• Henley DFAS

Welcome to The Arts Society Henley

                                                                     The Arts Society, Henley
The Chairman, Robert Gurney, Vice Chairman Monnik Vleugels, and Committee of The Arts Society, Henley, are committed to offer every one of our members an exciting selection of Lectures, Special Interest Days and Day Visits for all to enjoy.  As we cannot meet face to face for the time being, we shall bring them to you through the magic of Zoom, with wonderful virtual live Lectures and Special Interest Days, with live questions to follow. A variety of fascinating virtual Day Visits will be hosted by the most outstanding guides, hand picked and recommended by other Societies. 
To get a flavour of what we do, here is our October newsletter:

        The Arts Society Henley                                                                                                
October 2021

        President: Lady Camoys                                                                  
        Registered Charity No. 289323




Dear Members,

What an excellent start we had to our return to live lectures at Phyllis Court in September. We were very pleased to welcome so many members and hope that we may welcome even more to our lectures on 21st October.

'Gustav Klimt and Fin de Siècle Vienna Society', given by Colin Pink, has intrigued, fascinated (and even a little shocked!) audiences for many, many years, so do come to this unmissable lecture. More details further down. Our brochures with details of all our events for 2022 will be ready for collection at these lectures. We shall post them to those who are unable to attend.
Just under two weeks later, on Wednesday 3rd November, we have our Annual General Meeting. This will be held at the Town Hall, Henley, commmencing at 10.30am, followed by the lecture 'The Architecture of St Petersburg', given by Rosamund Bartlett. Anyone who has visited St Petersburg will vouch for the fact that this is a truly remarkable city, so don't miss the lecture. Scroll down for more details. 

We very much regret that guests may not attend the AGM or lecture.

On a purely practical note, we are very sorry that we are unable to provide coffee or tea at the Town Hall, but you are most welcome to buy your own in Henley and bring it in with you.

The next day, on Thursday 4th November, we have our Special Interest Day, entitled 'The Silk Road: Past and Present', given by Suzanne Perrin. This comprises three lectures and will be brought to you online, through Zoom. As this will be a virtual event it is, of course, open to all members free of charge.  The link will be sent to you the day before, but after the live AGM has finished, to ensure there is no confusion as to what the link refers to. Please scroll down for details and times of the three lectures.
Many of you watched and thoroughly enjoyed our virtual live visit to Milan on Thursday 30th September.   We have now received a promotion code as a credit to any in-person tour with the same guide, Veronica Azimonti, who showed us around Milan. The value of this is 129.3 euros.  The offer is valid until 30th September 2024. If you would like to take this up, please contact Monnik direct (all Monnik's contact details are at the end of this newsletter). This will be on a first come, first served basis. 
For the last several years TASH has been a major sponsor of art workshops run by Henley Youth Festival in primary schools in and around Henley. Henley Youth Festival was cancelled this year as a result of Covid, so TASH offered a grant of £200 to each of the schools for art projects or materials. We had an enthusiastic response as art was seen as a way of bringing a bit of cheer into a very mixed time for children. Please scroll down to read more and see some charming photographs.
      The Arts Society Chiltern Hills Area have sent us a resumé of the Young Arts projects they have supported during 2021, including some delightful photographs. Please click here to see their report.
Now a little snippet of news that many members will be very pleased to read. In June's newsletter I reported that Andrew Davies had decided to hang up his boots and retire from his expert guiding days in London.  It seems that it was not just our society that would sorely miss his inspiring forays scross London. After countless pleas from many of our fellow societies to return to his former post, entrancing as well as educating us all in the intricacies of our fascinating capital, he has been cajoled into carrying on guiding. We have resurrected our booking to re-explore King's Cross and St Pancras with him in autumn 2022. Click here for a sneak preview.
Please scroll down for details of everything mentioned above.
Very best wishes

Ginnie Johnston

Wednesday 13th October 2021
Virtual Tour 3.00pm (please note time)
A Virtual Live Tour of Diocletian's Palace in
Split, Croatia,

escorted by Kristina
An email will be sent to you the day before
with a link to it.

Thursday 21st October 2021
Lecture at 10.45am repeated 2.15pm at Phyllis Court
Gustav Klimt and Fin de Siècle Vienna Society
given by Colin Pink

Wednesday 3rd November 2021
AGM and Lecture at 10.30am
at the Town Hall, Henley
Psychology of a City:
The Architecture of St Petersburg
given Rosamund Bartlett 

Thursday 4th November 2021
Virtual Special Interest Day
The Silk Road: Past and Present
given by Suzanne Perrin 

An email will be sent to you the day before
with a link to it.

Thursday 18th November 2021
Lecture at 10.45am repeated 2.15pm at Phyllis Court
The Story of the Cook Sisters and
How They Used Opera to Save Lives
given by Anne Sebba 

Thursday 23rd November 2021
Virtual Tour 10.30am
A Virtual Live Tour of Ravenna Mosaics Workshop
with Silvia

An email will be sent to you the day before
with a link to it.

December 2021
Virtual Tour
A Virtual Live Tour of Stockholm

An email will be sent to you the day before
with a link to it.

Our Virtual Live Tour of Diocletian's Palace in Split, Croatia, on Wednesday 13th October 2021 
at 3.00pm (please note time), escorted by Kristina

Split, the chief city of Dalmatia, in southern Croatia, is one of the most fascinating cities in the world, because its heart lies within a 1,700 year old Roman palace.
During this walking tour of the palace, local registered tour guide, Kristina, will show us the major features of the palace ....
.... and she will tell the story of the Emperor Diocletian who built it and made a foundation for a fascinating city to rise from it. 


To access this visit tomorrow, Wednesday 13th October, please click on the link below: 


Webinar ID: 991 7223 9993


Our lectures on Thursday 21st October 2021
at 10.45am repeated at 2.15pm
at Phyllis Court    

Gustav Klimt and Fin de Siècle Vienna Society,
given by Colin Pink  

Turn of the century Vienna was a melting pot of new ideas in many areas, in particular art (Klimt, Kokoschka and Schiele).  
Gustav Klimt led the Secession movement, which broke free from 19th century academic art, to create a highly decorative and potent form of imagery, drawing inspiration from art nouveau, symbolism, Byzantine and Mycenaean art.   

Klimt created a highly decorative and sensual visualization that explored the power of sex in the age of Freud. We will examine the ramifications of Klimt’s sexually charged images in the context of Viennese art and society. 

Colin has a BA in Philosophy and Politics from the University of Southampton and a MA in the History of Art from Birkbeck, University of London. 
Please click here to read more.
Our Annual General Meeting 
Wednesday 3rd November 2021 at 10.30am
The Town Hall, Henley

After the formal part of the meeting, we shall meet Emma Leahy, to whom we gave the first TASH Prize for Graduate Ambition. She will talk briefly about her work as a ceramicist, and how the prize will help her with her career.

This will be followed by our lecture

Psychology of a City:
The Architecture of St Petersburg,
given Rosamund Bartlett 
Please note guests may not attend this event.  
St. Petersburg’s dignity and grandeur is everywhere apparent. Peter the Great had before him a vast tabula rasa when planning his future capital at the beginning of the 18th century. The city he built was truly sumptuous – but it came at a price. 
This lecture tells the story of the buildings of St. Petersburg, but also the life that went on inside the buildings, focussing particularly on the city’s writers, musicians and artists, for whom St. Petersburg definitely had a personality – sometimes enigmatic, sometimes tragic - which they immortalised in their paintings, music and literary works.  
Rosamund is a writer, lecturer and translator whose work as a cultural historian ranges across the arts. 

Please click here to read more.

On Thursday 4th November we have our third
Special Interest Day of the year,
The Silk Road: Past and Present,
hosted by Suzanne Perrin. 

This will be online and open to all members.
It will be in three parts:

1st Lecture:
10.30am-11.30am:   The Historical Background                                               
2nd Lecture:
12.30pm-1.30pm:     More Recent History and Artifacts
1.30pm:                     Questions on the morning

3rd Lecture:
3.00pm-4.00pm:        The Modern Silk Road                                                     
4.00pm:                      Questions and overall
                                    discussion on the day  
The Silk Road has held a fascination for travellers since the early Christian era and many traders, religious pilgrims and conquerors have passed through the settlements and towns that stretch from Central Asia to the East China Sea. 
Along the various routes that make up the network of the ‘Silk Road’ – itself a misnomer – flourished an exotic mixture of cultures from Arabic, Turkic, Iranian, Indian, Mongolian, Chinese and Tibetan sources.  

Suzanne Perrin is an independent researcher and historian specialising in Asian History, Art & Culture.

Please click here to read more.

An email will be sent to you the day before
with a link to it.
For the last several years TASH has been a major sponsor of art workshops run by Henley Youth Festival in primary schools in and around Henley. Henley Youth Festival was cancelled this year as a result of Covid, so TASH offered a grant of £200 to each of the schools for art projects or materials. We had an enthusiastic response as art was seen as a way of bringing a bit of cheer into a very mixed time for children. Here are some photos and details of projects at Rupert House and Valley Road.

At Rupert House all children from Year 3-6 enjoyed a comic strip-themed workshop with the artist, James Parsons. 
He guided the children through everything needed to equip them with the skills required to create an awesome comic strip - character design, setting, techniques like speech bubbles and sound effects.
It was greatly enjoyable and a really valuable experience for the children, who learned about different illustration styles and how comic strips are created.
Valley Road School is a vibrant, friendly school where imagination and creativity are at the heart of so much of what they do. Each year, the leaving Year Six pupils produce a work of art made to last; a personal legacy and celebration of their happy time at Valley Road that remains part of the fabric of the school for years to come.
In previous years, groups have created outside mosaics, beautiful canvases and collages. This year, leavers decorated doors throughout the school in the theme of the school houses – golden eagles, red kites, green woodpeckers and blue kingfishers.

These works mean so much to the school, for the pupils who create them as a way of saying goodbye as they move on, for staff to remember individual year groups and for pupils to be surrounded by a rich heritage of inspiring creations made by their fellow students. 


with Lynne Gibson
Date  Wednesday 17 November 2021 
Would you like to develop your confidence in looking at Art?
Do you want to discuss your opinions with insight?
Put away your headphones, take your nose out of the catalogue and discover a strategy for looking at Art.  Become an active, rather than a passive, viewer.  It is a tool for life: simple and effective. 

We will put it into practice, through small group work, by looking at a range of paintings, and by discussion and sharing of ideas.  For this reason, numbers present are limited.
This study day is a must for anyone interested in visiting galleries, exhibitions and art museums. 

‘See’ more!  Learn to trust your eyes and enjoy Art to the full.
Venue: The King’s Church, Raans Rd, Amersham HP6 6LX     10.30am - 3.00pm

Cost  £42 .  This includes coffee and sandwich lunch
Open to both The Arts Society members and non-members. 

There will be a follow up SID by Lynne Gibson on 14 January 2022 “Encaustic to Acrylic” for which a separate booking is required.

BOOKING is online with  eventbrite.co.uk   Please click this link:  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/what-makes-a-painting-a-work-of-art-tickets-167198444047
 Please also email the following details to Felicity Sykes at acechilternhills@theartssociety.org
 I have booked  ………place(s) for the Special Interest Day 17 November 2021 at £42 per person
Name:   …………………………………….                       
Society or contact  ………………………………………………
Email:   …………………………………………   
In case of emergency, telephone contact:   ……………………………  
Please let me know if you have any food allergies or intolerances. 
This booking is non-refundable (unless there is a government Covid lockdown on the day).
 For further information contact Felicity Sykes by email acechilternhills@theartssociety.org
by telephone 01296 620830.
To see the original flyer please click here.
Online Lectures from
The Arts Society Head Office
As mentioned in previous newsletters, The Arts Society Head Office in London has compiled a series of fascinating online lectures for all its members across the world. Please click on the following links to see the latest. They are charming, interesting and informative and a pleasure to read.  Included this month are articles from the Heads of Volunteering.

Curated Highlights from The Arts Society 

Become an Instant Expert on Frida Kahlo 

News from the Heads of Volunteering 

Become an Instant Expert on the Wartime Evacuation of London's Precious Artworks 

More Curated Highlights from The Arts Society

Contact Number and Email address for
Chairman and Vice Chairman
If you need to contact our Chairman,
Robert Gurney,
his telephone number is 07828 505133
and his email address is
If you need to contact our Vice Chairman,
Monnik Vleugels
her telephone number is 07505 778405
and her email address is
Copyright  2021 The Arts Society Henley, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you are a member of The Arts Society Henley.

The address for all correspondence is: 
Professor Robert Gurney OBE,
Chairman, The Arts Society Henley
104 Hamilton Road
Reading RG1 5RD

Our Background
The Arts Society Henley (formerly Henley Decorative & Fine Arts Society) was founded in 1976 by Françoise  White, with our first lecture in January 1977.  The membership grew rapidly and now stands at about 626. 
The Arts Society Henley is one of over 385 societies throughout the UK, in mainland Europe and New Zealand as well as 35 societies in Australia as part of the Australian Decorative & Fine Arts Society (ADFAS) with a combined membership of over 98,000 worldwide. 
Before Covid struck, our lectures were held in the Ballroom at Phyllis Court Club in Henley. We shall return to normal at the first opportunuty. When all is back to normal we have a morning lecture starting at 10:45am and the same lecture at 2:15pm on the third Thursday of the month, except July, August and December.  There are 10 lectures each year with two in November, one being at the AGM. We also have three Special Interest Days where we embrace a subject in greater depth.  Four day visits are arranged each year to exhibitions, houses, museums and many other places of interest.  In addition, in normal circumstances we have a short holiday in the British Isles in the spring and in the autumn a holiday abroad, accompanied by expert guides.
Do email your news, views and photographs to Ginnie Johnston (Website and Newsletter), at henley@theartssociety.org. We look forward to hearing from you.
To find out more about The Arts Society world wide, its structure and history, visit theartssociety.org website.
To find out more about becoming a member of The Arts Society Henley, please go to Join Us.
Registered Charity No. 289323                                  Photograph of Henley above by kind permission of photographer Tim Hodges ARPS