Leicester Decorative and Fine Arts Society

A member of the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies

Breaking and latest news


This page has the latest news - please keep coming back to check for the latest information and click on the ‘refresh’ button to update your computers information.


Click on the links below to go those sections quickly, or scroll down the page to see everything.....



Phoneix Cinema Art related broadcasts


Glasgow School of Art - A Request for Help Following the Recent Fire


Church Trails      Mary de Castro church trail has had to be postponed.


National Trust bid to save Stoneywell, the Gimson House in Leicestershire


Link to the Victorian Society's Leicester web site



Glasgow School of Art Fire - A request for Help


One of our members, Douglas Smith, donated 4 decades, 84 volumes from 1961 to 2002, of ‘Architectural Review’ to the Glasgow School of Art library recently. - And delivered them himself!





Phoenix Cinema art related broadcasts.


Rembrandt  Tuesday December 2 at 7:30


Every Rembrandt exhibition is eagerly anticipated but this major new show, focused on the final years of his life and hosted by London’s National Gallery and Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum, is the biggest in many years. Given exclusive and privileged access by both galleries, the film documents this extraordinary show and interweaves Rembrandt’s life story with the behind the scenes preparations at both institutions. For many, this is the greatest artist that ever lived – this film will take a close look at the man behind such acclaim.


Girl with a Pearl Earring  Tuesday January 13 2015 7:30


After two years on a blockbuster world tour, the ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ has returned home to the much-loved Mauritshuis gallery in The Hague, which has just completed extensive renovations. With huge queues lining up for a glimpse of her enigmatic beauty and nearly 1.2 million visitors at its stop in Japan, the enduring appeal of this masterpiece is indisputable. The beautifully filmed documentary goes in pursuit of the many unresolved riddles surrounding the extraordinary painting and its mysterious creator Vermeer. Who was this girl? Why and how was it painted? Why is it so revered?


Vincent Van Gogh - A New Way  Tuesday 14 April 7.30pm


Enjoying complete and unprecedented access to the treasures of Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum, this is a brilliant new film about one of the world’s favourite artists, marking both a major re-showing of the gallery’s collection and a celebration of the 125th anniversary of Van Gogh’s death. Experience the wonder of seeing these masterpieces on the big screen while specially invited guests, including world-renowned curators and art historians, offer their interpretations and explanations of his work. With exclusive new research revealing incredible recent discoveries, the Van Gogh Museum has helped craft a cinema experience like no other.


The Impressionists Tuesday 26 May 2015 7:30


They are the world’s most popular artists. The works of Cezanne, Monet, Degas and their compatriots fetch tens of millions of dollars. But just who were they really? Why and how did they paint? What lies behind their enduring appeal?

To help answer these questions, the film has secured unique access to a major new exhibition focusing on the 19th century Parisian art collector Paul Durand-Ruel, the outspoken champion of Impressionism. This eagerly anticipated exhibition is perhaps the most comprehensive ever held about the Impressionists. Durand-Ruel’s brave decision to exhibit the Impressionists in New York in 1886 introduced enlightened, wealthy Americans to modern French painting. In doing so, he not only filled great American galleries with Impressionist masterworks but also kept impressionism alive at a time when it faced complete failure. This energetic and revealing film will tell his remarkable story along with that of the Impressionists themselves.



Church Trails


Several NADFAS groups in the East Midlands are creating Church Trails, aimed at children, to encourage them to explore the art and architecture of Churches.  Trails that are completed can be downloaded (questions and answers) by clicking here


Take the grandchildren out to explore!  New Trails being added as they are finished.


There is one which has been created for the Mary de Castro church in Leicester, unfortunately because of the problems with the spire this has had to be postponed.



National Trust has acquired Stoneywell - the Gimson house in Leicestershire


Still no news on Stoneywell, although the National Trust have got planning permission for the car park (which is a big step).  Lets keep our fingers crossed!


Quote from the National Trust web site:-


We have been offered Stoneywell, an Arts & Crafts cottage designed in 1899 by Ernest Gimson, one of the most inspiring and influential architect-designers of the British Arts and Crafts Movement.












Gimson’s drawing of Stoneywell

July 1898








Why save Stoneywell?


Set in the Charnwood Forest, Stoneywell is the only remaining cottage of its kind in Leicestershire. It’s one of only a handful of notable Arts and Crafts houses in England. It will also be only the second place we have in the county.


As well as the cottage, gardens, outbuildings and woodland, Stoneywell retains many of its original contents. There is also a significant archive which has a wealth of historical material.


Plans are being made to open the house shortly - keep looking to find out the latest news!.



The history of Stoneywell

Stoneywell, a Grade II* listed property, was designed in 1898 by the locally-born architect, designer and craftsman Ernest Gimson (1864-1919). Gimson was a well-known contributor to the Arts & Crafts Movement in England in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with many connections to other key members of the movement including William Morris.


Gimson designed the cottage for his elder brother Sydney and wife Jeanie, and Stoneywell has remained within the family ever since.


The Gimson family


Ernest Gimson’s father, Josiah and his brother Benjamin, were also significant figures in Leicester during the 19th century when they set up the Gimson and Company factory in the city, making heavy machinery.


It was one of the largest employers in the city and prided itself on being a model employer in terms of wages and conditions of work. The firm cast the great beam engines which can still be seen at the Abbey Pumping Station and cast two bridges over the Grand Union Canal in Leicester.


Some more information on Stoneywell & Gimson



Below is an article written for us by a member, Douglas Smith, who used to live in a Gimson house in Leicester.


Ernest Gimson 1864-1919


He was born in Leicester, the son of Josiah Gimson of the successful engineering firm.


Early influences were Letherby, Ruskin and William Morris from lecturers at the Secular Society.


Gimson was articled to Isaac Barradale the local architect before he moved to London and was articled to J D Sedding in 1885.  In 1887 he travelled to France and Italy but returned to England and worked on modest projects.


White House. North Avenue. Leicester; 1897 Ernest Gimson designed for his brother Arthur is the best example of the two town houses.

It has an ‘L shaped Plan with the end gable ploughing into the Avenue like the bow of a ship.


Stoneywell 1898 was built for Sidney A. Gimson Ernest Gimson. It is in my opinion the outstanding design of the cottages built in the Charnwood Forest.


The great chimney is like a buttress and develops from the rocky outcrop as it grows out of the forest rock. The plan twists to follow the contours of the site. This is the fascination of the building with changing levels and interesting movement of space. Originally the cottage has a thatched roof which enabled the designer to use the fluid lines evolved from the plan.

Gimson had too much respect for the past to to attempt to reproduce it. He believed each generation could and should make a contribution to a splendid tradition




A plan of the ground floor of Stoneywell.  The plan relates to the photograph and sorry the words are upside down.






















Why not write an article for the e-newsletter and the web site?  Contact Janet Groome on 0116 279 2280 with any questions.




Films about NADFAS

LeicesterDFAS Young Arts film about their work



There are now several films about NADFAS in YouTube  Click here to views these short and informative films about different aspects of the organisation.



LeicesterDFAS podcast on our Young Arts group!

To see film please click on the film icon here............................

(it may take a few minutes to download if you have a slow connection


Click here for another way to see the film about the group - there are two other podcasts, well worth looking at



Web site designed and maintained by Janet Groome, Handshake Computer Training