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Newsletter - February 2009


Overwhelming …

Our February lecture by Michael Howard was titled ‘The Consolation of Movement’, a presentation on the sculptures of Edgar Degas and Auguste Rodin. The length of applause following the talk was a clear measure of members’ appreciation for what they had heard and seen. It would be unjust to offer a précis of the evening, but as our chairman, David Wines, said in his thanks to Michael, we were ‘somewhat overwhelmed’ by the wealth of information and the beautiful slides shown on, not one, but two projectors. Michael was kind enough to remain for the tea and coffee interlude after the meeting where members were able to put questions that didn’t quite surface in the auditorium.

This was the speaker’s second visit to us, and with another twenty or so topics in his armoury, we suspect it won’t be his last.


Last month was the first in which we made available a simple assessment form for the month’s lecture. As you may know, every society is required by NADFAS to complete a report form on each speaker, so that when booking speakers other societies have an indication of the likely quality of the speaker and topic.

A number of you very kindly completed the form and emailed it to us, so that your responses shaped our assessment – total approval of Mary Alexander’s 1925 Paris Exhibition. Feedback gives us a far more rounded appraisal than merely sounding out a few members on the evening. Your assessment can be totally anonymous, if you wish, by simply not completing the email address box. When received, we have no indication of its source. We hope those present at the February lecture will be able to complete the Feedback form. Thank you.

On the go

Meetings are imminent that committee members will be attending for us. On March 6th, Pat Stuart, our long-serving Programme Secretary, and Naomi Milne, a welcome volunteer to the programme sub-committee, will be at the East Anglia Area NADFAS meeting at Bury St. Edmunds cathedral. One of the speakers will be the NADFAS Director of Promotions and Marketing, and we expect to benefit from some of the advice given. The Area Meetings are an excellent opportunity to meet other societies and learn of common successes and difficulties.

On March 19th, Liz Pierce, our incoming Programme Secretary, and Naomi Milne will be in London for the Annual Directory Meeting. This is a full day for NADFAS members from all of the UK, where new speakers recently accredited by NADFAS, tell and sell themselves to the meeting, and established lecturers have stands to meet programme secretaries and discuss their ranges of lectures.

In April, David Wines and Liz Pierce will be in Ely, at a special meeting organised by the East Anglia Area to help in planning a programme, including Special Interest Days (previously called Study Days) and Society Visits.

Mozart – the Operatic Genius

Our East Anglia Area has organised a day of Mozart at the Theatre Royal, Bury St. Edmunds. For opera lovers, this should be splendid day. Peter Medhurst, known to many NADFAS members, with a team of professional singers will enact various arias and scenes from Mozart’s late operas. Peter will show how Mozart constructed his scores and include highlights from Don Giovanni, The Marriage of Figaro, and other works.

Seats are at £18, £20 and £23. Box Office 01284 769505.
The day commences at 10 am and runs to 4 pm.

Seats are not available though us, but must be booked (after 23rd February) through the Bury Theatre Royal.

Our next meeting – March 17th

Frank Woodgate’s talk is titled, ‘Women Looking at Women’, with a subtitle taking on a weighty issue of the day, ‘Does My Bum Look Big in This?’

A few smiles, no doubt, but as Frank is a lecturer at both the Tate Modern and Tate Britain, we can be sure of an erudite as well as entertaining evening. Amongst his other lecture subjects are David Hockney, Matisse, Picasso, Dali, Turner and Gainsborough. A wide spread.

Marie Élisabeth-Louise Vigée. Self-portrait in a Straw Hat, 1782

Suzanne Valadon's 1923 self-portrait The Blue Room

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