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September 2010



Our September talk by John Ericson on the Shakers of North America, their Beliefs, Architecture and Artefacts, was a beautifully presented account of this unusual sect originating in the mid-eighteenth century and lasting for a little over two hundred years.  Outstanding illustrations guided us through their settlements, their endeavours to build Utopia, their Heaven on earth, and their design style that put function as the prime requirement, unnecessary decoration eschewed. We saw the extremes taken to eliminate the intermingling of the sexes, yet a restrained dance form was a diversion they permitted; we saw their furniture, chairs and tables with distinctive legs and supports, a style still in demand today.

The duration of applause and the almost unstoppable flow of questions were a measure of members’ appreciation of our speaker’s informed but easy and humorous presentation.


Our last meeting was in mid-June but for those who might not have noticed, we had our annual Summer Garden Party (pictures on our website: Visits & Trips, Ranworth) in July, with a record attendance of over 140 members and friends. We also held our New Members’ Tea Party in June with 20 recent joiners attending, again, photos on website.


It’s tempting to ask if any members over their summer holidays took digital photos of somewhere or something visited that’s particularly arts-related. If so, we could include one in a future Online Newsletter. Just attach it to an email to First prize: the kudos of publication, of course, plus an extra glass of wine at the Christmas Party? Here’s a shot to start, one not too difficult to identify by location.


As you will know, this is a matter under consideration but, as luck would have it, none of our speakers between now and the New Year has to leave sharply in order to catch the London train There is, therefore, no immediate need to canvass members’ opinions on an earlier starting time that allows space for questions after each lecture. It would be convenient for any change to coincide and appear with the issue of new membership cards for May next year. Similarly, the NADFAS national website updates information near the same month. We will return to this in due course.


As it takes a little time after the summer break to get back into the NADFAS swing. you might like a reminder of the autumn goodies ahead.

Monday, 18th October, is our visit to the Goldsmiths’ Hall in London (also to the Museum of London), a tour arranged through Rosemary Ransome Wallis, your favourite speaker of last year, as measured by lecture Feedback responses.  Because of the popularity of this outing, a sell-out plus a waiting list, for the 30 or so disappointed members and new applicants, we have arranged a second visit for Monday March 14th next year. A notice will go out in good time but those on the current waiting list will be given first priority. Our thanks go to Max Bone for his initiative in making arrangements for this additional visit.

Our Tuesday, October 19th, meeting will include a talk by Daniel Snowman, ‘The Gilded Stage’ – a social and cultural history of opera.
Daniel is an absolute favourite amongst Nadfas Societies, has worked at the BBC and is a former chairman of the London Philharmonic Choir.  ‘Opera,’ he notes, ‘is the art-form that incorporates all others.’ A talk not to be missed! Also, as this meeting is our AGM, complimentary wine will be served from 6.45 pm.

Thursday, 28th October, is our Special Interest Day at the Park Farm Hotel, Hethersett where we join the romance of19th century fin-de-siecle Paris.
Michael Howard, another of your favourite lecturers, guarantees an instructive and entertaining day, his view into the turbulent world of emerging artists such as Picasso, Matisse and Braque, amongst others.

We’ve improved the catering arrangements from last year but kept the price unchanged. Notices have been sent out and seats are available still. We would like a full house, not least to reward our outstanding speaker.


Should the summer break from Norwich DFAS have left an arts vacuum, if with a few minutes to spare, you might like to visit , an online museum that brings together listings and examples from the best of the world’s exhibitions. Currently you’ll find something of Maggie Hambling’s new East Anglian Waves at the Fitzwilliam, Cambridge. Visit this and more, all with no admission fee!


This is the last Online Newsletter penned by me. I see from our website Archive that there are 20 or so monthly issues in the library. The obvious purpose of the Newsletter is to keep readers informed, but equally important to me has been giving members an ongoing and growing sense of inclusion within Norwich DFAS. I hope the Newsletters have helped towards that.

David Wines.


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