Welcome to the Exe Decorative and Fine Arts Society. We are based in Topsham, and cover the towns and villages on both sides of the Exe estuary south of Exeter. Our purpose is to give our members opportunities to appreciate the arts.

We have a programme of ten lectures on various aspects of the arts, held monthly on Thursday mornings, from September to June. The lectures are illustrated and given by experts in their field. These lectures are supplemented by special interest days where we look in greater detail at a particular topic.

We also have visits to places of interest in the south west, and tours further afield, including abroad. Some of our members take part in activities such as Heritage Volunteering, Church Recording and Young Arts, where we try to involve young people in the arts through initiatives in local schools and colleges.

In 2017, most decorative and fine art societies changed their names to The Arts Society, following the rebranding of the national body NADFAS. We as a society decided to retain our name ExeDFAS while remaining affiliated to The Arts Society.

We welcome new members at any time, although we currently have a waiting list. We invite anyone who is interested to come along to one of our lectures, to see how informative and entertaining they are. Please let our membership secretary know in advance so that a place can be reserved.

Rob Forster, Chairman 2018-21

The Drunkard by Joaquin Sorolla 1919

The Picture of the Month at the National Gallery.


Galleries everywhere are endeavouring to bring their great art treasures to the public who are unable to get to galleries and museums  as once they did. Their curators have prepared short lectures, and the genius of modern technology can give us ‘Virtual Tours’.

Just a ‘taster’ of these facilities is now available on this website starting with lectures provided by our ‘parent body’ – The Arts Society. The section is called The Arts Society plus and has its own drop down menu accessible at the top of this page.

The January Lecture

This lecture is to be Zoomed at 11.00 a.m. on January 14. it will also be available on YouTube for a further two days.

The Lecture is entitled 

The Genius of Stradivarius


The lecturer on this occasion is to be Toby Faber,


“I had always been interested in Stradivari since my days as a schoolboy violinist. There is a central mystery to him: how come his violins are still the best in the world, despite three centuries of technological progress. There and then I had the idea for a book that addressed that central mystery by following the fortunes of five of Stradivari’s violins from his workshop to the present day.”

 Toby Faber was formerly Managing Director of the publishing house Faber & Faber. He was born in Cambridge in 1965, and now lives in London with his wife and two daughters. He is the author of Stradivarius and Faberge’s Eggs, ‘Faber & Faber: The Untold Story’ and ‘Close to the Edge’ (a novel).


Antonio Stradivari painting by Edgar Bundy 1862 -1922

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