Yarra (Caulfield)

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ABN:  89 563 628 670

ADFAS Yarra 2020

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see”
– Edgar Degas

You’re warmly invited to join us at ADFAS Yarra to explore and learn more about the fascinating world of the arts.  Visual and performing arts, history and literature form the basis for our nine beautifully illustrated lectures which are presented by international and local experts.  You’ll share refreshments after each lecture with like minded members in a convivial and welcoming atmosphere.  Regular newsletters will provide you with information on lecturers, art news, optional excursions and enrichment events.

Committee 2020

Carol Johnston

Denise Sarah

Heather Marmur


Jane Anthony

Berres Thom

Helen Cook

Programme for 2020

20 February 2020
Desert Island Antiques

If he were suddenly to be cast away alone on a desert island, which eight objects would Paul, a very popular BBC Antiques Roadshow celebrity, take with him?  Building on his long and varied career, Paul will reveal much about his life, experiences and passions while offering a special insight into the world of art, antiques and collecting.

19 March 2020
Excursion: Buninyong Gardens and Begonias

Grand vistas, begonias and sculptures of past Prime Ministers are among the highlights of the Ballarat Botanical Gardens.  Enjoy a generous morning tea overlooking Lake Wendouree.  Two spectacular private gardens are hidden on picturesque back roads near Buninyong.  First we visit an iconic 1850s garden and homestead.  We then drive to a stunning modern home and garden for lunch.  Our hosts will share their design concepts, focusing on the interrelationships between the interior and exterior spaces.  Perhaps take a stroll around the lake to gain an alternative perspective on this delightfully landscaped home.

26 March 2020
Norman Magnificence in Sicily

Dr. Kathleen Olive is a literary and cultural historian with a PhD in Florentine Renaissance Studies from the University of SydneyShe is a popular ADFAS lecturer who leads in-depth art/history tours to Italy. Kathleen’s lecture will introduce us to some of Italy’s greatest treasures and investigate the Islamic and Byzantine models for Sicily’s imposing monuments.  Exploring Palermo’s glittering Palatine Chapel or Cefalù’s imposing cathedral, we uncover the values and taste of the Normans in Sicily.

7 May 2020
African Art- Art, Craft or Curio?  An Introduction to Sub-Saharan Tribal Art

Nirvana is an art historian, lecturer and course director who lived in Africa for many years.  There, art has at times been used to replace a postal service, help with marriage problems and deal with unruly teenagers, yet its seemingly exotic aesthetic is in many ways much closer to Western Art than one may assume.  Nirvana will help us unpack some of the mysteries of African Art.

11 June 2020
Four Who Went to War

Gavin is a well-known writer, publisher, curator and more recently an active artist.  Soon after completing his Master of Arts he was appointed as Curator of Art at the Australian War Memorial. The first four official war artists of World War II were Ivor Hele, William Dargie, Harold Herbert and Murray Griffin.  They could not have been more different from each other yet they shared a common goal of bringing home to Australians artistic evidence of the service of their fighting troops in the first years of the war.

1 July 2020
Summer Palaces of the Tsars
Dr Alexey Makhrov

Dr. Alexey Makhrov studied art and architectural history and grew up near one of the palaces in Pavlovsk, St. Petersburg.  In his lecture Alexey will focus on the royal estates in the environs of St Petersburg which not only impress with their splendour but also give fascinating insights into the private lives of the Romanovs.  Peter the Great, his daughter Elisabeth, Catherine the Great and their successors spared no expense in building palaces, villas and gardens.

2 July 2020
St. Petersburg in the 18th and 19th Centuries

Dr. Alexey Makhrov studied art history in Russia and has a PhD in Architectural History from the University of St. Andrews, Scotland.   St. Petersburg was founded in 1703 as a fortress in a remote area on the Baltic Sea but soon developed into one of the grandest capitals of Europe.  Alexey will analyse important institutions such as the Hermitage and the Academy of Arts which still determine the cultural image of the city.

6 August 2020
Elisabeth Vigée le Brun

Lucrezia is a regular lecturer and gallery guide at London’s National Gallery.  She has written several books on 19th and 20thcentury art.  The subject of this lecture is the fine 18th century French painter Elisabeth Vigée le Brun, one of the most important women artists of all time.  Celebrated for her expressive portraits of French royalty and aristocracy, and especially of her patron, Marie Antoinette, Elisabeth exemplified success and resourcefulness in an age when women were rarely allowed either.

2 September 2020
Janusz Karczewski-Slowikowski

 Are you sitting comfortably?  A social history of the chair.
There is much to be revealed about something so commonplace as the chair!  Janusz today considers its role as a symbol of power and authority in religious and courtly ritual as well as in more ordinary domestic settings.   He traces the development of the chair both in the UK and abroad in terms of its construction and style from ancient times through to the 19th century.

3 September 2020
 And so, to bed…( Samuel Pepys’s Diary 20th April 1660)

Antiques expert, Janusz, has lectured on the subject of antique furniture in both Australia and Europe.  He traces the history and use of beds from the medieval period through to the 18th century.  The significance of beds can be judged by the prominence given to them in wills and inventories. In his will, Shakespeare left to his wife Anne ‘my second-best bed’ and modern-day audiences may be surprised to learn that in days gone by, married or single, rich or poor, one never slept alone.

1 October 2020
Lost on the Titanic:  The Making of the Great Omar Binding

An internationally renowned bookbinder, artist, lecturer and teacher, Dominic Riley specialises in the restoration of antiquarian books and the creation of contemporary fine bindings.  The Great Omar was the most elaborate and opulent binding ever created. Taking two and a half years to complete, it was embellished with leather onlays, gold leaf and over a thousand jewels.  It went down with the Titanic.

15 October 2020
Excursion: A Grand Mansion at Murchison

It’s thought that William Guilfoyle designed the picturesque 19th century gardens surrounding Noorilim Estate.  One of the best restored Italianate mansions in Australia, it was established in the 1880s by wealthy pastoralist, William Winter-Irving. On arrival, morning tea will be served in the renovated stables and will be followed by a tour of the fabulous art collection of the Menzies family.  A short drive will bring us to historic Tahbilk winery, c 1860 where we are privileged to be shown the current owner’s immaculate private gardens and enjoy a delightful sit-down lunch.

5 November 2020
Bells and Pomegranates

The popular ADFAS lecturer, Geoffrey Edwards, needs no introduction.  The poetry of Robert Browning, Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Alfred, Lord Tennyson, literary giants of the Victorian Age, is notable for its romantic imagination.  As such, their work reflects a keen interest in the visual arts: in painters, paintings and photography.  This lecture considers that proposition together with an account of the Brownings as art collectors.


Lectures are held in the Theatrette of the Glen Eira Town Hall
Cnr. Glen Eira and Hawthorn Roads, Caulfield.  3162
Morning lectures:   10a.m.    Afternoon lectures:   1.30p.m.

Guests are most welcome!  Prior registration is required.

Bookings for guests:
Norma Sullivan:  0419 120 939

Postal Address:
ADFAS  Yarra
PO Box 51
Elsternwick  VIC 3185


How do I join?
Complete the Application for Membership form and mail to:

The Secretary
PO Box 51
Elsternwick VIC 3185

The joining fee is $40 and the annual subscription is $175. Please do not send money.  You will be advised when to send joining fee and annual subscription.

How do I find out more?
Email: yarra@adfas.org.au for further details or contact:

Carol Johnston: Chair
Ph: 0409 871254
Email: caroljohnston789@gmail.com

Denise Sarah: Vice Chair
Email: denise.c.sarah@gmail.com

Young Arts

2009 ADFAS Yarra Young Arts Awards

The 2009 ADFAS Yarra Art Awards were presented at the annual awards night at Monash University’s Department of Fine Arts, Faculty of Art & Design in November 2009.

Samantha Cuffe received the award for Glass, Amber Harris for Painting and Andrea Baxter for Drawing. The awards, valued at $550 each, are given to assist the recipients in the purchase of materials in their Honours year.

The Society was also able to present a cheque for over $1000 to the Abbotsford Convent

2008 ADFAS Yarra Young Arts Awards

The 2008 ADFAS Yarra Art Awards were presented at the annual awards night at Monash University ‘s Department of Fine Arts, Faculty of Art & Design on 14 November 2008.

Amanda McKenzie received the award for Glass, Sam Martin for Painting and Biatta Kelly for Drawing (Metals and Jewellery major). The awards, valued at $550 each, are given to assist the recipients in the purchase of materials in their Honours year.

The Society was also able to present, in October, the Victorian College of The Arts with a cheque for $1000 to assist their students.

2007 ADFAS Yarra Young Arts Awards

The 2007 ADFAS Yarra Art Awards were presented at the annual awards night at Monash University’s Department of Fine Arts, Faculty of Art & Design in November 2007

Des Fankhauser received the award for Glass, Jacob Weiss for Painting and Sarah Palmer for Drawing. The awards are given to assist the recipients in the purchase of materials in their Honours year.

2006 ADFAS Yarra Young Arts Awards

The 2006 ADFAS Yarra Art Awards were presented at the annual awards night at Monash University’s Department of Fine Arts, Faculty of Art & Design on 21 November 2006

Caitlin McArdle received the award for Glass, and Alec Doherty for Painting. The awards are given to assist the recipients in the purchase of materials in their Honours year.