Programme 2018-19

All lectures are held at Potten End Village Hall; for directions Click Here.    Coffee and tea is available from 10.00 am prior to the prompt start of the lecture at 10.30 am.

Click on any selected ADFAS Lecture or Event to display any further details currently available.

Morning Lecture Programme 

Wednesday 26 September 2018 - Basingstoke and its contribution to World Culture - Rupert Willoughby

About our Speaker - Rupert Willoughby


We are pleased to welcome today's speaker for the first meeting of ADFAS Mornings for 2018/19 season.

Basingstoke Rupert Willoughby

Rupert is a prize-winning historian who specialises in the domestic and social life of the past.

A graduate with First Class Honours in History from the University of London, he is the author of the best-selling "Life in Medieval England" for Pitkin, of several guides to castles owned by English Heritage and Hampshire County Council, and of a series of popular histories of places, including "Chawton: Jane Austen’s Village" and "Basingstoke and its Contribution to World Culture".

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He contributes regular obituaries to The Times and The Daily Telegraph, writes privately-commissioned histories of houses, and is an experienced lecturer - and occasional broadcaster - on a broad range of topics, with a particular interest in architecture, interior decoration and costume.


Our Lecture

"Basingstoke and its Contribution to World Culture" is a whimsical, yet scholarly attempt to explain the phenomenon that is Basingstoke.

When Rupert gave this talk as the basis of his audition piece for what is now The Arts Society, success seemed assured when the mere title was greeted with gales of laughter.

One of the most derided towns in England, sadly renowned for its dullness, Basingstoke is distinguished only by its numerous roundabouts, vacuous shopping centres and absurd Modernist architecture.

Rupert explains that the post-war planners, who inflicted such features as ‘the Great Wall of Basingstoke’ on the town, were politically-motivated and bent on destroying all traces of its past.

He reveals the nobler Basingstoke that is buried beneath the concrete, and the few historic gems that have survived the holocaust.

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Hilariously told, it is a story that neatly illustrates the ugliest episode in England’s architectural history. As Betjeman wrote prophetically, “What goes for Basingstoke goes for most English towns”.

Wednesday 31 October 2018 - Charles Saatchi - A Modern Medici? - Barry Venning

Barry Venning is today's speaker 

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Barry is an historian of British art with a particular interest in the work of JMW Turner.

He was the BBC's script consultant on "Turner's Fighting Temeraire" and has recently taken part (2013) in a BBC documentary called "The Genius of Turner: Painting the Industrial Revolution". He has also published a study of John Constable's paintings. His interests and his teaching extend from medieval architecture to contemporary British art. He is currently Associate Lecturer with the Open University and lecturing on a freelance basis for The Arts Society, Christie's Education and other organisations.


The Lecture

Charles Saatchi is a business man and co-founder with his brother Maurice of the advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi.


Since the 1980s, as a collector he has become one of the most powerful figures in contemporary British art.

This lecture examines Saatchi’s rise to prominence as an advertising magnate and as a tastemaker, charting the changing shape of his collection and his effect on artistic reputations. Although he is most closely associated with Britart – the label attached in the 1990s to the work of younger British artists such as Gavin Turk, Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Sarah Lucas, the Chapman Brothers and Chris Ofili, his collection has changed considerably over the years because he sells as well as buys work. The lecture ranges widely over Saatchi’s collecting, embracing art from various countries and in many different media.

Saatchi 220px SaatchiGallery                            Saatchi 4

Saatchi’s beautiful gallery, located in the former Duke of York’s Regiment HQ in Sloane Square, is one of the largest galleries of purely contemporary art in Europe and has been the venue for ground-breaking exhibitions of Chinese, American, Indian, Middle Eastern, Russian and German art.

Wednesday 28 November 2018 - The Dead Sea Scrolls in Context - an Introduction to Palestine in the Time of Christ - Neil Faulkner

Today's Lecturer Neil Faulkner

Educated at King's College Cambridge and the Institute of Archaeology at UCL, Neil is a Research Fellow at the University of Bristol and Editor of the Military History Monthly.  He is also a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London. He was a school teacher before becoming an archaeologist, and currently works as lecturer, writer, archaeologist and occasional broadcaster.

Dead Sea Scrolls Neil Faulkner

He is Director of the "Sedgeford Historical and Archaeological Research Project" and also the "Great Arab Revolt Project".  His many publications include "The Decline and Fall of Roman Britain", "Apocalypse", "Rome: Empire of the Eagles", and "Lawrence of Arabia's War".

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Major TV appearances include Channel 4's "Time Team", BBC2's "Timewatch", Channel Five's "Boudicca Revealed" and Sky Atlantic's "The British".


The Lecture

Palestine was one of the most turbulent provinces of the Roman Empire. The Greeks had settled in the fourth century BC and the Romans had conquered in the first century BC.

The Jewish upper classes were hopelessly compromised by collaboration with foreign overlords and the Jewish peasantry were impoverished and rebellious.

There was an enormous culture clash between Graeco-Roman classicism and traditional Judaism.  This was the context for the Dead Sea Scrolls and The New Testament.

Dead Sea Scrolls         Dead Sea Scrolls 2         Dead Sea Scrolls 4


Wednesday 30 January 2019 - Thomas Heatherwick “The Leonardo da Vinci of our Times” - Anthea Streeter

Our Speaker today is Anthea Streeter 

We are delighted to welcome back Anthea for yet another talk to our Society.  Her last Morning session at ADFAS was on "Architecture Now" in January 2017.

thomas heatherwick Anthea Streeter

Studied the Fine and Decorative Arts in London and continued her studies at Harvard University. It was while at Harvard, where there was great enthusiasm for American design, that she became interested herself in 20th century architecture. Since returning from America she has taught on courses in Oxford and London, lectured on the Country House course in Sussex, and for several private groups around the country. Special interest in the architecture and design of 20th century.

The Lecture

Thomas Heatherwick is a British designer.  He has won many awards and honours: in 2004 he was the youngest practitioner to be appointed a Royal Designer for Industry; he won a Gold Medal for his British Pavilion at the Shanghai Expo in 2010, and in the same year he was designer of the year in Japan.  

Thomas Heatherwick

Sir Terence Conran spotted his talent early on and has described Heatherwick as “the Leonardo da Vinci of our times”.               

Heatherwick and his Studio team bring craft, design and urban planning together in a single workspace.   Their Olympic Cauldron with its breathtaking giant ring of fire was a memorable sight at the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympic Games in 2012.

thomas Heatherwick firering  London 2012 Olympics Cauldron

In the same year, the Studio’s new red London bus was launched, the first re-design of such an iconic symbol of London for 50 years.   Among their architectural projects, the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa, South Africa’s largest art museum, opened in 2017.   Heatherwick had the vision to create the Museum by hollowing out the concrete tubes of Cape Town’s iconic Grain Silo building – an astonishing feat.   

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 Bombay Sapphire Distillery                                                          East Beach Cafe,


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Other visionary projects are completing in London, Shanghai and New York. 

Thomas Heatherwick’s innovative approach is now in demand all over the world, and the lecture will highlight the broad range of designs from this most creative of British designers.

Wednesday 27 February 2019 - Mad Man and Artist: how the advertising industry exploited fine art - Tony Rawlins

The Lecturer Tony Rawlins

Tony was educated at  Highgate School, starting his career in advertising in 1965 as a mail boy in J.Walter Thompson. Graduating through the training system there to become an account director, he worked in a number of agencies before setting up on his own in 1985, primarily to handle Guinness accounts in Africa and the Caribbean, where he produced many commercials and ads for them over a period of 15 years.

He remains active in the industry, but now concentrates on more philanthropic projects - producing a film in the rural villages of Nigeria for the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and recently completing a sanitation project in Haiti after it was devastated by Hurricane Matthew in 2016.  

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Tony lives in a village near Tenterton in Kent.

He has been a member of The Arts Society for many years. 

His lecturing experience includes presenting to client groups, sales conferences, students of creative advertising in the UK and overseas, on creative and marketing strategies.

The Lecture

Fine art has provided advertisers and their agencies with a great deal of material to use in their creative campaigns.

Tony describes some of the processes by which these advertisements have been created and why the works of Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Michelangelo have been a particularly rich source.   From the Renaissance through to the present day fine art continues to provide opportunities to enhance Brand imagery with admiration, humour, satire and irony.

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In an entertaining and informative lecture Tony uses a wide range of visuals and video to show examples of the original works, the creative process and the (not always entirely successful) advertisements that are the end result.

Wednesday 27 March 2019 - Undressing Antiques - Mark Hill

Our Lecturer today

We are pleased to welcome to this ADFAS Morning's lecture Mark Hill who studied History of Art & Architecture (BA Hons), and began his career as a porter and Junior Cataloguer at Bonhams, before moving to Sotheby's where he was a Specialist in the Collectors' Department.

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Mark became director of an internet company forming and running a ground-breaking deal with eBay Live Auctions.

He was co-author of the internationally published "Collectables Price Guide" with Judith Miller from 2002-17.  

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Mark founded his own publishing company in 2005 and has since published over 12 books on specialist subjects in 20th century design and decorative arts.

In addition, he is a Miscellaneous expert on the Antiques Roadshow since 2007, and has co-presented three primetime factual TV series on antiques and collecting for BBC2.

An auctioneer running 20th century design auctions in partnership with Dawsons Auctioneers.

Mark has lectured across the world, including at the V&A in London, and contributed to many newspapers, magazines, radio and TV programmes.

And also manages to find time to be a Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Arts Scholars and a Freeman of the City of London.


Our Lecture

“Antiques. I don’t understand them and they’re beyond my budget. They’re not for me.”

A persuasive introduction to buying antiques and integrating and using them in today’s homes.

The state of the antiques market and the different meanings of the word value are considered, and we take a look at what current and future generations of collectors are buying, why they are buying it and how they are displaying it.

Wednesday 24 April 2019 - Women Behind the Lens: outstanding female photographers and their contribution to the art of photography - Brian Stater

Today's Lecturer - Brian Stater

Brian's chief interests lie in photography, architecture and history and he combines all three in his lecturing career.

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He has taught at University College London, since 1997 and became an accredited lecturer for The Arts Society in 2003.

Brain is also a member of the Association for Historical and Fine Art Photography and an exhibition of his own photographs has been staged at UCL. In an attempt to gain a deeper understanding of the skills of some great photographers of the past, he has begun to work with a pre-War Leica camera, as used by his great hero, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and many others.


Today's Lecturer

The work of women photographers has often been unfairly neglected. 

This lecture seeks to correct that by examining the contribution of three  outstanding British practitioners; 

Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879), a Victorian pioneer;  

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 Jane Bown (1925 - 2014), a brilliant portraitist; 

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Fay Godwin (1931-2005), who excelled in landscape photography in the UK.

Brain Stater Fay Godwin Leaping Lurcher      brian stater fay godwin   

We will also explore the work of two highly influential Americans:  Dorothea Lange (1895-1965), who produced brilliant documentary images and Annie Leibovitz (1949-), who continues to both surprise and delight her audience.

Wednesday 29 May 2019 - Klimt and the Viennese Secession: “A Kiss for All the World” - Douglas Skeggs

The Lecturer

We are very  pleased to welcome Douglas Skeggs for the first time at ADFAS Mornings.

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Douglas read Fine Art at Magdalene College, Cambridge, and is an art historian with an international reputation, specialising in the Impressionists.

He has written an appreciation of Monet as well as five novels:-

     "The Talinin Madonna"

     "River of Light: Monet's Impressions of the Seine"

     "The Triumph of Bacchus"

     "The Estuary Pilgrim"

      "The Claimant"

which have been translated into several foreign languages.

In addition to lecturing widely in the UK he has lectured in Belgium, France, Germany and Spain, and has taken numerous tours around Europe.

He has written and presented various TV documentaries, notably the Omnibus programme on 'Whistler' and the exhibition video on 'William Morris'

Three one-man exhibitions of his paintings have been held in England and Switzerland. 

 The Lecture - Klimt and the Viennese Secession

The fears and anxieties of Vienna in the final years before the outbreak of the Great War found expression in the writing of Freud, the music of Gustav Mahler and the haunting paintings of Klimt, Kokoschka and Schiele.

       Douglas Skeggs 1Der Kuss10    Gustav Klimt’s most famous painting "Der Kuss" ( "The Kiss") is on display in the Gallery Belvedere, Vienna.

Klimt was the speaker and organiser of the Jugendstil art movement and promoter of young, up-and-coming talent. He created some of the most renowned Art Nouveau paintings, including a kiss that would be famous the world over.

Shimmering portraits flecked with gold; hypnotic landscapes of vibrant brushstrokes; erotic dreams of decadence and death reveal a society in search for salvation at a time when mankind had lost faith in its future.

The Vienna Secession was an art movement formed in 1897 by a group of Austrian artists who had resigned from the Association of Austrian Artists, housed in the Vienna Künstlerhaus.

This movement included painters, sculptors, and architects with the founders being Gustav Klimt, Josef Hoffmann, Koloman Moser, Carl Moll and Otto Wagner.  Klimt, the 150th anniversary of whose birth fell in 2012, was the leader of this Secession movement.
The lecture traces the course of this brief but dazzlingly inventive period of art.

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The Baroque Belvedere Palace houses one of Europe's most important museums, the Gallery Belvedere Vienna. In the Upper Belvedere the world's largest collection of paintings by Gustav Klimt is on display, alongside works by Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka.

The Belvedere also displays works by French impressionists such as Renoir and Monet, paintings of Van Gogh, as well as a large Biedermeier collection.

With the exception of his early works, Gustav Klimt painted portraits only of women. These paintings, along with his drawings, show him to be one of the greatest masters of eroticism in the history of art.

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From 1900 Klimt spent nearly every summer on Lake Attersee, in the Salzkammergut lake region, to which he was introduced by Emilie Flöge.

Klimt was an indefatigable worker even during his holidays, rising early and retiring to bed early. But despite the fact that he invariably wore his blue painter's smock, photographs often show him in jovial social situations. He enjoyed rowing "to wake up the muscles a bit", as he said, went swimming "with great caution", and always had his sketchbooks with him when he went for walks. Klimt also became one of the first fashion photographers, taking pictures of Emilie Flöge in ten of the outfits she created.

Wednesday 26 June 2019 - A Tour of Big Ben - Tim Redmond - preceded by the ADFAS AGM


Members will be advised well before the meeting as to the basis of this AGM.  Typical ADFAS AGMs usually take less than 10 minutes!


The Lecturer - Tim Redmond

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Tim spent his earlier career as a detective in the Metropolitan Police, working on murder, kidnap and anti-corruption investigations as well as in covert criminal intelligence.

He finally retired as a Detective Superintendent and as the first police adviser to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.   During his career Tim often gave presentations to large audiences, either for operational briefings or at conferences.

On retirement Tim decided on a complete change of direction, becoming a City of London tour guide and working for a London tour operator, specialising in tours around the UK.

He then used the knowledge gained to become a guide within the Palace of Westminster, specialising in tours of Big Ben.

tim redmond palace of westminster 2

His many guests on tours of the clock tower have included people such as Michelle Obama, Bill Gates and members of both houses of parliament.   He also appeared in UK and overseas documentaries of the tower.

Big Ben is now closed for a lengthy refit but Tim still guides people on tours around parliament and continues to talk on many aspects of history and stories relating to parliament.

The Lecture

Big Ben is one of the most iconic buildings in the world – it identifies the UK and democracy in the Western world.

Tim Redmond Big Ben London closeup smaller  The Elizabeth Tower             tim redmond bell   The Great Bell aka Big Ben

But there is a lot more to this tower than the beautiful external gothic architecture; and Tim will prove this to you. Using stunning images, he will take you on a virtual tour of the interior, saving you the effort of climbing 334 spiral stairs.

He will explain the historical background and discuss the friction between the often controversial personalities involved in the building and designing of the tower.

tim redmond big ben2 Clock face (now behind scaffolding!)    Tim Redmond Big Ben London closeupinside A rare view behind the time

Tim will then take you behind those magnificent clock faces; show and explain the workings of the enormous clock mechanism; before finally taking you into the belfry and presenting before you – Big Ben, the most famous bell in the world!  

After all that excitement Tim will ensure you safely descend the virtual stairs ready for your well-earned refreshments!


Events Programme 

Tuesday 2 October 2018 - Osterley House with Robert Adam Exhibition

Visit to Osterley House with A Robert Adam Exhibtion

Barbara Mitchell has organised this exciting trip for ADFAS to this National Trust property in the Boroughs of Hounslow and Ealing on this Tuesday. 

Osterley Park external

It is built in a large park and is one of the largest open spaces in London.  There is a large mansion with the same name, but also known as Osterley Mansion

Osterley Park and House 1251636 high res national trust images

Stroll up the tree-lined drive, past the grazing Charolais cattle and you would think that you are in the country, not urban Hounslow!

Surrounded by gardens, park and farmland, Osterley is one of the last surviving country estates in London.

Osterley Park external 2                          Osterley Park internal

Once described by Horace Walpole as 'the palace of palaces', Osterley was created in the late 18th century by architect and designer Robert Adam for the Child family to entertain and impress their friends and clients.

Today the house is presented as it would have looked in the 1780s; enter the house as the family's guests would have via the impressive stone steps leading up to the portico.

See this website for further details neare the date

Wednesday 28 November 2018 - Welcome drink for new Members after the lecture

Do join us after Neil Faulkner's lecture on The Dead Sea Scrolls, to get to know some of our new members better over a pre-lunch drink!

This will give all of you the opportunity to meet with the various members of your Committee and discover in more detail what we have been doing behind the scenes for your Society.

Tuesday 11 December 2018 - Burne-Jones Exhibition and lecture - Tate Britain

Trip to the


One of the last Pre-Raphaelites, Sir Edward Burne-Jones brought imaginary worlds to life in awe-inspiring paintings, stained glass windows and tapestries, so this is an exhibition to appreciate!

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Born in 1833, Burne-Jones rejected the industrial world of the Victorians, looking instead for inspiration from medieval art, religion, myths and legends.

He made spectacular works depicting Arthurian knights, classical heroes and Biblical angels – working across painting, stained glass, embroidery, jewellery and more.    With his friend William Morris he was a pioneer of the arts and crafts movement, which aimed to bring beautiful design to everyone.

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This exhibition – his first solo show at Tate since 1933 - charts Burne-Jones’s rise from an outsider with little formal art training to one of the most influential British artists of the late 19th century.

With over 150 objects, it will bring together major works from across his career for the first time in generations.  Highlights include some of his best loved works, such as his huge paintings telling the dreamlike fairytale of Sleeping Beauty, wall-filling tapestries and his remarkable drawings.

February 2019 - Visit to be confirmed

Tuesday 19 March 2019 - ADFAS Annual Lunch at The Gatsby Berkhamsted

Please keep an eye on this event here - more details will be provided nearer the date.

The structure of the ADFAS Annual lunch will be the same as in previous years at The Gatsby.

Tuesday 16 April 2019 - Van Gogh Exhibition and lecture at Tate Britain

Day Trip to Tate Britain for a lecture about Van Gogh followed by a look at their Exhibition

Tate Britain will have just opened a major exhibition about Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) in March 2019. This exhibition is sponsored bu the Accounting firm ETY and is called Van Gogh and Britain will be the first exhibition to take a new look at the artist through his relationship with Britain.

It will explore how Van Gogh was inspired by British art, literature and culture throughout his career and how he in turn inspired British artists, from Walter Sickert to Francis Bacon.

Bringing together the largest group of Van Gogh paintings shown in the UK for nearly a decade, this exhibition will include over 40 works by the artist from public and private collections around the world.

They include L'Arlésienne 1890 from Museu de Arte de São Paolo; Starry Night on the Rhône 1888 from the Musée d’Orsay, Paris; Shoes from the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, and the rarely loaned Sunflowers 1888 from the National Gallery, London.

            van gogh larlesienne 1890 1 L’Arlésienne 1890

The exhibition will also feature late works including two painted by Van Gogh in the Saint-Paul asylum, At Eternity’s Gate 1890 from the Kröller-Müller Museum, Otterlo and Prisoners Exercising 1890 from the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow.

Barbara Michell, your trip organiser, will be providing you with more specific details nearer the time.

Tuesday 15 to Monday 20 May 2019 - Residential trip to Budapest

More details will follow.


Please process your application paperwork and deposit as soon as possible.

Wednesday 29 May 2019 - Members' Drink after the lecture

Another chance to make new friends within ADFAS Mornings participients following the talk on Klimt and the goings on in Vienna.  We are hoping to attract a few of the new Members from our parallel ADFAS Evenings group. 

This over a free of wine or soft drinks provided by the ADFAS Committee in Potten End Village Hall.

There are plenty of things that we can discuss about how the ADFAS group is progressing and how you can assist in these endeavours.

Tuesday 16 July 2019 - Highclere Castle and Gardens, Newbury, Berkshire

Day Trip to Highclere Castle and Gardens

This is the last event in the diary for 2018/19 and well worth participating in - ticket sales are expected to be high so complete your request for a place as soon as possible! 

highclere castle 

Highclere Castle is a country house in the Jacobethan style by the architect Charles Barry, with a park designed by Capability Brown. The 5,000-acre plus estate is in Hampshire, about 5 miles south of Newbury, Berkshire.
Some of you will already appreciate its slendour since many of you will know, it is the background for 'Downton Abbey'.

Elsewhere on the ADFAS website, we have set the work produced by one of our Members, John Toovey, when we visited Osterley Park and Upton House for one of our day trips.

John came on this trip and produced the following item as a memory of another successful ADFAS outing in July 2019.

Monks Garden Highclere Castle 16 July 2019

 Monk's Garden at Highclere Castle, July 2019


  by John Toovey, ADFAS








Refunds on payments for outings will only be made if the place(s) can be re-sold!