Blue Mountains

ArtsNational Blue Mountains welcomes you

Wentworth Falls, located in the World Heritage listed Blue Mountains, offers spectacular bushwalks and views. As well, it has a lively and attractive village with fine coffee, gift shops and off-street parking. The area was originally called ‘Weatherboard’ after the ‘Weatherboard Hut’ built in 1814. One year later the town was named ‘Jamison’s Valley’ by Governor Macquarie.

In July 1867, the historic first railway journey in the Blue Mountains left Penrith station and travelled through to Weatherboard Station where the train terminated. It wasn’t until 1879 that the name was changed to Wentworth Falls in honour of William Charles Wentworth, one of the three famous explorers.

Blue Mountains ArtsNational holds all lectures in the beautiful art deco School of Arts in Wentworth Falls. We offer a diverse range of lectures and our program includes illustrated talks by six UK lecturers and three Australian lecturers who are all experts in their field. We are renowned for our hospitality, warmly welcoming visitors to our lectures. After each talk, we serve a delicious home-made afternoon tea where attendees can mingle and meet the lecturer.


Lectures are held at Wentworth Falls School of Arts, Adele St, Wentworth Falls.
There is ample parking at the rear of the hall and the train station is a five-minute walk away

Lectures are held on a Friday at 1:30pm for a 2.00pm start and are followed by afternoon tea.

Find full details of the 2024 program here

Early Bird annual membership: $150 – up to and including AGM on Friday, 8th December, 2023.

Annual membership – $160
Click here to join or email:

Guests welcome:
Visitors: $30 per lecture
Pension Card Holders: $25 per lecture

For all enquiries please email:
Postal Address: PO Box 100 Wentworth Falls NSW 2782
ABN: 54 699 436 472

Chairman: Margaret Lipscombe
Treasurer: Denise Schoer
Secretary / Membership: Helen Gillam


Friday 2 February 2024
Presented by Susannah Fullerton
Venue and Time: The School of Arts Wentworth Falls.  Arrive 1.30pm for 2pm start.

In this lecture, Susannah will talk about how the life and works of Hans Christian Andersen were captured in The Ugly Duckling. As the poor son of a cobbler and a washerwoman, he rose to become the ‘swan’ of Europe, courted by royalty, showered with honours and medals.

Susannah brings to life the lives and writings of great writers in her fascinating lectures. Having built a stellar career as a lecturer, giving talks about famous writers, Susannah always presents in a unique style. Immensely entertaining, yet truly informative, you’ll love listening to her talk about her favourite writers. Susannah is President of the Jane Austen Society of Australia, the largest literary society in the country, Patron of the Kipling Society of Australia and Lady Patroness of the International Heyer Society.

Friday 15 March 2024
Presented by David Worthington
Venue and Time: The School of Arts Wentworth Falls.  Arrive 1.30pm for 2pm start.

Sculpture and architecture are closely intertwined. A sculpture has its architecture and good architecture is sculptural. This lecture will trace this inter-relationship showing how in an age of computer aided design, an understanding of sculpture is more important than ever for architecture.

David has been drawn to abstract sculpture since seeing a Barbara Hepworth in a school book. He graduated in Philosophy and Theology from Oxford in 1984, then studied fine art in London, Barcelona and New York. A sculptor with many international commissions, he also curates and writes about art. He was shortlisted for the Jerwood Sculpture Prize in 2009. David is a Fellow of The Royal Society of Sculptors and was Vice President in 2010-13.

Friday 12 April 2024
Presented by Peter McNeil
Venue and Time: The School of Arts Wentworth Falls.  Arrive 1.30pm for 2pm start.​

Thousands of Jewish migrants fled Nazism and many arrived in Australia in the 1930s and ‘40s. A number proceeded to work in the clothing and appearance industries, also known as the ‘rag trade’. Many worked out of necessity, but others brought entrepreneurial knowledge from Europe. Many prospered and others laboured hard, some failing. This lecture will show how, not only the ‘rag trade’, but many other areas of Australian commercial life were transformed by the post-war Jewish emigres.

Dr Peter McNeil FAHA is Distinguished Professor of Design History at UTS. From 2008-18 he lived and worked in three countries, being Foundation Professor of Fashion Studies in Sweden and Academy of Finland Distinguished Professor, Helsinki.

Friday 24 May 2024
Presented by Andy McConnell
Venue and Time: The School of Arts Wentworth Falls.  Arrive 1.30pm for 2pm start.​​

Sweden played a major role in the historic development of modern glassmaking.This lecture examines the factors behind the emergence of Swedish glassmaking from a disparate group of strong-minded, egocentric individuals, and the varied designs that resulted from their work.

Andy has dealt in antiques since adolescence but served an apprenticeship in journalism. After working in music, film and television, he returned to writing in 2004 as the author of the acclaimed tome The Decanter, An Illustrated History of Glass From 1650. He followed this in 2006 with Miller’s’ 20th Century Glass. He writes regularly for journals as diverse as The Times and Glass Circle News and runs Britain’s largest antique and vintage glass gallery in Rye, Sussex. He is best known as the distinctly humorous glass specialist on BBC’s evergreen Antiques Roadshow.

Friday 21 June 2024
Presented by Claudia Chan Shaw
Venue and Time: The School of Arts Wentworth Falls.  Arrive 1.30pm for 2pm start.​​​

Florence Broadhurst’s vibrant wallpaper designs are a global phenomenon. She was the queen of reinvention, hiding her humble beginnings and passing herself off as a French couturier and an English aristocrat. She returned to Sydney to revolutionise the design industry, only to have it all come to a terrible end.

Sydney-born creative Claudia Chan Shaw has a multi- faceted career as a fashion designer, television and radio presenter, author, public speaker, installation artist, photo artist, and curator. Claudia is perhaps best known for her role as co-host and presenter on ABC TV’s popular program, Collectors and her subsequent book Collectomania: From objects of desire to magnificent obsession.

Friday 26 July 2024
Presented by John Stevens
Venue and Time: The School of Arts Wentworth Falls.  Arrive 1.30pm for 2pm start.​​​​

Prior to British rule, India was governed by the Mughal emperors. The stunning buildings and gardens, that they constructed from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries, left an indelible stamp on India’s cultural landscape. This lecture will take you on a tour of some of India’s greatest buildings, examining their historical contexts and the colourful personalities involved in their construction.

Dr John Stevens is a Research Associate at SOAS, University of London and holds a PhD in History. He teaches and publishes on British Imperial and Indian history, as well as teaching Bengali, and is a regular visitor to India and Bangladesh.  His biography of Indian guru Keshab Chandra Sen was published in 2018. He appears regularly in the Indian media and recently on BBC Radio 4, discussing the poet and artist Rabindranath Tagore.

Friday 23 August 2024
Presented by Vivienne Lawes
Venue and Time: The School of Arts Wentworth Falls.  Arrive 1.30pm for 2pm start.​​​​

The mass migration of the French Protestant Huguenots in the 16th and 17th centuries impacted the arts, the military and finance sectors of the countries to which they fled, following Catholic persecution in their homeland. This lecture focuses on three areas of the arts impacted by the migration: the silk weaving industry; the silversmiths and ceramicists introducing Rococo style into Britain; and the baroque style of the great Huguenot designer, Daniel Marot.

An art historian, art market analyst and curator/ writer, Viv Lawes    combines a hands-on career in the art business with research and teaching in Higher Education at several London-based universities. Her courses include The Art Market, History of Western Art and Design 1350-1970, and Asian Art. Viv has curated numerous exhibitions of Southeast Asian contemporary art in London and Singapore.  She writes for many publications and private clients, for both academic and general readership.

Friday 27 September 2024
Presented by Rosalind Whyte
Venue and Time: The School of Arts Wentworth Falls.  Arrive 1.30pm for 2pm start.​​​​

In 2018 The Royal Academy of Arts celebrated its 250th anniversary. Rosalind will consider the position of artists before and after the formation of the Academy in 1768 and some of the characters involved, such as its first President, Sir Joshua Reynolds, and other establishment figures. No scandal or outrage will remain unexposed, as she traces the history of one of Britain’s most important cultural bodies, from inception to the present day.

Rosalind holds a BA and MA from Goldsmith’s College, and an MA (with Distinction) from Birkbeck College. She is an experienced guide at Tate Britain, the Tate Modern, the Royal Academy and The National Maritime Museum, Greenwich. She lectures at the Tate, to independent art societies and on cruises.

Friday 1 November 2024
Presented by Paul Chapman
Venue and Time: The School of Arts Wentworth Falls.  Arrive 1.30pm for 2pm start.​​​​

This talk will look at the life and work of the post-Impressionist painter Henri Toulouse-Lautrec. For two decades of Lautrec’s short life, the artist lived and worked in the Parisian district of the Montmartre. Lautrec led a colourful and theatrical life, and through his paintings and graphics, he recorded a time of decadence in what was Paris’s entertainment district. Nightclubs, cafe concerts, cabarets, and brothels, Lautrec experienced and painted them all.

Paul is an Art Historian and a National Gallery trained guide with many years of experience working in education. As a freelancer, Paul delivers courses and lectures for a wide range of educational organisations. Paul has also given talks and tours for art associations/societies in Museums and Galleries in the UK and Europe. As a writer, Paul has published a book, which examines the subject of cultural crossovers and appropriations in 20th century painting. Paul has a long-standing commitment, in conjunction with the National Gallery as a tour guide at the Longford Castle art collection. He is also a visiting tutor at Marlborough College and a tutor at MCSS.