The Arts Society – New Forest

Welcome to The Arts Society New Forest.  As a society we are interested in furthering our knowledge of the fine arts.  We meet on a regular basis to enjoy lectures on a range of topics, delivered by renowned speakers.  Our interests are extended further when we study subjects in greater depth and go out on day visits and breaks away, both in Britain and abroad.

An important aspect of our society is our aim to offer the opportunity, within an artistic framework, to young people from the local community to explore and extend their personal knowledge.  Conservation of heritage is important to us too. A group of our members regularly meet to record for posterity, the fabric and artefacts of local places of worship.

Our society is a local branch of The Arts Society , an international charitable organization.

Ideas and suggestions for virtual and real tours of exhibitions, lectures and cultural activities during the corona virus restrictions are on the Page entitled ‘NEWS’ These also include work from the Royal Ballet, the Royal Opera House and the Met in New York. They are regularly updated and open the door to so many wonderful experiences !

If you have any ideas or suggestions please email them to :


Dear Members,
The June lecture will be our last lecture for our 2020-21 season: on 14th June, Brian Stater’s lecture will be on ‘Photography as a Fine Art’.

What an extraordinary year it has been: all our lectures this Covid year have been held on Zoom and your support has been much appreciated. We are currently working with The Arts Society to see if there is a way of holding our September lecture back in the Hall, keeping everyone’s safety in mind.

Many thanks to those who participated in our successful AGM, via the post, online, or polling on the day, when we welcomed Inka Butler onto our Committee.

Our heartfelt thanks to Gill, our Membership Secretary, for managing our membership list, checking that people have paid their subscriptions, and inviting people on the waiting list to join. We have now sent next year’s Programme and Membership card to the printer ready for you to receive in June so please make sure your subscription payment is up-to-date and take this opportunity to update your contact details if there have been any changes.

My thanks must also go to the rest of our committee, who have been busy holding several Zoomed meetings to finish off projects for our year-end.  We are progressing with our plans for our Golden Anniversary in 2022 – The Arts Society New Forest/New Forest Decorative and Fine Arts Society has been functioning for 50 years. Members of the Sub-Committee are planning to visit Hampshire Records Office to look at our records archived there.

Question: Are any of you adept at writing up lectures? Ruth Conway would welcome assistance with the website. Please contact Ruth or me if you can help.

Most of us have had our two vaccinations now, restrictions are easing and opportunities to visit friends and family are opening. Keep safe and enjoy this new freedom.

Best wishes from all of us on the Committee.
Diana Heatly                                                                                              Chairman

Lecture on 14th June 2021 at 10.30 am
via Zoom




Should we accept that the very best photographs can be regarded as Fine Art? This question is at the heart of a lecture which argues that photography can equal, not to say exceed, more traditional disciplines in the key genres of portraiture, landscape and still life. Photography, moreover, has carved its own area of excellence in depicting the human condition. All these ideas are discussed with reference to the work of some of the acknowledged masters of photography, including Henri Cartier-Bresson, Fay Godwin, Bill Brandt, Ansel Adams and Wolfgang Tillmans.

If you have any queries, please contact Sue Randall our Secretary: or telephone: 01590 622731