Mornington Peninsula

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Postal Address:

ADFAS Mornington Peninsula
PO Box 572
112 Main Street
Mornington, 3931

ADFAS Mornington Peninsula provides for its members an annual program of nine illustrated lectures given by overseas and Australian lecturers chosen for their expert knowledge of their chosen subject, and their communication skills. Half-day sessions are also held when topics are examined in more detail.

Committee 2017

Mrs. Janet Glaspole
Phone: (03) 5974 4604
56 Bay Road
Mount Martha, 3934

Membership Secretary:
Mrs Sue Rintoul
Phone: (03) 5983 1116

Membership Enquiries:

Programme for 2017

Friday 24th February
Ms Sarah Deere-Jones (NADFAS lecturer)
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, this lecture traces the history of one of the world’s most ancient and beloved musical instruments from thousands of years BC to its arrival in northern Europe, including the huge developments and improvements during the Renaissance and 19th centuries that created the highly mechanised and beautiful instrument we see played in orchestras and as solo instruments today.

Friday 24th March
Dr Matthew Laing (Australian lecturer)
Columbus Indiana: The Unsung Home of American Modernist Architecture

In the southern reaches of Indiana lies a town with an extraordinary architectural legacy of some 60 buildings listed as national landmarks of modernist American architecture: the result of the vision and passion of J. Irwin Miller, the long-time CEO of the Cummins Corporation, who transformed his hometown into a modernist utopia. Irwin attracted some of the greatest architectural minds of a generation to design a townscape unique in the West, with nearly all of its public edifices and community spaces designed by world-leading architects.
This lecture gives a virtual tour of the town and the modernist architectural vision that underpins it.

Friday 5th May
Mr Dominic Riley (NADFAS lecturer)
Lost in the Titanic: the Making of the Great Omar Binding

Lost in the Titanic: the Making of the Great Omar Binding

When it was completed in 1912, the Great Omar was the most elaborate and opulent binding ever created. It was embellished with over one thousand jewels, five thousand leather onlays and a hundred square feet of gold leaf, and took a team of craftsmen over two and a half years to make. It went down with the Titanic. This lecture tells the story of the Great Omar and the bookbinders Sangorski and Sutcliffe, who were known for their fabulous jeweled bindings. It is also the story of life after the tragedy, and of one young man in particular, who decided against the odds to recreate the binding – a venture which itself is mired in tragedy and which occupied him for the rest of his life.

Friday 2nd June
Dr Sally Butler (Australian lecturer)
Aboriginal Art from Rock Art to Today

This lecture explains how the modern Aboriginal art movement developed since the 1970s and how it maintains its connection to visual traditions going back to rock art created many thousands of years ago.

The lecture focuses on how cultural traditions are reinvented and reinvigorated through innovative art of today.

Examples include Indigenous art from the Central Desert, North Queensland, the Kimberleys and Arnhem Land.

Friday 7th July
Mr Gerald Deslandes (NADFAS lecturer)
Munch and the Nordic Imagination

Ever since Ruskin compared the sunlit pastures south of the Alps to the chilly landscapes of the Northern Renaissance, critics have been wary of associating geographical and climate factors with particular temperaments and cultures. This is particularly true of Scandinavia where the emergence of Munch, Ibsen and Strindberg in the 1890s coincided with a pan-European emphasis on ‘the nervous, the artificial, the monstrous, and the mystical’.

This talk will compare his suggestion of a remote and claustrophobic world of frustration and emotional extremes to the fantastical imagery of the Viking sagas. It will discuss Norwegian landscape artists such as Hans Frederik Gude and Eilif Peterssen. In contrast it will describe the work of two women artists:  Harriet Backer, whose intense lamp-lit interiors resemble those of Munch.

Saturday 8th July – Interest Morning
Rubens to Rembrandt: The Art of Brabant, Flanders and the Dutch Republic

This interest morning will compare the art of Protestant Holland to the triumphant reassertion of Catholicism in the work of Rubens, Van Dyck and Jacob Jordaens. It will show how the artists of the Counter Reformation used drama, movement, light and colour to engage the emotions of their onlookers. It will also explain how they combined religious motifs with secular imagery in order to glorify the achievements of sovereigns such as Marie de Medici.
The work of Rubens will be compared to earlier artists such as Quentin Massys, and the fantastical traditions of Flemish art will be examined in works from Hieronymous Bosch to Pieter Brueghel the Elder.

Friday 4th August
Mr Andrew Spira (NADFAS lecturer)
The Industrial Revolution and the Decorative Arts

The Industrial Revolution had a profound impact on the decorative arts, bringing objects that had previously been associated with the nobility within reach of the ever-growing middle-class. Radical new inventions and techniques reduced the cost of manufacturing products, leading to the evolution of shops and entrepreneurs, which led in turn to completely new attitudes towards taste. One of the great legacies of this period was the development of printed cottons – one of today’s staples. The metalwork and ceramics trades were also dramatically affected. The story takes us to threshold of the computing age – the maker of the first modern computing machine acknowledged his debt to the designers and makers of 18th century looms.

Friday 8th September
Mr Peter Warwick (NADFAS lecturer)
The Art of Waterloo

Waterloo was a defining moment in European history and the lecture shows how artists have interpreted the event and so influenced our understanding of what actually happened on 18 June 1815. It puts the battle into its historical context and portrays the three commanders: Napoleon, Wellington and Blücher.

Friday 13th October
Ms Lucia Gahlin (NADFAS lecturer)
Art for an Afterlife: Ancient Egyptian tomb scenes and funerary goods

The ancient Egyptians had extraordinarily elaborate burial practices and funerary beliefs. This lecture will explore the mysterious world of the Ancient Egyptian afterlife through examination of the art on the walls of their tombs, focusing on the tombs of the New Kingdom period (c1500 – c1000 BC), when Egypt was at the height of its power and prosperity along with the scenes on the walls of royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings, nearby tombs of their high officials, and the small but colourful tombs of the artists responsible for all funerary art on the west bank at Luxor during this time.  A stunning array of funerary goods with which they chose to be buried will also be examined.

Saturday 14th October – Interest Morning
Ms Lucia Gahlin
The Art of two of Ancient Egypt’s most Extraordinary Queens: Nefertiti and Hatshepsut

This lecture will explore the art of two of Ancient Egypt’s most fascinating royal women. Nefertiti (14th Century BC) is arguably the most famous queen of pharaonic Egypt. Her bust displayed in Berlin is iconic. Wife of Akhenaten, probably the most controversial of all the Egyptian pharaohs, Hatshepsut (15th century BC) is a rare example of a female pharaoh, who was sometimes represented as a woman, and at other times as a strong, bare-chested male ruler. An examination of the art and architecture of her reign will shed light on her extraordinary achievements.

Fri 10th November – AGM
Mr Geoffrey Edwards (Australian lecturer)
Chardin’s Turnips: The Gentle Art of Still Life           

In spite of a chequered history, still life remains a significant theme in contemporary art. From the lavish compositions of 17th century Dutch masters, through to Manet’s famous spear of asparagus and Courbet’s apples painted in prison, this lecture considers the allegorical, symbolic and other implications of the genre.

Venues and times

Lectures are held on a Friday at the Peninsula Community Theatre, cnr Wilsons Road and Nepean Highway, Mornington. Lectures start at 5.30pm and run for one hour. Refreshments are served afterwards.

In addition to the nine lectures, two special half-day interactive sessions are held at Beleura House and Garden, Mornington. These sessions run from 10.00am to 12.30pm with a break for morning tea midway and incur an additional cost of $40

Attendees will be transported to Beleura by bus, departing 30 minutes before the scheduled commencement time for the morning’s program. Pick up location will be advised.


Annual subscription is $145 for single membership and $270 for a double membership. The cost of attending 9 lectures is included in the membership subscription and admission is by name badge. The joining fee is $25 per person.


Guests are welcome. Guest fees are $20 per person, and guests may attend three times in any one year with prior notice to the Membership Secretary. The fee for members of other ADFAS societies is $10. Half Days Fees are $40 for members and guests.


Visits to museums, galleries, gardens, private collections and places of architectural or artistic interest are also arranged.

Volunteer Guides and Heritage Volunteers

Members of ADFAS Mornington Peninsula have the opportunity to become volunteer guides at Beleura-House-Garden conducting tours of the house and garden, or heritage volunteers archiving, researching and conserving the collections. Mr John Tallis bequeathed this beautifully refurbished Italianate villa to the people of Victoria as a place of historic and educational interest in 1996.

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