ADFAS Pokolbin Chairman’s report from Robert Lusby AM
Annual Conference Sydney September 2019
Possibly the most interesting aspect of the meeting was the four-minute address by our National President, the renowned conservator Julian Bickersteth.
📷Authenticity was his theme, pointing out in an era of fake news, low opinions of politicians and public officials, the press, and just about everything else it was the Arts that came to the fore. In particular art galleries and museums were held in high esteem but he warned not to believe everything you see and hear even there. To illustrate his point he showed us slides of the worlds most expensive painting sold at auction for $450million US! Said to be a Leonardo da Vinci that was once in the collection of Charles 1st
📷Restored in New York it was sold with the bidding advancing in $30 million lots!
📷Unfortunately it now has a big question mark due in part to another painting of Peece of Christ with a globe in his left hand
that had the mark of Charles 1St on its back, a thing lacking in the auctioned painting and the atypical nature of the figure with its full front on aspect unlike other Leonardo's and lack of interest-possibly from the school of the great painter.
Well with that piece of expensive trivia the meeting came to an end but I must say it was a wonderfully organized meeting covering all aspects of ADFAS which with over 6000 members is one of the biggest Arts associations in Australia.
We welcomed a new society, the first from Western Australia, and were impressed by their new approach and ability to recruit over 100 members in just over a year.
Membership was high on the agenda as was the selection of topics for the lectures. Both complex matters as we are well aware of. The filling in of reports on the lecturers also got some interesting discussion. Both positive and negative remarks are welcome.
Part of the meeting was to inform incoming chairmen of the vast range of things that need to be done and how to share the responsibility…a thing we do very well.
Matters concerning communication, Australian lecturers, accommodation, homestays, and the Mechanics School of Arts program were covered in detail.
📷Another highlight of the conference was a visit to the Nicholson Museum at Sydney University. On display is possibly the oldest piece of art--known as the Jericho skull.
Some 9000 years old the jaw was removed and lower face and nose remolded with clay and shells placed in the eye sockets.
📷We were given a talk on the restoration of some ancient Egyptian tiles from the time of Tutankhamun, by an ADFAS sponsored conservator Dr Wendy Reade. From multiple small sherds the image of reeds and flowers emerged with fresh colours as they had appeared near the bathing pools back then!
Heather Wilson played a key role in the organization of the Hotel and the meeting including bell ringer and procurer of nonbuttered Egg sandwiches for me!
I was impressed by the enthusiasm, engagement, detailed drilling down on issues and the overall understanding of the importance that the arts have in our society.
We are not just another provider of lectures on the Arts we are a Society looking after our members, enlightening and sharing ideas, and having a good “party” after where we can meet new people and mix with old and new friends. The whole package is important.
So Next time bring along a friend and share the experience was a key message.
As a voluntary organization, ADFAS is indeed an authentic player and that’s not Fake News.