​The Arts Society was previously known as the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts (NADFAS) the origin of which was the brainchild of Patricia Fay who started the first society, Chiltern Antiques Group, with her friends in 1965, later to become Chiltern DFAS. Within two years there were seven societies. In 1968 the first eleven formed the National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies, holding the first meeting at the Victoria and Albert Museum in the presence of HRH The Duchess of Kent, who became the first patron. Sadly, Patricia Fay died in 1979, aged 46, but by the time of her death there were already one hundred societies in existence. Today that figure is closer to four hundred with societies in Europe, Australia and New Zealand and worldwide membership exceeding 90,000.  In May 2017 the decision was taken to change the name of the national organisation to THE ARTS SOCIETY.

And so to THE ARTS SOCIETY HIGH WYCOMBE .... In 2012 Lisa Green, a Marlow DFAS member, approached Gill Stevens, then Area Chairman for the South Mercia Area, with the idea that there were enough interested people in the High Wycombe Area to start an additional Society. A Steering Committee chaired by Gill was set up with the help of several Marlow DFAS members. Lisa found a venue and the first Steering Committee meeting took place in February 2013. With some trepidation a 'Taster Lecture' was offered in June 2014. This was a great success and by the end of August High Wycombe had a full membership and a waiting list. The Inaugural Lecture took place on 13th October 2014, when HWDFAS was officially welcomed into NADFAS by Jill Makepeace-Warne, the National Chairman and the name of the society was subsequently changed to THE ARTS SOCIETY HIGH WYCOMBE.

The first year's programme of lectures was a resounding success with high attendance figures for every lecture and an increasingly growing waiting list. This success has continued and we have well and truly consolidated our society in the High Wycombe area.