Australian Decorative and Fine Arts Society Newcastle
(02) 4927 8449

Lectures

25th March 2019

Dr Jacqueline Cockburn: Emerging from the Shadows; Goya’s self portraits

In this lecture Goya’s self-portraits are discussed in order to shed light on the turbulent times in which he lived, his illness and his sense of identity. Goya will be unravelled through his depictions of himself frequently in shadows or silhouetted, sometimes painted over and against a backdrop of a Bourbon Monarchy in crisis.

29th April 2019

Mr Michael Scott-Mitchell: All You Wanted To Know About Sets But Were Too Afraid To Ask.

When my esteemed father-in-law came to see Les Enfants Terribles at the SOH Drama Theatre, he asked me quite innocently if this was how the theatre always looked. In that moment, I realised that even the most well-travelled, intelligent and perceptive amongst us can find themselves adrift when confronted with the dark art of set design, a pursuit that has given me a huge amount of joy and satisfaction over thirty-five years.

27th May 2019

Mr Bernard Allan (NADFAS): Laura Knight from Newlyn to Nuremberg

From a relatively humble background and limited training in Nottingham, that left her ignorant of developments in contemporary art, Laura Knight progressed to become one of Britain’s best-known artists and the first female Royal Academician since the 18th century.  Her joie de vivre surfaces in her art, which encompasses sunny beach scenes in Cornwall, portraits of friends, the circus, ballet and theatre.  And she loved the atmosphere of gypsy encampments and befriended some of her subjects.  During WWII she received several official commissions, culminating in her famous depiction of the Nuremberg Trials of 1946, where she was THE official artist.

24th June 2019

Ms Susannah Fullerton (Aust): AA Milne and Winnie-the-Pooh

Alan Alexander Milne had several successful careers as a writer. He made his name as a comic writer for Punch, then went on to become a huge success as a London playwright and had five of his plays showing in London at the same time. He made another reputation as a writer of detective fiction, before he idled away a dull country house party by writing verses for children. Those popular verses led to the stories featuring his son’s bear, Winnie-the-Pooh, and from that time his publishers didn’t want him to write anything else. Milne did not wish to be remembered for his writing for children, but could not escape that fate. Nor could his son, whose life was ruined because he was Christopher Robin. Susannah Fullerton tells the rather tragic tale of A.A.Milne and the hugely successful tale of the bear with little brain which he created

29th July 2019

Mr David Rosier (NADFAS): Journey through the Imperial Wardrobe – Court Dress 1644-1911.

This lecture focuses on the costume and dress accessories that would have been worn for formal occasions (Regulated Court Costume), or informally, at the Imperial Court or in Provincial Government during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Initial consideration will be given to the creation and evolution of formal, mandated, Court Costume and Insignia of Rank worn by the Imperial Family plus the Civil and Military Officials. The focus will be on Insignia of Rank worn to determine an individual’s status within the court and/or government. The lecture will then concentrate on a review of the full scope of the Imperial Wardrobe commencing with formal Robes of State and Regalia. Finally, there will be consideration of robes, and dress accessories, worn on a semi-formal basis, or for special family occasions, by members of the Court, either in their official capacity or in their private lives.

2nd September 2019

Mr Andrew Prince: From Downton to Gatsby – jewellery and fashion 1890-1929.

For the series Downton to Gatsby, Andrew was commissioned to produce many jewels for the main characters, and this inspired him to create a talk based on Downton and the changing styles of the time portrayed. Jewellery and Fashion are often seen as two entirely separate and distinct fields of design, but this is very far from the case. In this talk Andrew guides you through the extraordinary periods and events between 1890 and 1929, where the great fashion houses collaborated with the finest of jewellers to produce works of art or outstanding quality and glittering opulence. Along with this he discusses the clients and patrons who commissioned the jewels and how they were worn with the sumptuous gowns.

To accompany his study day, he brings with him many of the pieces used in Downton, so the audience can see what was worn, close up.

30th September 2019

Mr Colin Davies (NADFAS): Zaha Hadid – architectural superstar.

Dame Zaha Hadid died on March 31st 2016 at age of 65. Architectural historians of the future will surely recognise her as one of the most important architects of the early 21st century. She was born in Iraq and her reputation was global, but she made Britain her home. This lecture tells the story of her career from the visionary projects of the 1980s, through the years of frustration when her designs were considered unbuildable, to the prolific crop of successful projects built all over the world in the last decade of her life.

29th October 2019

Mr Anthony Russell (NADFAS): Blenheim Palace, the agony and the ecstasy.

Possibly the most admired historic English building outside London, Blenheim Palace is an uncompromising World Heritage monument to English military ambition and one family’s self-importance. The story of its construction is a fascinating catalogue of excess and outrage, while the result is both monstrous and utterly sublime. But it is in the effect that its perceived spirit has had on consecutive generations of Marlborough’s that is most revealing.  It is also of course, from within this ‘cauldron’ that Winston Churchill was born, who was recently voted the “the greatest Britain of all time”. This lecture explores these themes and the characters involved, marvelling at the genius of Vanbrugh and considering the real impact the palace has left on the nation.

11th November 2019

Mr Gionni diGravio: The Future of Memory

What do we remember? How do we retain, or even re-discover the memories? How do we pass on our knowledge and our memories? This lecture takes a look at human expression in all its forms and formats across our region and across thousands of years to the present. The lecture will consider the problems encountered by archivists and GLAM (Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums) professionals in how to handle this material and knowledge, preserve it, and facilitate access into the future.

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