Forty Years On - Dulwich DDFAS
Founded in 1973, Dulwich Decorative and Fine Arts Society (DDFAS) celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. It is an affiliate of the National Association of Decorative & Fine Arts Societies (NADFAS), which promotes "the aesthetic education of the public". The society's early years were boosted by its association with Dulwich Picture Gallery and its Director, Giles Waterfield. Many others helped along the way and a glass will be raised to them at the celebrations in June.
The main attraction of DDFAS membership is the illustrated lectures held in the sixth form lecture theatre at James Allen’s Girls' School (JAGS) on the second Thursday of the month at 8pm from October to July. There is parking at the school and refreshments are served before the lecture. You can 'try before you buy' as a temporary member and attend up to three lectures. Members participate in study days, visits, walks, tours and social events throughout the year, as well as lectures.
When Janet Higman became chairman 20 years ago, she attended a NADFAS course which suggested that chairmen remember to sit decorously on the platform, and not to apologise too profusely for something that wasn’t their fault! Janet reminisces:
"In those days we served sherry on the coach when we reached our destination, very cheery, especially on a cold wet day, and the guidelines said 'don’t forget the driver'. I can’t believe now that we actually provided a tipple for the man who was going to drive us home.
"One of the most moving occasions was when DDFAS organised Polish food and drinks alongside a NADFAS study day at Dulwich Picture Gallery for Giles Waterfield’s exhibition, Treasures of a Polish King. A number of elderly Polish émigrés came and one sensed their pride and profound sadness as they looked on these treasures from home.”