• Henley DFAS

Welcome to The Arts Society Henley

                                                        The Arts Society, Henley. August 2020

Dear Members,

Never did we think at the beginning of 2020 that our world would be turned upside down by a terrible pandemic which has destroyed communities across the world, confined us to barracks for months on end and forced the cancellation of  everything that we had looked forward to most throughout the year.

Well, not all of that is completely true! Undaunted, the Chairman 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 throughout the rest of the year, 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 live Lectures and Special Interest Days introduced by Evelyn McQuater, our Chairman, followed by a live lecture and live questions to follow. A variety of fascinating Day Visits will be hosted by the most outstanding guides, hand picked and recommended by other Societies. 

Our Programme of Events for the Rest of 2020

Thursday 20 August - Virtual Lecture

The Works of Gilbert & Sullivan,

by Roger Askew


Thursday 10 September - Virtual Walk

The East End of London 1: The Old,

by Pepe Martinez


Thursday 17 September - Live or Virtual Lecture

Man, the Measure of All things - The Rise of Portraiture in Renaissance Italy,

by Shirley Smith


Thursday 8 October - Virtual Walk

The East End of London 2: Post 1945 (including Street Art),

by Pepe Martinez


                             THURSDAY 15 OCTOBER - LIVE OR VIRTUAL LECTURE

Ghastly good Taste - the Highs and Lows of British Interior Design 1880 - 1980,

by Matthew Williams


Wednesday 4 November - Live or Virtual Lecture and AGM

The Secret Life of a Dandy,

by Mark Hill


Tuesday 10 November - Special Interest Day - Live or Virtual Talks

Lawrence of Arabia,

by Neil Faulkner


Thursday 12 November - Virtual Walk

Soho, the Last 150 Years,

by Pepe Martinez



Brueghel's Winter Scenes,

by Amy Orrock


Thursday 17 December - Live or Virtual Lecture 

A Brief History of Wine,

by David Wright

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


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.  June 2020.

Dear Members,

We trust that you are well and in good health and that the self isolation regime, to which all of us have had to adhere over the last 11 weeks, has been manageable for you and your family.  As some semblance of normality returns, we are delighted to be able to slowly resume our work again and to share our plans for the next few months with you.

As you can appreciate, we have had to cancel, suspend or reschedule our lectures and other activities for 2020 since the end of March and take steps to reconsider our options for various pre-booked holidays. Much effort has gone into planning and organising these events and our Trustees and the Committee have had to explore all possible choices and various implications for each option. Please be assured that we are guided first and foremost by your interests and the number one priority for us is your health, safety and peace of mind, to enable you to share your enjoyment of the Arts with other like-minded people in TASH.

We are delighted that the quarantine measures in the UK are now slowly being lifted and very much look forward to seeing you in Phyllis Court when it is safe to do so.  We hope that, subject to the Government's safety guidelines at the time and various logistical considerations, we can hold our next live lecture in September 2020, whilst strictly observing the relevant rules on social distancing and personal protection.  It is most likely that the number of people allowed into the Ballroom will be reduced, to comply with the new rules.  We shall let you know how many seats will be available for Morning and Afternoon members and how we intend to allocate these seats.  We will also advise you on all the relevant safety measures (applicable at the time) closer to the date, via a separate email in early September.

In addition to this, and in order to enable us to catch up on our programme of monthly talks and offer you value for money for your annual membership fee, we would also like to offer you an opportunity to watch two excellent online lectures, one on 16th July and one on 20th August.  The subject matter, the exact times of broadcasts, as well as the login details will be published in our regular June newsletter.  We have also booked an extra live lecture to be held on 17th December as well as revising the date of the AGM, now to be held on 4th November at Henley Town Hall.

We look forward to welcoming you to our online lecture on 16th July (please remember to keep a note of the time and the login details which will be announced in our next newsletter) and assure you of our best attention at all times.

Evelyn McQuater, Chairman TASH

Katerina Burgess, Vice-Chairman TASH



The Arts Society Henley

26th March 2020

Dear Member

Outbreak of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) in the United Kingdom 

Further to our letter of 15th March (see below), the gravity of the situation in the United Kingdom, and indeed most of the world, has become ever more severe. We are now all in isolation in our own homes. Rest assured we are thinking about you.  If you would like to send us an email about any concerns you may have, we shall use our best endeavours to help.  No-one in our Henley Arts Society should feel they are all alone. Click here to get started.
As more and more establishments close and every kind of festivity is postponed or cancelled for the foreseeable future, sadly we too must postpone our entire programme for the next few months. However, we have every intention of re-arranging them for later in the year or early next if possible and will let you know as soon as we are in a position to do so. The list is as follows:

Wednesday 1st April     - Annual General Meeting

26th - 30th April             - Trip to Cornwall  (all participants have been notified)

Thursday 21st May         - Lecture (a.m. and p.m.): The Great Twelve Revisited

Thursday 4th June         -  Special Interest Day: Why Paris? 1900 - 1947

Thursday 11th June        - Day Visit: Sudeley Castle

Thursday 18th June        - Lecture (a.m. and p.m.): The Art of 1935

Thursday 16th July          - Day Visit: Henry Moore Sculpture Garden

Presuming all will be well again, we hope that the visit to the Henry Moore Sculpture Garden will take place in September (date to be agreed). We shall, of course, notify you when things are clearer.  Had we been going in July, booking would have taken place at the lectures on Thursday 21st May. In order to gauge interest for the proposed September trip, we would be grateful if you would email Judith Stephenson-Hodges on or near 21st May (please click here). This preliminary email will not bind you to attend.

We hope that the Day Visit to St Pancras and Kings Cross with Andrew Davies originally planned for Wednesday 23rd September will now take place in October.  More details will be sent as soon as we have them.

As mentioned above, we have had to defer the Annual General Meeting due to take place on Wednesday 1st April.  This will now take place later in the year.  We are hoping that we may be entertained with the lecture "A Brief History of Wine", due to follow the original AGM, either then or sometime soon thereafter.

Our next scheduled event is the lecture on Thursday 17th September entitled "The Rise of Portraiture in Renaissance Italy". This will be confirmed nearer the time.

On 20th March we received further guidance from The Arts Society governing body in London.  If you would like to read it please click here.

If you would also like to look at their website please click here.

We hope you are managing under these difficult circumstances.  If we follow Government rules and stay at home, we are in the best possible, safest place.

Once more we send our very best wishes and hope that you may all stay fit and well until we meet again before too long.

Evelyn McQuater



The Arts Society Henley 
15th March 2020

Dear Member

Outbreak of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) in the United Kingdom 

It is with much regret that due to the severity of the situation regarding the rapid spread of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) across the whole country, we must now cancel the following events:

This Thursday 19th March - Lecture (a.m. and p.m.)

Friday 27th March - New Members Coffee Morning

Wednesday 1st April - Annual General Meeting

Thursday 16th April - Lecture (a.m. and p.m.)

Thursday 14th May - Visit to the Brighton Pavilion etc.

We are actively discussing whether or not the Cornwall trip from Sunday 26th April to Thursday 30th April can take place and will notify all participants directly.

We are constantly monitoring the situation and should it be necessary to cancel further events after 14th May we shall be in touch as soon as possible.

The safety and well being of all our members is of prime consideration and we hope that every one of you is in agreement with this decision.

On 13th March we received official guidance from The Arts Society Head Office in London, advice which we have naturally followed.  If you would like to read it please click here.

If you would like to get in touch with us please email on henley@theartssociety.org .

We send you our very best wishes and hope that you may all stay fit and well until we meet again before too long.

Evelyn McQuater







The Arts Society Henley (formerly Henley Decorative & Fine Arts Society) was founded in 1976 by Francoise 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. 

Our lectures are held in the Ballroom at Phyllis Court Club in Henley.  We have a morning lecture starting at 10:45 and the same lecture at 14:15 on the third Thursday of the month, except July, August and December.  There are 10 lectures each year with two in April, 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.  Every spring we have a short holiday in the British Isles and each 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, 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