The Nelson Decorative & Fine Arts Society

I recently became a paid-up founding member of the said group, and got my 2009 info today. I gather this is a big deal group in the UK and Australia, but I had never heard of it until Jay Farnsworth became involved. It is a group that organizes lecturers, and we had a taste of it in the form of "Russian art around the time of the last Tsar" talk. Even though the The Suter is putting in great efforts to hold more lectures and floor talks, when you live in a town without a university, it's nice to have access to other quasi-high-brow entertainment, I say.

The 2009 menu reads:

February - Mrs Maggie Campbell Pederson, "An Introduction to Organic Gems - from Amber to Ivory"

March - Mrs Patricia Wright, "The Mystery & Splendour of Golden Ages in the Arts - Fleeting Crucibles of Genius"

May - Mrs Sandra Pollard, "The Terribly Low Creature, a Female Painter - A Look at How & What Women Painted"

June - Christopher Vine, "Soane the Obscure - The Time, Life & Legacy of an Extraordinary Architect"

July - Dr Anne Anderson, "Scandinavian Designs c. 1880-1960 - How did We Get Ikea?"

September - Mr Charles Hajdamach, "A Victorian Splendour - The Golden Age of British Glass"

October - Miss Terry Pearson, "Gloriana - Queen Elizabeth I, Woman & Icon"

November - Professor John Prag, "Reconstructing Ancient Faces - Macedon, Mycenae, Molars & More"

New Zealand is a pretty casual place, so I can't suppress my giggles at all the "Mrses". The lectures start at 6:30PM and afterwards wine and sandwiches are served; I'd have preferred no food and cheaper subs, but I was told that's not a done thing. I've never heard of any of these folks except possibly Christopher Vine, if it's the Australian greeting card bloke. Still, if the taster lecture is anything to go by, these are going to be cracker evenings where I sit in the dark anonymously and enjoy some stirring of the gray cells, or electrodes connecting whatever they connect.

Furthermore, I'm told, if I travel to the UK, Oz , Christchurch, Auckland or Wellington, I'm supposed to be able to attend their events at a reduced fee. Isn't that lovely!

Tonight, though, I can't help imagining all these lecturers writing their CV to be considered by the Society. I got no weaving done today...

Good night, you lovely people.


  1. It's interesting that you all over there apparently still use "Mrs." and "Miss." Not so in this country, any more.

  2. Connie, usually we don't even use last names, just first names. That's why this is all the more ... hilarious. I think they may be English, and that's why Christopher Vine is not a Mr - because I suspect he's an Aussie.

  3. Says Rosie: "As for Christopher Vine, I'm assuming (I may be wrong) he's the local retired architect here in Nelson - he's written books on Nelson architecture and did that large ceramic architectural mural for the museum. He's very learned and did a few lectures on architecture at polytechnic before my time."

    So, nor the Australian greeting card man. Makes more sense, Rosie.


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