Art in the heart of the Hunter

Changing fashions in jewellery and the global impact of superstar architect Zaha Hadid are just two of the lectures in store for flourishing local arts society ADFAS Pokolbin (Australian Decorative and Fine Arts Societies). Eight times a year the Pokolbin branch of this national organisation hosts lectures, delivered by experts from Britain and Australia.

This year’s program has included ‘Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear 1715-2015’; ‘Understanding Cubism’; and ‘From Paris to New York: The Story of American Impressionism’. The next lecture, on 12 August, is by Andrew Prince, who created pieces of jewellery for the main characters on the television series Downton Abbey. Prince’s lecture topic is, ‘From Downton to Gatsby: Jewellery and Fashion 1890-1929’. Click here to win two tickets for this lecture.

Colin Davies will discuss the achievements of ‘Zaha Hadid Architectural Superstar’ on 9 September. Born in Iraq and a true global citizen who made Britain her home, Dama Zaha is already seen as one of the most important architects of the early 21st century. ‘Venice, Canaletto and his rivals’ is the topic of an October 7 presentation by Anthony Russell. His lecture provides insights into the life of a superstar painter, his rich patrons and the a city whose modern face hides behind a romantic mask. The final lecture of 2019 will be held on 4 November: Dr. Matthew Laing will tell the story of the Amercian regionalist movement through its three prophets: Grant Wood, John Seuart Curry and Thomas Hart Brenton in ‘American Regionalism: Beyond Amerian Gothic’.

In addition to its lecture program, ADFAS encourages youth participation in the arts, providing awards and grants and funding educational excursions for children. ADFAS Pokolbin has been recognised at a national level for its achievement in the Young Arts. Another of the society’s objectives is to preserve Australia’s artistic heritage and ADFAS members are actively engaged in researching the history of Schools of Arts and Mechanics Institutes.

Lectures are held at the Cessnock Performing Arts Centre and are followed by supper and a glass or two of local wines. Find more information at