Select Society

ADFAS Adelaide presents a program of nine lectures each year. Two special interest half days are also held when topics can be examined in more detail (there is an additional charge for these). We aim to foster an interest and promote the study of decorative and fine arts by offering high quality monthly lectures on a wide range of subjects including social history, architecture, music and sculpture. New members are always welcome and may join at any time during the year.  Morning Session and evening session are held but members may only attend the session to which they have subscribed.


Committee 2018

Margie Wilson
0418 836 330

Deb Wallman
M: 0418 805 231

Membership Secretary:
Gayle Legoe
M: 0407 417 314

Programme for 2018


Lee Miller and Roland Penrose
21st February

Antony Penrose*

The Story of Roland Penrose, British Surrealist artist and biographer of Picasso and of Lee Miller, the American Surrealist photographer. We look at how their early lives formed their motivations and how they strove to use art to make the world a better place. The last decades of their life together were at Farley Farm, their home in Sussex which was frequented by many prominent Surrealist and Modern artists.


Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Known: The Wicked Poet, Lord Byron 
11th April
Susannah Fullerton B.A., OAM M. Sc. (Arts)**

Lord Byron was both famous and infamous for his audacious poetry, his scandalous love life and his devotion to liberal ideas. Ostracised by English society, Byron went off to fight for Greek independence and died at 36. His personality and his romantic poetry made a unique impression on 19th century Europe and the term “Byronic” was coined


The Woman Who Ate her Husband: The “Mona Lisa” and the Art of Leonardo  
9th May
Nicole Mezey*

The “Mona Lisa” is mesmerising and mysterious, but one thing is clear, in a life studded with unfinished projects this was one which
Leonardo not only completed, but kept with him until his death. This lecture examines the Mona Lisa itself but also uses it to explore and understand the genius of Leonardo da Vinci.


Sir Joseph Banks: Passionate Patron 
6th June
Paul Brunton**

Joseph Banks travelled with James Cook on Endeavour, 1768-1771 and his journal is the first extensive description of Australia. Banks’ party consisted of naturalists and artists and the resulting artworks and natural history specimens brought back to Britain excited the scientific world. It was Banks who recommended Botany Bay as a suitable place for a penal settlement and he became the authority on the new land, sending natural history collectors to the Colony.


POMPEII: Digging Deeper With The Muddy Archaeologist 
4th July
Gillian Hovell BA (Hons)*

A deep insight into the artworks found in the homes and streets of Pompeii. We explore how the Roman Empire provided materials and the opportunity for this wealth of art to be accessible to more people than ever before. Its burial captured a moment in time when the Empire was a multicultural, vibrant and growing power.

RENÉ LALIQUE: Master of Art Nouveau Jewellery and Art Deco Glass
8th August

Anne Anderson*

Although Lalique is best known for his Art Deco glass of the interwar years he also created stunning pieces of jewellery from gold,
horn, glass and enamel. As his fame spread his style was copied and debased subsequently Lalique turned to designing for famous
perfumers. After the war Lalique extended production into decorative vases, tableware, lamps and even architectural glass.

MATISSE: The Final Years
5th September
Ian Swankie*

Henri Matisse did not enjoy good physical health in his final years and stopped painting when he was nearly 80. Matisse turned his hands to paper cut outs and with assistants assembled hundreds of beautiful collages. We look at the magical work produced in the final years of Matisse’s life including the magnificent and moving Chapel of the Rosary near Vence in the South of France.


GOLD OF THE GODS: Treasures from South America and the Search for El Dorado
10th October
Chloe Sayer*

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 jewellery, musical instruments, funerary masks, and much more.
Gold lured Spanish conquistadors deep into the heart of Peru and Colombia. The legend of El Dorado kept European explorers
fascinated for over two centuries.

A TALE OF TWO STUDIOS: Hans Heysen and Nora Heysen Preceded by Annual General Meeting at 7.30pm
(no Morning Session)

7th November
John Neylon**

The Hans Heysen story is well known. His daughter Nora has stepped out of the shadows of her father‘s reputation to claim her own place as the first woman to be appointed an Australian war artist and to win the Archibald Prize. This lecture traces two creative journeys revealed by a remarkable body of recently published correspondence between father and daughter, linked by a love of art

Special Interest Half Days 2018


Pomp and Circumstance: Henry VIII and Secular Splendour
10th May
Nicole Mezey

We all know three things about Henry VIII; he had six wives, was desperate for a son and brought the Reformation to Britain. The artistic projects of his reign illustrate his drive to establish the magnificence of the dynasty and the movement of art and artists from the service of God to that of Man. Heir to a secure throne, the arts became the means for Henry to present himself as an international force. His personal image was immortalised by the portraits of Holbein and others, and his place on the world stage was guaranteed by the sumptuous palaces which outshone the finest in Europe and choreographed his dealings with foreign powers.


World Class Art at the Tate
6th September
Ian Swankie

Part 1. Tate Britain – the Home of British Art
Tate Britain houses the collection of British art from the 1500s to the present day. Since 1897 when Sir Henry Tate first established a gallery by the Thames in London, the Tate’s collection has grown into one of the most famous in the world. This talk is an armchair tour of the highlights of Tate Britain. The work ranges from early portraits, Turner’s magnificent landscapes, the symbolic pre-Raphaelites, the Great War, and through to Tracey Emin’s infamous unmade bed.

Part 2. New Tate Modern – Much more than just a pile of bricks
Tate Modern opened in 2000 after converting the massive Bankside power station into a gallery and in June 2016 opened its doors to a stunning new twisting brick extension. It immediately set the new gold standard for museum design. This talk looks at the sleek new architecture, its engagement with the local environment and then we tour the highlights of the collection. Tate Modern is the most visited modern art museum in the world and this lecture is a chance to experience the best of the collection without the crowds.


*Denotes NADFAS Lecturer
**Denotes Australian Lecturer

Venue and Time of Lectures

Morning Session:
Walkerville Town Hall, 66 Walkerville Terrace, Gilberton
Lectures commence at 10:30am sharp
Evening Session:
The Auditorium, Living Choice Fullarton, 123 Fisher St, Fullarton
Lectures commence at 7:45pm sharp

Special Interest Half Days

Venue: 9:30am at The Auditorium, Living Choice Fullarton, 123 Fisher St, Fullarton

May 10th
Nicole Mezey*
Pomp & Circumstance and Secular Spendor

Sept 6th
Ian Swankie *
World Class Art at the Tate


Guests are most welcome to attend lectures for a fee of $25.00 each of $5.00 for members of another ADFAS society. Please give prior notice to Geraldine Jennings (0438 723 328) for the Morning Session and to Gayle Legoe (M: 0407 417 314) for the Evening Session


The annual membership subscription is $150 single and $280 a double.

Special Interest Half Days are optional extras and there is a fee for each of these sessions.

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