• 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 live Lectures and Special Interest Days, with 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. 
To get a flavour of what we do, here is our February newsletter:

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        The Arts Society Henley                                                                                                
February 2021

        President: Lady Camoys                                                                  
        Registered Charity No. 289323


Dear Members,
Welcome to our newsletter for February.
Judging by your positive feedback, we think that many of you really enjoyed our superb lecture in January, 'The Odd Couple: The Gardens of Edwin Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll'. Steven Desmond delivered the lecture with a combination of profound knowledge tempered with wit and delightful asides, demonstrating that a lecture can be just as lively on Zoom as in the flesh. 
In the course of her vote of thanks following the lecture in the morning, Katerina, our Chairman, mentioned The Deanery, in Sonning. Edwin Lutyens designed the house, Gertrude Jekyll designed the garden. Subsequently, she thought you might like to watch the attached video, created in 1975.  Don't miss it.  It's absolutely fascinating. Click here to see it. 


As mentioned in the January newsletter, we currently have vacancies for a Membership Secretary and Treasurer. 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.  

Further to a note in the previous Instructions Email asking if you, the Members, would like to chat to each other informally from time to time, the Committee has now had more thoughts on the subject. Instead of running it directly after a lecture, by which time we have all been staring at a computer screen for over an hour, we thought it would be better to make it a separate event altogether. Would it be a good idea to base our get-togethers loosely on a particular theme? This could be anything from a discussion about the TASH event we have watched a day or two before, a book we have read by prior agreement, a TV programme we have watched, or perhaps a general discussion recommending a favourite book we have read.  We could even exchange views on a particularly memorable holiday we have had and recommend it to others. We're sure you will have a host of other good ideas that would bring us together even though we can't meet in person at the moment. 
These meetings would always be held on an informal basis - join when you like, leave when you like, and when the meeting morphs into general chatter, so much the better. We thought it would be prudent to appoint an informal chairman so that everyone has a chance to talk without interruption. We also thought it would be better to limit meetings to small groups and if it proves popular create more than one group, so no-one is left out. We really need your views and ideas on this so please click here to email us. If there is enough support we shall endeavour to get it up and running asap. Let me assure you that joining these meetings will be as easy as joining a lecture. In other words, one click and you are in.

February is an action packed month with no less than three exciting presentations to look forward to. Firstly, this Thursday, 4th February, we have the Virtual Live Walking Tour of Venice, led by Luisella Romeo. Please make a particular note that this starts at 11.00am. (Our events usually start at 10.30am but this is coming direct from Italy and will start at 11.00am). More details further down. 
Next we have Mark Cottle's lecture on Thursday 18th February entitled 'A Photographic Odyssey: Shackleton's Endurance Expedition Captured on Camera'. Scroll down to read more. 
Lastly, on Monday 22nd February, there is a virtual live visit to Coventry Cathedral starting at 11.00am. This has been organised by The Chiltern Hills Area of The Arts Society, of which TASH is a member.  More details further down.


Finally, please scroll down for a list of all that has been organised for the next four months. Quite a cornucopia of events! ......  and don't forget to send us a line with your thoughts on creating some informal get-togethers over the coming months. We are relying on your support and ideas.

Very best wishes

Ginnie Johnston

Thursday 4th February 2021
Virtual Walk 11.00am
A Live Walking Tour of the District of Venice
called Cannaregio
given by Luisella Romeo
Thursday 18th February 2021
Virtual Lecture at 10.30am repeated 2.30pm
A Photographic Odyssey:
Shackleton's Endurance Expedition
Captured on Camera
given by Mark Cottle
Monday 22nd February 2021
Virtual Visit 11.00am
A Live Virtual Visit to Coventry Cathedral
escorted by Alexandra Epps
Thursday 18th March 2021
Virtual Lecture at 10.30am repeated 2.30pm
The Bayeux Tapestry
given by Fenella Bazin
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
Thursday 20th May 2021
Virtual Lecture at 10.30am repeated 2.30pm
The Genius of Beethoven
given by Peter Medhurst
An email will be sent to you the day before
each virtual event
with a link to it.


For the first of our events in February, we have a
visit to Venice .....
 ..... a captivating, live, online walking tour
on Thursday 4th February 2021,
starting at 11.00am.
The District of Venice called Cannaregio,
led by Luisella Romeo  

Starting at the Church of the Jesuits,  Luisella  will move to the Fondamenta della Misericordia, pass the old Brotherhood of Santa Maria Valverde and reach the Madonna dell’Orto church. 
We will then see the House of Tintoretto, the Campo dei Mori and finally a visit to the Jewish ghetto.  Cannaregio, lying north of Venice, is a very popular area, unknown to most tourists.
Luisella will provide us with an interesting urban concept of Venice, rich in gardens and open spaces.
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 1 hour plus time for questions.

Weather Cover:  If it rains Luisella will take us on a tour of one of Venice's Museums.

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

with a link to it.



Online Lecture on Thursday 18th February 2021 

10.30am and repeated 2.30pm
A Photographic Odyssey: Shackleton's Endurance Expedition


Captured on Camera
given by Mark Cottle 

During Ernest Shackleton's third Antarctic expedition in 1914, his ship, the Endurance, was trapped and eventually crushed in the pack ice.  After camping for five months on the ice, Shackleton's men rowed to the remote Elephant Island.  From there, Shackleton sailed for help to South Georgia over 800 miles away. Over three months later he returned to rescue the crew of the Endurance.

James Francis Hurley

Frank Hurley, one of the great photographers of the 20th century, was the expedition's official photographer.


Mark Cottle

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 the lecture please click here.


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


The Chiltern Hills Area
requests the pleasure of your company on a virtual visit to:


Coventry Cathedral
on Monday 22nd February 2021 at 11.00am
For more details of this delightful virtual visit, please click here.
In order to receive the zoom invitation and join the virtual guided tour, please email Felicity Sykes here and simply request to participate.
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. Funnily enough the first one, The Art of the Bruegel Dynasty, is a first cousin to the lecture delivered to TASH (our Society) by Amy Orrock, entitled Bruegel's Winter Scenes, on 17th November last year. Won't it be interesting to compare the two. No doubt parts will overlap.
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