Select Society

ADFAS Geelong Inc. is part of the national ADFAS a non-profit organisation that aims to foster increasing interest in the arts and to encourage the preservation of cultural heritage.

ADFAS Geelong members enjoy an annual programme of illustrated lectures which promote deeper understanding of art history and contemporary movements, all within a stimulating and friendly atmosphere.



Office Bearers 2017

Margaret Montgomery
03-5264 5210

Vice-Chair / Membership Secretary:
Sally Birrell
03-5250 3264

Treasurer / Lecturer Liaison Officer:
Gianna Varasdi
03-5258 3775

Cathy Stewart

Committee Members:
Carmel Apted – 0458439378
Jenny Bowker – 0407440306
Anna Cross – 03-5256 3232
Sue Hill – 03-5258 4947
Isobel Paton – 03-5241 2564
Marion Pescud – 03-5221 9931

Programme for 2017

Monday, 27 February – Lecture
Sarah Deere Jones*
Soft Angelic Whispers: the hidden history of the English Medieval harp
With the aid of the many references there are in literature and household accounts of the time, Sarah reveals the hidden history of this delightful instrument and, using her own reproduction medieval harps, performs music and songs from medieval England.

Tuesday, 28 February – Special Interest Session
Sarah Deere Jones*
The History of the Harp: from Mediterranean Antiquity to 20th century Europe
Using illustrations from carvings, wall paintings, pottery, mosaics, sculpture, stained glass, illuminated manuscripts, and 18th and 19th century art, Sarah traces the history of one of the world’s most ancient and beloved musical instruments from thousands of years BC to the highly mechanised and beautiful instrument we see today.

Monday, 10 April – Lecture
Robin Haig#
Ballet Russes
In 1909, a group of Russian dancers, choreographers, composers and painters burst upon the jaded dance scene in Paris. Diaghilev, the Director of the Ballet Russes believed in a total theatre concept and with a bevy of talented artists he galvanised and changed history in not just dance but in music, scenic design and choreography.

Monday, 8 May – Lecture
Domenic Riley*
The Book as Art: form and function in creative book structures
This lecture illustrates the potential of the book as a three-dimensional object, from pop-ups, hidden fore-edge paintings, peep-show books, to books with hidden compartments and intriguing surprises. Seen together they represent over two hundred years of questioning the notion of ‘what is a book?’

Monday, 5 June – Lecture
Sally Butler#
Asia Pacific Contemporary Art
This lecture considers the background and development of ‘Asia Pacific’ art and delves into the relationship between contemporary art form and cultural traditions in selected examples of the art; from crazy art bazaar to sleek contemporary chic

Monday, 10 July – Lecture
Gerald Deslandes*
During the late 1970’s British sculptors Goldsworthy, Nash and Long, made work by altering natural elements in the landscape rather than by representing them as images in the studio. This lecture will place the sculptors in the context of other international artists and will explain the artists’ debt to the earlier traditions of romantic landscape art. He will also talk about the sculptors’ links to other artists using performance and installations as a way of circumventing the physical and commercial constraints of galleries.

Monday, 7 August – Lecture
Andrew Spira*
The Bauhaus
The Bauhaus was the most innovative and influential school of design in the 20th century, combining avant-garde ideas about abstract art with a thoroughly conscientious approach to social reform and domestic living. The lecture will explore the link between the Bauhaus and Australia: one influential Bauhaus teacher, Ludwig Hirschfeld Mack, emigrated to Australia in 1940 and taught art and design at Geelong Grammar School for 15 years.

Monday, 11 September – Lecture
Peter Warwick*
To the Far Side of the World: Captain James Cook and the Enlightenment
An artistic and cultural appreciation of the three remarkable voyages of Captain Cook and their impact on the Age of Enlightenment. The lecture shows how Cook was a far-sighted open-minded explorer, ahead of his time, and features the wonderful drawings and paintings of Sydney Parkinson, William Hodges, John Webber, George Stubbs and Johan Zoffany – pictures and ideas that changed the European view of the world and its attitude towards ‘the noble savage’ as epitomised by Polynesian, Maori and Aboriginal cultures.

Monday, 16 October – Lecture
Lucia Gahlin*
Celebration of Ancient Egyptian Art
The ancient Egyptians loved nothing more than to feast and celebrate whenever the opportunity arose. This lecture will explore the depiction of celebration in Egyptian art, from the elaborate temple festivals to banquets with family and friends. We shall examine the ancient art in order to explore the clothes and adornments worn; the food and drink consumed; and the entertainment enjoyed.

Monday, 13th November – AGM and Lecture
Peter McPhee#
A Painter in Revolutionary Times: John Singleton Copley and the American Revolution, 1760-1780
The lecture will examine the harrowing story of an outstanding portraitist caught in the deadly divisions of Revolution. Copley, born in 1783 to poor Irish parents in Boston, became a highly sought after painter of the professional and mercantile elites of this small colonial port. Increasing friction between Britain and her American colonies after 1763 polarised this elite into warring camps. Copley found himself caught between old friends and family and by 1774 had to make a choice which would change his life tragically and permanently.

*  Overseas Lecturer
#  Australian Lecturer


Lectures are held in the Supper Room at the Geelong West Town Hall, Pakington Street.
Morning session: 10.30am
Evening session: 6.00pm
Refreshments are served afterward.

Special Interest Morning

Our Special Interest will be held at 10.00 am, Tuesday 28th February, at ‘The Heights’. 140 Aphrasia Street, Newtown, Geelong

Annual Subscriptions

Annual membership fee is $135 per person, plus a $25 joining fee for new members. Additional charges apply for Special Interest sessions and excursions.


Guests are welcome but must be registered beforehand by telephoning the Membership Secretary Sally Birrell, on: 5250 3264 or 0427 342 213. The guest fee is $20 per lecture.

Extra Activities

ADFAS Geelong also offer special interest sessions, organise excursions to galleries, exhibitions, historic houses and gardens, support local artists, and promote Young Arts in the local region through grants, scholarships and awards.

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