Gold Coast (Bundall)

Select Society

Postal Address:

ADFAS Gold Coast Inc.
P O Box 7737
Gold Coast MC. QLD. 9726


A warm and friendly welcome to our ADFAS Gold Coast Lecture Program for 2018!
This year we have on offer eight sparkling and enriching lectures on a wide variety of topics, plus two additional ‘Special Interest Afternoon’ sessions in March and October. Six of our lecturers are from the UK and are accredited by The Arts Society, formerly NADFAS. Two are Australian lecturers accredited by ADFAS.  They are all acknowledged experts in their fields.

Our lectures are held at 9.30am on a Saturday Morning, in Cinema 1, at The Arts Centre Gold Coast. Following the lecture we adjourn to the Lakeside Terrace, overlooking the beautiful Gold Coast City skyline, for our Morning Tea.

Our ‘Special Interest Afternoon’ lectures include a delicious Afternoon Tea. They are also held at The Arts Centre Gold Coast, in the afternoon following our usual morning lecture, and give attendees a further opportunity to speak with the lecturer in person as well as enjoying a second specialist lecture on a different topic from that of the morning.  We’ve made these sessions more easily affordable for participants in 2018 by significantly reducing the attendance cost for both March and October, as happened last year.

During the year we have excursions to places of artistic and cultural interest. In 2018, we are planning a bus excursion to Brisbane to visit sites associated with Brisbane’s early settlement and colourful convict past, one of which will be the first church ever ‘recorded’ by an ADFAS Society in Australia.

We publish an informative Newsletter three times a year which is posted on this website.

Please direct your Enquiries to our email address:


Committee 2018

Carole Crowther
Tel: (07) 5532 4522

Wendy Spencer

Honorary Treasurer:
Carol Little

Honorary Secretary:
Ann McCallum

Membership Secretary:
Maree Alexanderson
Tel: 0415 984 228

Programme for 2018

Medieval Manuscripts in Australia
Saturday 3rd March

Dr. Christopher de Hamel (NADFAS)

There are (perhaps surprisingly) about 250 original medieval illuminated manuscripts in Australian libraries, and well over a hundred in New Zealand.  This is a lavishly illustrated introductory tour of what the oldest books are in Australasia (some up to a thousand years old), how they got there, why they matter, how to see them, and how to read and understand them.  Illuminated manuscripts lend themselves to spectacular photographs.  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, currently the most expensive illuminated manuscript ever sold.

The Genius of Vincent van Gogh
Saturday 14th April

Professor Peter McPhee (Aust) 

No other painter rivals Vincent van Gogh for popularity and recognition. But, while he is often imagined as the classic case of the lonely genius, in fact he was embedded in particular places at specific moments. This lecture will offer an understanding of van Gogh in the context of his earlife in the Dutch region of Brabant; his tumultuous years in employment and unemployment in the Netherlands and Britain; his volatile encounter with the impoverished mining communities of Southern Belgium and his crucial 1880 decision about the direction of his life. It will explore the Dutch years 1880-86; his years in Paris, his most creative period in and around Arles in southern France in 1888-90 and his final weeks at Auvers-sur-Oise, north of Paris.

History of the Royal Academy of Arts, London
Saturday 12th May

Rosalind Whyte (Independent)    

In 2018 The Royal Academy of Arts celebrates its 250th anniversary, so it is an opportune time to explore its history, from inception to the current day, and the role it has played in the development of British art.  We will look at the position of artists in London before and after the formation of the Academy in 1768 and some of the characters involved, from the first President, Sir Joshua Reynolds, and other establishment figures, to artists who have taken a more oppositional stance, whether individually, such as Reynolds’ great contemporary and rival Gainsborough, or as a group, such as the (initially) clandestine Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, a group of young rebel artists who sought to subvert the Academy from within.  Like any important institution, the Academy has been embroiled in intrigue and controversy over the course of its history and no scandal or outrage will remain unexposed as we trace the history of one of Britain’s most important cultural bodies.

Yehudi Menuhin: Prodigy and Phenomenon
Saturday 16th June

Philip Bailey (Aust)

The presentation traces the chronology of a remarkable career in performance and the events and the characters helping to shape a life dedicated to the pursuit of utopian perfection in the art of music. The lecture focuses on the remarkable careers of Yehudi, Hephzibah, and Yaltah Menuhin, three consummate musicians who each had to deal with their often-complicated lives outside the concert hall. Several related topics are explored as the Menuhin saga unfolds:  the precious violins, the architecture and furnishings of the various Menuhin residences; concert halls and their acoustics; yoga and its role in extending a career threatened by a tremor in Yehudi’s right hand; and the role played by a group of formidable women in supporting his quest to change the world for the better.

The Ultimate Renaissance Ruler & Fine Art Collector – Emperor Qianlong [1736 – 1795]
Saturday 14th July

David Rosier (NADFAS) 

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.  He was passionate about preserving his Manchu culture whilst respecting and nurturing other ethnic Chinese cultures. Despite all his 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. 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. This lecture will provide an insight into Qianlong not only as a successful Emperor of China but also as a scholar and ‘ultimate’ collector of fine art.


The Imperial Easter Eggs of Carl Faberge – Before the Revolution      
Saturday 18th August
Toby Faber (NADFAS)                                                                                                                                 

Between 1885 and 1916, Carl Fabergé made fifty jewelled eggs – Easter presents from Russia’s last two emperors to their wives. They have become the most famous surviving symbols of the Romanov Empire: both supreme examples of the jeweller’s art and the vulgar playthings of a decadent court.  Given almost total artistic freedom, Fabergé and his designers had to conform to only three rules: that each year’s Easter present should be egg-shaped, that it should contain some surprise to amuse or delight its recipient, and that it should be different from any predecessor. The result was a series of creations demonstrating phenomenal ingenuity and creativity.  Fabergé’s Eggs: One Man’s Masterpieces and the End of an Empire was described by P.D. James as a ‘fascinating story which combines unique decorative art, contemporary culture, history and the murder of the Romanovs with the excitement of a crime novel’.

Who done it? Hitchcock, Master of Suspense
Saturday 8th 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.

The Last Dance? The Danse Macabre in Medieval and Renaissance Art
Saturday 20th October

Dr Sophie Oosterwijk (NADFAS) 

Everyone knows Saint-Saëns’ musical interpretation, and probably Walt Disney’s short cartoon feature The Skeleton Dance, but what was the original Danse Macabre about? The Dance of Death emerged well after the first outbreak of the Plague as a very popular theme in late-medieval art and literature. It presents us with an image of Death summoning everyone to his dance: man and woman, rich and poor, young and old – all must accept the invitation.  There is also humour: Death mocks the upper classes for their dislike of his uncouth music (bagpipes!) or his female victims for their frivolous concern about their appearance. This lecture will present the theme in illuminated manuscripts, wall paintings, stained glass, sculpture and print. An unusual topic, but full of interest and (black) humour!

Special Interest Afternoons

The Making of Illuminated Manuscripts
Saturday 3rd March

Dr Christopher de Hamel (NADFAS) 

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.

Rembrandt’s Vision: Dutch History Painting in the 17th Century
Saturday 20th October

Dr Sophie Oosterwijk (NADFAS)

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.

Venue and Time of Lectures

Lectures are held in Cinema 1, The Arts Centre Gold Coast, Bundall Road, Bundall.
All lectures are held on Saturday mornings at 9.30am, so please be seated by 9.15am to ensure a prompt start. The Special Interest Afternoon lectures commence at 2pm in a comfortable venue in the Arts Centre also.


We welcome guests to our Lectures, but conditions apply. The fee for members of other ADFAS Societies is $15. Non ADFAS members are invited to attend lectures at a cost of $25 per person. Guests may attend three times in any one year. For catering purposes guests are asked to please register their attendance by the Friday am prior to the lecture by contacting Peggy McKeon 0424 894 667 or

New members are allocated a Complimentary Gift Voucher on joining. Members who renew their membership before 15th December also receive a Complimentary Gift Voucher for their invited guest to attend a lecture selected from the 2017 Program and Morning Tea.


Annual Subscription:
Single: $145.00
Double: $275.00

Membership includes Lecture and Morning Tea, as well as our special ‘Welcome to New Members Morning Tea’ following our first lecture on Saturday 3rd March. The cost of the Special Interest Afternoon lecture is $35 per person. Guests are welcome to attend Special Interest Afternoons at the same cost as Members.

Name badges are collected prior to each lecture and returned at the conclusion of Morning Tea. Programme/Membership Cards are distributed at the first lecture of the year.

Young Arts and ADFAS in the Community Sponsorships and Donations

Our ADFAS Gold Coast Young Arts and ADFAS in the Community Projects support students in our community in the fields of Education, Music, Theatre, Singing and Visual Arts/Painting. Our projects are funded by donations from members and the proceeds from our monthly Raffle, so please buy Raffle Tickets when you attend our lectures. It is for a very worthy cause!  We’re excited to report that some of our sponsored recipients have already achieved international acclaim and widespread local recognition in 2017 thanks to our programs and your ongoing generosity.

Heritage projects

We have completed the Recording of the St Alban’s Chapel at The Southport School and the published record of this was presented to the National Committee in March 2017.  We continue to be involved in researching the history of the Schools of Arts/Mechanics Institutes in the Gold Coast area and to date have several of these posted on the national website.

Gold Coast (Bundall) Newsletters