• 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 June newsletter:

        The Arts Society Henley                                                                                                
June 2021

        President: Lady Camoys                                                                  
        Registered Charity No. 289323



 Dear Members,
Welcome to our newsletter for June, with bright sunshine and a profusion of wonderful colours to herald our beautiful English summer.
At the time of writing, we await news from the government regarding further relaxation of restrictions. We are all most anxious to return to our normal lives and in particular to our meetings in person once more. Rest assured that we shall keep you informed of any changes straight away, naturally adhering strictly to government regulations.  
You may well remember that we requested members to put forward suggestions for the Chiltern Hills Area 50 Treasures booklet, one of a number to be published this year across the UK and internationally by the Arts Society.  Our Committee member, Professor Robert Gurney, collated the suggestions and we are delighted to report that many of those put forward by our Society have been provisionally chosen by the main project committee.  For Robert's preliminary report and list please click here.
Further to the articles in previous newsletters regarding our Society's support and interest in the final year students of the University of Reading Art Department, the much anticipated  Prize Giving Ceremony and Degree Show was held on Friday 6th June at 6.00pm. The prize was awarded to Emma Leahy, who hails from Northern Island. Our Chairman, Katerina Burgess, proudly presented the prize. Click here to read more, together with a delightful picture of Emma and a wonderful example of her work.
This month we have three splendid virtual events to tempt you. The first is our Special Interest Day this coming week, on Wednesday 9th June, entitled 'The Genius of Beethoven - 250 Years Celebration' given by Peter Medhurst. This follows Peter's fascinating lecture on Beethoven in May.

The second is our lecture in the morning at 10.30am, repeated in the afternoon at 2.30pm, on Thursday 17th June, 'The Art of 1935', given by Pamela Campbell-Johnston.

The third is our walk in Florence on Tuesday 22nd June, escorted by Dr Lucia Montuschi. All three definitely not to be missed!  Please scroll down for details.

Our most valued Treasurer and Membership Secretary, Sue Launders, and her husband Nick, our Data Protection Expert, have now officially retired. Sue and Nick have worked tirelessly with supreme efficiency and foresight for many years and we are hugely grateful for all that they have brought to our Society. Amongst her many attributes, Sue masterminded the introduction of debit and credit cards.  This had been on the table for many years, but never implemented, so this is a huge step forward for us. When GDPR was introduced in 2018, it fell upon Nick's shoulders to initiate it all, an enormous and daunting task. Nick handled every aspect with extreme efficiency throughout.  We are so grateful for all that they have brought to the Society.  Thank you, Sue and Nick.  You will be much missed.
In Sue's place we offer a warm welcome to Chris Hill, who has become Membership Secretary. Roger Dye has agreed to take on the position of acting Treasurer until October. We are most grateful to them both and hope they will thoroughly enjoy their roles. From October we shall need to fill the position of permanent treasurer. If you would like to consider this please get in touch with our Chairman, Katerina Burgess, telephone number 07774 183847, email katerinaburgess@gmail.com
A little reminder now, as we do have three very alluring events this month. To repeat myself, 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 Chris Hill, tel. 01628 474950/07954 375398.  For donations, our bank details are:
Account Name: The Arts Society Henley
Account No: 20368890
Sort Code:    60 83 01
Reference:    Name, 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 still have a 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 first Special Interest Day this year was on Tuesday 20th April, Sutton Hoo and the Lindisfarne Gospels, given by Mark Cottle. It was another superb day. Next week we look forward to Peter Medhurst's Special Interest Day on Beethoven.

 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

After much consideration, we have regrettably decided to cancel our scheduled visit to Henry Moore: Sculpture Garden, on Thursday 22nd July.  Although restrictions are in line to be lifted before too long, (hopefully), we feel 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. 
Lastly, a rather sad piece of news: our favourite London guide, Andrew Davies, who took us on so many wonderful walks in so many parts of London, from the East End to Knightsbridge, from Soho to Hampstead, to name but a few, has decided to retire. 
His profound knowledge, wit and enthusiasm will surely linger with us for many a long year. 
We wish him all health and happiness in his retirement.  He will be hard to replace. 

Andrew was due to take us on a guided tour of St Pancras and King's Cross in September.  This will not now take place.

Now read on to learn more about everything in detail.

Very best wishes

Ginnie Johnston


Wednesday 9th June 2021
Special Interest Day
Two Virtual Sessions
The Genius of Beethoven - 250 Years Celebration
Part 1: Lecture 10.30am to 11.45am
Part 2: Recital and talk 12.00 midday to 1.00pm
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 Dr Lucia Montuschi

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 Waldeck 

August 2021
Summer Break

Thursday 16th September 2021
*Virtual Lecture at 10.30am repeated 2.30pm
Ghastly Good Taste - The Highs and Lows of
British Interior Design
given by Matthew Williams
*If not back at Phyllis Court*

Thursday 21st October 2021
*Virtual Lecture at 10.30am repeated 2.30pm
Gustav Klimt and Fin de Siècle Vienna Society
given by Colin Pink
*If not back at Phyllis Court

An email will be sent to you the day before
each virtual event 
with a link to it.
Our Special Interest Day on
Wednesday 9th June 2021

The Genius of Beethoven -
250 Years Celebration 

This follows our lecture on Beethoven
which took place on
Thursday 20th May 2021

Peter Medhurst, renowned musician, singer, lecturer and scholar, follows his May lecture on Ludwig van Beethoven with a Special Interest Day devoted to Beethoven.
Beethoven is one of the most admired composers in the repertoire.  His exceptional creativity is set against both his increasing deafness and a period of turmoil in European history. 
Leonard Bernstein once observed ‘what makes Beethoven great is his perfect sense of form – his ability to realise what the next note always had to be.’ Up to a point I think Bernstein is correct in his assessment, since Beethoven does project a wonderful sense of self-assuredness in his music, giving the impression that the end product was inevitable and that all he had to do was bother to put the dots down onto the page. However, as Beethoven himself said ‘I carry my thoughts around with me for a long time . . . I change things, discard and try again until I am satisfied’, suggesting that like a craftsman, Beethoven often had to hone his ideas into shape until the right solution presented itself. 

There will be a lecture in the morning followed by a recital and talk after a 15 minute break.

Part 1: 10.30am to 11.45am
Part 2: 12.00pm to 1.00pm

For more information on the Special Interest Day and Peter himself, please click here.  

An email will be sent to you 
the day before the Special Interest Day
with separate links to both sessions.
Our Online Lecture on Thursday 17th June 2021 
10.30am and repeated 2.30pm

The Art of 1935
given by Pamela Campbell-Johnston
Can a single year adequately encapsulate an artistic environment in British art history? This lecture, The Art of 1935, explores that year’s many aspects of decorative and fine art, demonstrating how these artistic forms reflected the period in a fitting and cohesive manner. 
Pamela Campbell-Johnston, pictured above, has an MA Hons Art History from St Andrew's University and over 20 years of lecturing experience to undergraduates, adult groups, and to Friends and Patrons of the Royal Academy of Arts as part of the Adult Education Department's programme of events.

For more information on the lecture and Pamela please click here.   

An email will be sent to you 
the day before the lecture
with a link to it.
A virtual Live Visit to Florence
on Tuesday 22nd June 2021 at 10.30am
escorted by Dr Lucia Montuschi
Hope and Salvation through Faith

Duomo Square
We are going to start in the Cathedral Square, discussing its history and development.  Then we will move to the Baptistry and look at the three spectacular pairs of doors, including the famous Golden Gate.  For more information about the visit please click here

Dr Lucia Montuschi, pictured above, founder and director of Exclusive Connection Tours, is a graduate of the University of Florence with a Ph. D in Art History. Lucia is a long time teacher, researcher and lecturer who has also worked for many Florentine state museums with a particular focus on art therapy.
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. 
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