• Henley DFAS

Welcome to The Arts Society Henley


                                                                     The Arts Society, Henley

The Chairman, Katerina Burgess, Vice Chairman Robert Gurney, 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 April newsletter:

        The Arts Society Henley                                                                                                
April 2021

        President: Lady Camoys                                                                  
        Registered Charity No. 289323

Dear Members,
Welcome to our newsletter for April. How lovely that spring is now upon us, with lighter evenings, a smidgen of sunshine over the last few days and a profusion of beautiful spring flowers and blossom everywhere. 
Furthermore, after months of lockdown there is now a chink of liberty at our fingertips, with the promise of more to come, if all goes well.
A huge thank you to all those who suggested places and objects of interest for the Fifty Treasures Area Project. We were delighted to receive them. These have been submitted to the Area Committee for consideration.
Now for a particularly interesting piece of news: Professor Robert Gurney, our Vice Chairman, has close connections with the University of Reading.  As with all educational establishments, the students have suffered immeasurably over the past year. In response to this he has been in discussion with the University's Art Department exploring ways in which we, The Arts Society Henley, can help.  Don't miss his fascinating article. Please scroll down to read it. 
On the subject of aspiring young art students, further down we have a very interesting article on the Arts Society Chiltern Hills Area support for various establishments, in particular Bishopsland.  (Our Society is a member of the Chiltern Hills Area group).  Bishopsland has been one of our oldest and most cherished projects over the years. Don't forget to click on the two charming video links attached to this article.
We are well aware that our events are enjoyed not only by members but also members' friends who have been sent the link. We are very happy (and not a little flattered!) that they have asked to see them too. To this end, it would be most appreciated if members' friends would thoughtfully consider making a donation of £5.00 per event, preferably by bank transfer. This will help towards our continued work with the Society. Alternatively, all are most welcome to join TASH (The Arts Society Henley) at any time. For joining details please get in touch with Sue Launders, tel. 01491 628243.  For donations, our bank details are:
Account Name: The Arts Society Henley
Account No: 20368890
Sort Code: 60 83 01
Reference: Visitor 

We would be very grateful if members could pass the above details on to friends when they are sending the link.  Thank you.

We now have another vacancy on the Committee for a super job.  We are looking for someone to take on the organisation of three Special Interest Days per year.  Robert Gurney is currently combining this with his role as Vice-Chairman of TASH, but this is impractical once we return to meeting at Phyllis Court.  Special Interest Days allow us to look in more detail at a wide range of art topics.  Our Special Interest Day last November was given by Neil Faulkner on Lawrence of Arabia; it was fascinating throughout. Our next Special Interest Day is this month, Tuesday 20th April, Sutton Hoo and the Lindisfarne Gospels, to be given by Mark Cottle.

 Organising the Special Interest Days is fun, and the Committee is very helpful to new members as they learn what to do.  A formal job description can be found here.  If you are interested in taking this on please contact Robert on 07828 505 133 or email him on robert.gurney@ntlworld.com

In the February newsletter we asked if anyone would be interested in getting together online for an informal chat from time to time. After some discussion the Committee decided that the best time for members to meet for a short while would be before the morning and afternoon lectures, so this month we are setting up a link from 9.55am to 10.25am and again from 1.45pm to 2.20pm on lecture day, Thursday 15th April. This will be quite separate from the lecture itself, together with a separate Zoom link.  Nick Launders will be our host. As always, the links for the lectures will be sent the day before the lectures and on this occasion the links for the pre-meeting chats will be sent at the same time. We would be delighted if you would join us.
This month we have no less than five events for you to enjoy. As always, they are listed in the next section followed by details of each one further down the newsletter. Our first event is this Thursday, 8th April, another wonderful walk, this time in the Dorsoduro area of Venice, escorted by Luisella Romeo. A map of her route is attached to the article further down. The link to join will be sent to you on Wednesday. 

Details of the newest one, on Tuesday 13th April, were sent to you a few days ago as the closing date to apply was 1st April.  The Windsor Arts Society sent us a delightful invitation to join their Live Virtual Visit to the Albert Memorial, escorted by Barbara Askew. More details further down. For those who applied to join, the link will be sent to you direct from Windsor. 

Two days later on Thursday 15th April we have our April lecture, ' "So, they Do Cook After All", Ravillious, Bawden and the Great Bardfield Artists', given by Jo Walton. Hot on its heels we have our long awaited Special Interest Day on Tuesday 20th April, 'When England had Scarcely Begun, Sutton Hoo and the Lindisfarne Gospels', given by Mark Cottle. Please note that our lecturer has requested us not to record his talks. Please accept our apologies for this and understand that we must naturally respect his wishes. Mark has, however, spread out the timings to allow for a rest between lectures. 

Finally, on Monday 26th April we have our Virtual Visit to the Gardens of China, courtesy of The Chiltern Hills Area, hosted by Timothy Walker.

The first trip to Venice, with Luisella Romeo, was incredibly popular, and we are very much hoping that our next outing with her this Thursday will be equally successful. We were delighted that the earlier walks received such an amazing positive response.  Consequently, while we are still emerging from lockdown, we have now arranged no less than three further virtual live visits to foreign climesto be broadcast before our summer break at the end of July.  We do hope that these will compensate for our days out together that we have had to postpone.  As always there is no additional charge for members - it's all part of the service! The first two will be to Budapest and Florence, where our expert local guides will be walking the streets and streaming live back to us. For the third, to Vienna, we shall be taken by scooter! Scroll to the next article for exact dates and times, and further down for more details of each trip. We may not be able to go there in person for a while, but hopefully these visits will either whet your appetite or conjure up some memories.  Scroll down for more details.
A last call for the Membership Secretary and Treasurer vacancies: as mentioned in the previous newsletter, we have had some response to this but would invite anyone interested to contact Nick and Sue Launders, who presently hold these positions, on 01491 628243.  Please click here for details of the Membership Secretary's role and here for the Treasurer's.  As always, official job specifications may sound very formal and somewhat daunting.  Let us assure you that in practice both these roles are interesting and rewarding and you would be working with a hugely supportive, friendly Committee every step of the way. Please do consider taking on one of these roles.  
As our scheduled visit to Sudeley Castle on Tuesday 15th June is only a couple of months away, the Committee has now made the decision to postpone this outing until next year.  Although restrictions are in line to be lifted slowly, it is too soon to meet in a large group, particularly on a coach. We are very sorry about this, but feel sure you will agree that we have made the right decision.

We shall let you know soon whether our visit to Henry Moore: Sculpture Garden, House and Studios on Thursday 22nd July will go ahead.

What a lengthy introduction this is - many apologies! As you can see, there is a lot of news this month.  Do read on to learn more about everything in detail.

Very best wishes

Ginnie Johnston

Thursday 8th April 2021
Virtual Walk 2.00pm
A Live Walking Tour of the District of Venice
called Dorsoduro
given by Luisella Romeo
Tuesday 13th April 2021
Virtual Visit 11.00am
A Live Virtual Visit to the Albert Memorial
escorted by Barbara Askew
Link will be sent from Windsor Arts Society direct
Thursday 15th April 2021 
Virtual Lecture at 10.30am repeated 2.30pm
"So, They Do Cook After All",
Ravillious, Bawden and the Great Bardfield Artists
given by Jo Walton
Tuesday 20th April 2021
Special Interest Day 
Three Virtual Talks
    Lecture 1: 10.00am-11.00am
  Lecture 2: 12.30pm-1.30pm
Lecture 3: 3.30pm-4.30pm
'When England had Scarcely Begun':
Sutton Hoo and the Lindisfarne Gospels
given by Mark Cottle
Monday 26th April 2021
Virtual Visit at 11.00am
The Gardens of China
courtesy of The Chiltern Hills Area 
hosted by Timothy Walker
Link will be sent from The Chiltern Hills Area direct
Tuesday 11th May 2021
Virtual Walk 10.30am 
A Live Walking Tour of Budapest
escorted by Adam
Thursday 20th May 2021
Virtual Lecture at 10.30am repeated 2.30pm
The Genius of Beethoven
given by Peter Medhurst
Wednesday 9th June 2021
Special Interest Day
Three Virtual Talks
given by Peter Medhurst
Thursday 17th June 2021
Virtual Lecture at 10.30am repeated 2.30pm
The Art of 1935
given by Pamela Campbell-Johnston
Tuesday 22nd June 2021
Virtual Walk 10.30am
A Live Walking Tour of Florence
escorted by Lucia
Thursday 15th July 2021
Virtual Lecture at 10.30am repeated 2.30pm
Shock! Horror! Probe! The Art and Artifice of
Fleet Street
A Newspaper Story in Pictures
given by Dr Geri Parlby
Thursday 29th July 2021
Virtual Tour 5.00pm (please note time)
A Live Tour of the Highlights of Vienna - by Scooter!
given by Suzanne
An email will be sent to you the day before
each virtual event 
with a link to it.

Working with the University of Reading
by Professor Robert Gurney


Reading University Campus
The last year has been trying for everyone.  It has been particularly difficult for schoolchildren and university students, who have had their education severely disrupted.  We are already working with local schools through the Young Arts programme, and in future newsletters we will share our plans on what we are doing this year for these. 


Reading University Campus
University students have been equally disrupted, with long periods of remote learning.  Art students have had particular problems, firstly because they have not been able to practise their art together, and also because they have not been able to practise career skills through internships or similar.  We have been in discussion with the University of Reading Art Department to see what we can do to help.  We have agreed to offer a prize this year to the student who produces the best proposal on how they will establish themselves after graduation, to encourage them to think about this, and to offer a boost after graduation. 

The Art Department at the University
We also hope to offer mentoring via you, our members, if any of the students want the benefit of your experience in the adult world, from how to set up in self-employment to working in archives, or elsewhere in the art world.  Exactly how this will be accomplished is still being discussed, but we hope you will see this is both an important initiative and a demonstration that the wider local community is interested in the arts and sees it as part of the route to recovery post-lockdown.  Mentoring will probably have to be on Zoom, and may just be a short meeting, depending on student needs.                                             

The Art Department at the University
We also hope to get you all invitations to view the graduation exhibition for this year’s graduates, and hope there will be possibilities to meet some of the students when they are working in the open air in the Henley area, such as at Greenlands, between Henley and Marlow.  The details of this are still being worked out, but we wanted to tell everyone about this as soon as it had been agreed.    _________________________________________________________________________

The Arts Society Chiltern Hills Area Awards 2020      

 Our Henley Arts Society is one of the fifteen societies within The Arts Society Chiltern Hills Area. Each society contributes financially to awards to students and the institutions in the arts field which are administered by The Arts Society Chiltern Hills Area, including the Bishopsland Educational Trust.

The home of Bishopsland Eductional Trust
Bishopsland Educational Trust provides the only postgraduate residential silversmithing course in the United Kingdom and helps newly-established self-employed jewellers and silversmiths develop their skills.
All students have to pay for their art materials and this year we made one award to the Silver Fund, together with two awards to students. The first award was to Sorrel van Allen for her Anemone French Press Silver jug with cherry wood handle and chasing on the sides and lid. Click here to watch the video of Sorrel displaying her exquisite Anemone French Press silver jug and graciously thanking all for her first prize. (Once you have clicked, please click 'continue to website' to load video if necessary).

The second award went to Georgia Piggott for her Silver Bumble Bee musical box. This is a hexagonal honeycomb shape with a bumble bee moving its wings resting on honeycomb motifs on the lid.  Click here to watch the video of Georgia displaying her beautiful Silver Bumble Bee musical box and warmly thanking all for her second prize.

Bishopsland is situated between Henley and Reading, set in the midst of beautiful, unspoilt countryside. Before the pandemic there was an open day once a year - well worth a visit. 
Bucks New University in High Wycombe, founded in 1891 as the School of Science and Art, developed links with local crafts such as furniture making and cabinetry.  In 1999 it was granted University College.

We gave two awards to students in the Textiles and Surface Design Department: Gemma Singleton for using innovative materials in her colourful creations, and Emily Hopkins for her Japanese influenced fabric and furniture.  A further two awards went to students in the Product Design Department, Gregory King, for his prototype all-terrain wheelchair and Alex Eyles for a portable light weight shower unit using recyclable water for use in refugee camps.

For the first of our events in March, we have a
second visit to Venice on Thursday 8th April 2021      
 A Delightful Live, Online Walking Tour

in the District of Dorsoduro

Dorsoduro is a large section of Venice, lying south and stretching up to the port of the city, created in the late 1880s. Our tour begins near this section and in particular at the Campo di San Nicolò dei Mendicoli, where mainly fishermen would live. Known also as the Nicolotti, the inhabitants of this part of Venice were very poor and we’ll admire what today are lovely examples of minor Venetian architecture.

Nearby you will see the church of the Archangel Raphael with young Tobia, and the church of San Sebastiano where Paolo Veronese left some of his most significant works and where he was buried. We will finally visit the very well-known Squero Tramontin. The “squero” is a term in Venice defining boatyards and this one in particular was the one where the gondola acquired the famous asymmetrical shape it is known for today.

We will meet with Elena Tramontin who will tell us about the secrets of the boat building construction and about her family, who, for five generations, has built and maintained gondolas.

Our Tour Guide, Luisella Romeo, has been a Venice Tourist Guide since 2000.  This will be a live, in real time, guided walking tour of Venice.  The duration of the tour will be approximately one hour plus time for questions.

Luisella has sent us a map of Dorsoduro, with her route marked in red. Click here to see it. 

An email will be sent to you
the day before this walk

with a link to it.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________        ____

A Visit to the Albert Memorial on Tuesday 13th April 2021 
We have a splendid invitation from the Windsor Arts Society to accompany them on a virtual tour of The Albert Memorial on Tuesday 13th April 2021 at 11.00am, via Zoom.  The tour will be escorted by Barbara Askew.
As stated in our previous addendum email, all applications were required to reach the Windsor Arts Society by 1st April. - Click here to see the details.  Please note Windsor Arts Society are charging £5.00 per household for this visit.
Link will be sent from Windsor Arts Society direct 


Online Lecture on Thursday 15th April 2021  10.30am and repeated 2.30pm
"So, They do Cook After All",
Ravillious, Bawden and the Great Bardfield Artists
given by Jo Walton
In 1932 the artist Edward Bawden and his wife Charlotte moved into Brick House in the Essex village of Great Bardfield, initially sharing the house with another artistic couple, Eric Ravilious and Tirzah Garwood. 
It was to be the beginning of a fascinating artistic community. In the years before and during the Second World War, painters, printmakers and designers settled in the village, relishing the peace while remaining within easy reach of London.
Jo Walton has combined teaching and lecturing with a career in art bookselling and has been a volunteer guide at both Tate Britain and Tate Modern.  She has lectured for the Arts Society, the Art Fund, and Friends of Dulwich Picture Gallery.
For more information on the lecture please click here.
An email will be sent to you
the day before the lecture

with a link to it.
Our Special Interest Day
on Tuesday 20th April 2021
'When England had Scarcely Begun':
Sutton Hoo and the Lindisfarne Gospels,
given by Mark Cottle


Three Virtual Talks:
Lecture 1: 10.00am-11.00am 
Lecture 2: 12.30pm-1.30pm
Lecture 3: 3.30pm-4.30pm
Sutton Hoo and the Lindisfarne Gospels provide remarkable insights into the England of the 7th century. 

Sutton Hoo, Near Woodbridge, Suffolk

Early in the 7th century, a great ship was dragged ashore from the river Deben in Suffolk. It became the burial place of a powerful Anglo-Saxon warlord, buried with a mound of treasures from all over the known world.  Fine weaponry, gold coins and exquisitely crafted jewellery reflected levels of sophistication which were a revelation.  
Mark Cottle was born on the Isles of Scilly and educated at Truro School, Cornwall, and Birmingham University.  Mark's career has been spent in education and training at home and abroad.

For more information on this Special Interest Day please click here.

An email will be sent to you
the day before the Special Interest Day

with a link to it.
The Chiltern Hills Area cordially invites you to a Virtual Visit to the Gardens of China on
Monday 26th April 2021, at 11.00am

Hunting Gardens in China
with Timothy Walker 

Click here to see the flyer.  Please note that, as per the flyer, in order to receive the zoom invitation and join this virtual guided tour, you should email Felicity Sykes direct on acechilternhills@theartssociety.org and simply request to participate.
The Link will be sent from The Chiltern Hills Area direct   
A Virtual Live Visit to Budapest
on Tuesday 11th May 2021 at 10.30am
with Adam
Highlights of Buda -
A Walking Tour of the Castle District

The Chain Bridge
Your guide, Adam, will walk you through the key sites of the Buda Castle Hill neighbourhood starting with a breathtaking view of The Chain Bridge.

Alexander Palace
Walking North, we reach the Alexander Palace serving as the Presidential Office. Passing by the Buda Castle itself and zigzagging the Medieval residential streets we will learn about the different historical layers of the area.

Fisherman's Bastion
The tour concludes at the Fisherman's bastion taking in views of Pest and the Parliament building.  During the walk Adam will cover Hungary's history, gastronomy, and so much more! 
An email will be sent to you 
the day before the Visit
with a link to it.
A virtual Live Visit to Florence
on Tuesday 22nd June 2021 at 10.30am
with Lucia
"Hope and Salvation through Faith"


Duomo Square
Starting in the Duomo Square, Lucia, our guide, will discuss the Baptistery, Bell Tower, Cathedral and Brunelleschi’s ‘impossible task’, the Dome.

San Lorenzo Square
We will go on to San Lorenzo Square and the Roman church, highly restored by the Medicis. We will hear about Michelangelo, the Medici chapels and the Laurentian library.

San Marco Square
On then to San Marco square to learn about the Accademia and San Marco’s garden where Donatello and Michelangelo worked, ending in Santissima Annunziata Square, for Brunelleschi’s archway and the Innocenti orphanage.


Santissima Annunziata Square
An email will be sent to you 
the day before the Visit
with a link to it.
A Virtual Live Visit to Vienna
on Thursday 29th July 2021 at 5.00pm
(please note the time)
with Susanne
Highlights of Vienna - by scooter!


People's Gardens
Our guide Susanne will start in the beautiful People's Gardens and end at St. Stephans Cathedral, touching on the history, culture and music of Vienna.

State Opera
We will hear about the Hapsburgs and the Third Reich, take in the Imperial Palace, State Opera, Lippizane Horses, Saint Michael Square, stylish Graben Street and St Peter’s Baroque church.

St Stephan's Cathedral
This is our last virtual visit of the summer so maybe have a glass of something in hand to enjoy the sights of Vienna. (The sun will be over the yardarm there at least!).


An email will be sent to you 
the day before the Visit 
with a link to it.
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. There is also a special offer for a Hebridean Island Cruise.
Become an Instant Expert on Polperro - Cornwall's Forgotten Art Centre
by David Tovey




Contact Number and Email address for
Chairman and Vice Chairman
If you need to contact our Chairman,
Katerina Burgess, 
her telephone number is 07774 183 847
and her email address is
If you need to contact our Vice Chairman, 
Robert Gurney,
his telephone number is 07828 505 133
and his 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: 
Mrs Katerina Burgess
Chairman, The Arts Society Henley
22 Primrose Lane
Wokingham RG41 5UR

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For those of you who feel unfamiliar or are unclear about using Zoom, Monnik (Secretary) is happy to guide you through a pre-meeting trial. Please contact her directly on 07505  778 405 or via her email (click here) to arrange this.  Please don't forget to add your name to the email.    






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