May 2024 – News from the Chair

January newsletter from Helen Byard, chair of The Arts Society York
The Arts Society York


Supporting Decorative & Fine Arts
President: Mr George Smith, MBE
Ms H S Byard
Mrs P N Crookenden
Mrs R F B Wivell
From: Chairman
Helen Gregory
The Old Orchard
18 Woodlands Grove
York YO31 1DL
01904 430844 / 07770 685701


May 2024

Dear Member,

At last we seem to be able to look forward to summer and more activities and I do hope you enjoy the outings and visits which are planned.

 The Visit to South West Wales arranged by Joanna Finlay and led by Tony Russell took place just after our last meeting. This was a very successful tour where we stayed at an attractive hotel near Milford Haven. The gardens visited were at their best with many tulips still in flower, rhodedendrons and azaelias in full bloom and rare trees identified by Tony. The successful Welsh vineyard at Velfrey was impressive and a splendid lunch was enjoyed by all in their hospitality centre.

There was a warm welcome at St David's Cathedral for the Evensong Service.  Jackfield Tile Museum at Ironbridge was an interesting break in our return journey to York. It is also a working factory producing specialist tiles for many well known buildings and even London Underground

Dumfries House Special Interest Tour 13th-15th October

This is a short visit arranged so that we are able to have more detailed talks on specific collections in the house. There are still twin/double rooms available so if you are able to share  there is still the chance to join us. However, all single rooms are booked. Please see Joanna Finlay if you would like further details ( )

Special Interest Days

Tomorrow 23rd May is our visit to Burton Constable Hall and Wassand Hall in East Yorkshire.

Carole Galpin has organised this and it promises to be a lovely day out. Both houses have very interesting collections and are less well known than other historic properties in Yorkshire.

Travel is arranged, lunch is available at Burton Constable and afternoon tea provided at Wassand Hall. What a lovely way to spend a Thursday!

Discovering Bishop Auckland  3rd July

Bookings are going well and if you haven't been to Bishop Auckland in the last few years you will be amazed how it has changed. The central area is very attractive since Jonathan Ruffer purchased Auckland Castle, established the Spanish Gallery and  the newly opened Faith Museum. Lunch is included in the Spanish themed restaurant. There are still a few places left, so please contact Carole Galpin ( tel 07876491219

North-West Sicily 29th-5th May 2025

Joanna Finlay is organising this holiday for next year as there is so much to see in Sicily.

Palermo is a vibrant fascinating city and some of the towns in the west have a noticeable Moorish influence. The Marsala wine is also something to enjoy, especially the dry version which is less well known!

Middlethorpe Lunch 11th June

It is almost time to submit final numbers and menu choices to the hotel and I am pleased to report that many of you are are supporting the lunch. In fact, we shall now be in the Oak Room and the adjoining dining room. There will be an opportunity to enjoy the lovely gardens after lunch.

Three places are available so do contact me if you would like to join us.


I know you have heard all this before but just a reminder to please register your car number when you sign in at our reception desk in the lecture room. The first three hours are free but if you stay longer you need to pay £1.50 to hotel reception which covers you for an extra two hours.


Thank you so much for paying your subscriptions and especially checking standing orders, some of which were at the old rates. The “top-ups” are coming through and this does make life easier for Rose, our hard-working Treasurer.

I am pleased that we have several new members who are very welcome but we are also grateful for the support of all members and it is lovely to see so many of you each month.

Programme Cards

The new cards should be available at the next meeting and Carolyn Haynes has put together a really exciting selection of lectures for next year.

 Next Meeting Tuesday 28th May

Modern Art in Stately Homes by Anna Moszynska

Anna pioneered the study of contemporary art at Sothebys Institute. After directing the first courses in the subject she oversaw their development into an MA in 1995. Many former students on the course now hold senior positions in the international art world.

Anna is in high demand as a lecturer and has taught in New York, Basel, Bahrain, Abu Dhabi and Southern France as well as in numerous institutions throughout the UK. She has reviewed over 30 exhibitions for BBC Radio and has chaired symposia at the Tate Gallery.

Rolling Slides

John Finn makes a fantastic presentation of our activities with the slides shown prior to each lecture. He keeps it up-to-date and we are very grateful to John. There will be some scenes of our Welsh trip on display next week. Lots of lovely gardens, castles and a few umbrellas!


All good wishes,