Dorset County Decorative & Fine Arts Society

Welcome to the Dorset County Decorative and Fine Arts Society (DCDFAS) website.

This society serves the Dorchester and Weymouth area in Dorset and our members are interested in and enjoy the arts in general. Our Society is affiliated to The National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies (NADFAS).

Our objective, through lectures and visits, is to broaden our knowledge and enjoyment of the decorative and visual arts. We meet in the Corn Exchange in Dorchester to attend illustrated lectures given by experts chosen for their knowledge and presentational skills to speak on a huge variety of topics: architecture, artists, china, glass, painting, sculpture, jewellery, furniture and much more, covering every period when mankind has been creative.

The Visits may include museums, palaces, country houses, gardens, exhibitions and other places of interest. Our Special Interest Days provide the opportunity for members who want to study subjects in greater depth from a lecturer who has more time to speak at length. We also enjoy several social events each year. Our volunteers help at the Dorset County Museum and Church Trails in churches nearby. Our society also supports Young Arts with a variety of projects.

We are open to all age groups and hope you will find much to interest you in our very varied programme of events.

Guests of members and visitors wishing to attend on a "trial" basis are welcome to our lectures and, as a Registered Charity, we request a discretionary donation of £5 per person at the door.

Why not spend time to explore this website to discover more about our activities?

Latest News Flash 

From May 2017 your society will become "The Arts Society, Dorset County". 

This follows an extensive review and national rebranding of NADFAS which is intended to bring greater clarity to its name and purpose. The new name "The Arts Society" is designed to reflect the scope of its activities over many categories of The Arts and also reinforces the fellowship and volunteering elements which are so important to members. All members should have received a newsletter by e-mail on 31 January 2017 giving links to further details. The Spring "Review" magazine will also provide more information.  A film about the rebranding can be linked to here.  There is more information under "News"

Linda Smith Lecture

On Friday 27th January the highly experienced NADFAS lecturer Linda Smith gave a lecture on 20th Century painting to the Year 11 and 12 Art students of Thomas Hardye School. This is the fourth time DCDFAS has paid for her to lecture on 20th century painting or sculpture as part of our investment in Young Arts.  As ever, Linda's lecture was packed with information and accompanied by a large selection of images. She comprehensively covered the painting styles of the 20th century and ended with David Hockney’s IPad art.  The seven members of our Committee who were able to attend were impressed by the rapt attention of the students and we have been encouraged by their feedback. Amanda Davies, the Head of Art gave an enthusiastic vote of thanks both to Linda and to DCDFAS. 

Please go to "Young Arts" under the "Volunteering" heading to learn more about our activities and to see the feedback on this lecture.

Lecture on 2 November 2017

We have scheduled a lecture on "Empire's Architecture, Celebrating a Rich Legacy". This will include references to John Lockwood Kipling, father of Rudyard Kipling. 

The V&A currently has an exhibition "Lockwood Kipling: Arts & Crafts In the Punjab and London" running from 14 January to 2 April. This tells the story of a man who became a world expert in Indian arts and crafts and in the process saved traditional skills and techniques in risk of dying out. There is a link to the V&A in "Useful Links" on the Home Page. 


The first Visit of the 2017 year will be to Saltram House in Devon on Tuesday 21 March 2017. Please note that this date has been brought forward from the previous date of Tuesday 4 April 2017 which appears in the Newsletter and Programme Guide for 2017. For further information please see "Visits." For an application form please click here.


We would be very grateful if members would give us feedback on their opinion of the quality and interest level of the lectures via the website. This will help us greatly in preparing the future programmes.

All current members have been registered and should be able to give feedback on lectures.  If anyone finds problems in registering, please send a message and the registration will be done MANUALLY by the Website Manager.  Once an acknowledgement reply is received to say that registration is successful, please give your feedback again. This may take some time as the Website Manager may not be at his computer at that moment!


The website designer has made some minor design changes to the website especially where members view the site on their mobile phones. If it looks a little odd please refresh your browser whilst viewing the page. This is usually by pressing the F5 key.