifted and highly respected painter who received commissions from the high and mighty. His work was copied by others and also inspired later artists such as Pieter Bruegel the Elder. Major works by Bosch can still be seen in the Prado, for they were avidly collected by that most Catholic of kings, Philip II of Spain – surely proof that they were considered theologically sound and even wholesome for the soul. Bosch lived and worked on the threshold between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, in a period when religious and political stability had started to falter. Therefore, we should look at Bosch’s art within its historical and cultural context in order to gain a better understanding of this intriguing artist whose works always continue to fascinate and puzzle, even now 500 years after his death.

Sophie Oosterwijk was born in Gouda (Netherlands) and studied English at Leiden and Medieval Studies at York before obtaining a doctorate in Art History (Leicester) and another in English Literature (Leiden). She taught Art History at the universities of Leicester, Manchester and St Andrews, and returned to the Netherlands in 2011 to work on the Medieval Memoria Online (MeMO) project at Utrecht University. Sophie is actively involved in the Church Monuments Society and has published widely. She is currently a free-lance lecturer for the University of Cambridge, NADFAS, the V&A Museum in London, and a number of art tour companies, including Martin Randall. She is also a Research Fellow in Art History at the University of St Andrews (Scotland).

Friday 7 December – 10.30am
AGM and Christmas Morning Tea
Queensland Terrace,

State Library of QLD
(RSVP by 1 December)

 

Venue and Time of Lectures and Special Interest Events

The State Library of Queensland, Stanley Place, South Brisbane.
Please be seated by 10.25am as sessions begin at 10.30am sharp

Guests

Non-ADFAS members are invited to attend lectures and Interest Events as Guests however they must be registered beforehand by telephoning Maria Hansen on 3374 3530 or by email to mariahansen2@bigpond.com.

Lecture – $30 per person ($25 other ADFAS society members)
Interest Events – $65 per guest

Membership

The annual membership subscription is $195.00

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