York Evening Decorative and Fine Arts Society

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Welcome to YEDFAS, a society designed for those who are interested in the decorative and fine arts and want to further their knowledge and explore the creation of works of art and the context in which they were commissioned and received. Our society is a member of the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies, a leading arts charity which opens up the world of the arts through a network of local societies. Read more at www.nadfas.org.uk


STP front jpeg - cropped -v2

(c) St Peter’s School. Used with permission.

Our lectures take place at St Peter’s School (Shepherd Hall – map) in the evening at 6 p.m. when we meet for a glass of wine for a 6.30 p.m. start, usually on the second Wednesday of the month with breaks in August and December.

Our programmes each year aim to bring a variety of subjects to our members across the spectrum of art forms. NADFAS has a huge number of lecturers who cover an enormous range of topics and we also tap into the rich seam of local artists to make up our programme. We are always happy to receive suggestions on subjects you would like to be covered.

The full programme for 2017-18 is on the website and you can also see an introduction to the programme by our Programme Secretary Lesley Murphy.

We have also organised a number of oversea trips. In 2015 we toured Tuscany and in 2016 we went to India and Sicily.  This year a party is visiting the Veneto and the villas of Palladio. To complement the trip to India we went to the V&A to learn something of the history of Northern India and see the show of Indian art work in materials dating from the third century. Locally we visited The Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the Hepworth in Wakefield timed to see the temporary Stanley Spencer exhibition and had an interesting talk from the curators. Each summer we have visited different York churches and had an interesting talk from members of the Glaziers Trust to enhance the understanding of the stained glass. This year we plan to have another stained glass visit in June, a trip to Hull in September including a tour of Trinity House which is only open this year as part of the Hull City of Culture events and a members special visit to the retrospective exhibition of local artist and sculptor Harold Gosney.

We also held a study day “5000 years of glass” with the highly entertaining Andy McConnell and enjoyed a Christmas event being given a tour of the building and art collection of the new Hiscox building in York with the curator and architect.


There are other sides to what we do. Some of our members contribute to the recording of church artefacts and we have in mind developing church trails for children. These activities are conducted with our sister organisation, York DFAS. We have a programme of introducing young children to art using a local artist and Dringhouses library as a venue. Do go and look at the mural the children created at the library.


As well as our membership of NADFAS we are developing our relationship with the University of York. With their support we held a celebration of the ceramic collection held by the newly refurbished York Art Gallery and we have benefitted from having a student placed with us through the University. You can read her report of one of our lectures in January 2015 on this website [Click Here]. We are delighted that we have been able to draw on the specialist knowledge of several lecturers from the University of York and welcome their contribution to our new programme.


Membership includes:

Free attendance at all our lectures.

NADFAS membership including subscription to their informative and entertaining journal.

Information and invitations to a range of national and regional lectures and study days.


Individual membership is £47 and joint membership where two people share the same address is £86 per annum. Guests may come to lectures to see what we are like and for each lecture we charge £7 but we limit those visits to a couple of occasions in total over a year. We are happy to refund the guest fee for those who subsequently join the Society for the year in question. Students on production of a student card may come to lectures for £3 a time.

A membership application form can be downloaded from this site.

I look forward to meeting you.

Claire Wesley  (Chair)


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