The Honiton Society is a registered charity (registered charity number 1111757) run by an enthusiastic and lively team.  At our heart is the Lectures Programme with lectures held on the second Tuesday of the month from October to June at The Beehive Community Complex in Dowell Street.  Our lectures are chosen to cover all aspects of the arts and are given by carefully selected lecturers chosen for their expertise and presentation ability.

We also organize a number of social functions and arrange outings to places of historic and artistic interest.  We encourage an appreciation of art in young people by supporting a number of Young Arts initiatives. We do not organize our own study days but support those arranged by the South West Area organization on behalf of 24 Arts Society local societies in Cornwall, Devon and Somerset.

People join The Arts Society (formerly NADFAS) for a variety of reasons; to further their interest in the decorative and fine arts, to increase their knowledge, or to take an active role in the promotion and preservation of our artistic heritage.  Joining a local society is not just a great way to learn - it's also a fun way of making new and lasting friendships.  Details of how to join the Honiton Society can be found on the Joining Us page.

The painting of Honiton High Street used in the banner at the top of this page is used by kind permission of local artist, Sally Boom.

Chairman's Welcome

Welcome to our website.  We have two aims: to interest as many new members as possible and to ensure that it provides useful information for current members.  We have tried to keep the website as compact as possible, reflecting what we, as a society, are doing.  So, if you are interested in the arts, like our programme, and would like to learn more in a friendly environment, please come and see us at one of our lecture meetings.  We can guarantee you a warm welcome and look forward to seeing you there.

Lady Anne Boles, Chairman

Please note that our new web site address is:

And our email address is

News & Events

**NB the April 2019 lecture 'Prague: City of the Winter Queen' will take place on the FIRST TUESDAY in April, all our other lectures will be on the SECOND Tuesdays as usual.**

Our Antiques Evening will be on Wednesday 29th May 17:00 - 19:00 at Chilcotts Auctioneers & Valuers, Silver Street, Honiton. Tickets from Janet Ward & Jane Yates. 60 will be available.

We were delighted to welcome over 30 guests on Tuesday 12th March, 2pm at the Beehive for ‘Turner Vs Constable: The Great British Paint off’. Nicola Moorby told the story of the epic rivalry between these two giants of British art and gave an overview of the British art world during the 19th century. Nicola was formerly a curator at Tate Britain.   At the end of the lecture Turner just pipped Constable as the greatest painter in a show of hands by the audience!

At an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Society on Tuesday 8 January 2019 the following motion was passed:

“That, in line with the change of name of the National Society of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies to The Arts Society, the name of this Society will change, with immediate effect, to “The Arts Society Honiton.”

We are always keen to welcome new members - Click here for a membership application form     

'VISIONS OF ENCHANTED LANDS' - a South West area special study day, April 4th - click here for link

Chinoiserie in European Art.

For centuries, China was a country closed to Europeans but with a rich artistic tradition, inspired by the natural world and Chinese beliefs in the mountains of the immortals.  Chinoiserie was a whimsical and fanciful European response to the exotic designs on Chinese porcelain, wallpaper and furniture combined with a flavour of Japan and India.  It influenced European decorative arts, architecture and garden design from the 17th to the 18th centuries. This day of special interest looks at chinoiseries origin in Chinese myths, legends, fairytales and mountain lore and explores the ways in which these real and imaginary worlds merged and were reproduced on Chinese wallpaper, silks and porcelain for export to the West.  The European reaction to this is considered, first during the earliest chinoiseries of the Baroque, later with the lightness of Rococo. Some famous examples of chinoiserie are the porcelains of Meissen, Bow and Worcester, japanned cabinets, the furniture in the Chippendale style, the interiors of Claydon House and Saltram House, the Royal Pavilion at Brighton, the pagoda at Kew and the tea-house at Potsdam.

ANNE HAWORTH is a lecturer at the V&A, a guide for tours of the State Rooms and Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace.

She has catalogued the collection of Chinese porcelain at Kensington Palace and is a member of the French Porcelain Society.  For fouteen years she was the senior ceramics specialist at Christie's and Bonhams head offices.