View north along Cork Street
|Length||420 ft (130 m)|
|south end||Burlington Gardens
|north end||Clifford Street
Cork Street is a street in Mayfair in the West End of London, England, with many contemporary art galleries, and was previously associated with the tailoring industry. It is part of the Burlington Estate, which was developed from the 18th century.
The street runs approximately north-west from the junction of Burlington Arcade with Burlington Gardens, and is close to Burlington House, which houses the Royal Academy of Arts. It is parallel to, and immediately to the east of, New Bond Street. The nearest tube station is Green Park.
Cork Street is part of the Burlington Estate, which was developed from the 18th century. The first Earl of Burlington was Richard Boyle (1612–1698), 2nd Earl of Cork; the street is named for that city.
The street in particular and the area in general was associated with tailors. In particular, the leading Regency London tailors Schweitzer and Davidson were located in Cork Street. Beau Brummell (1778–1840), who introduced the flamboyant form of gentleman's fashion that became known as dandyism, patronised Schweitzer and Davidson in Cork Street. Savile Row, not far from Cork Street to the east, is now the street most associated with high-quality gentleman's tailors today.
Cork Street is today known in the art world for its many commercial art galleries. In the early 20th century, the street became associated with the art world. It is close to the Royal Academy on Piccadilly to the south, when has an interest in the artistic nature of the street. As of 2012[update], there are 22 galleries in the street.
The street is considered to be one of the United Kingdom's "most important art hubs". The galleries of Cork Street have launched the careers of many major modern artists in Britain. For example, the Mayor Gallery was the venue for the first London exhibitions of Francis Bacon, Max Ernst, Paul Klee, and Joan Miró.
The book Duchess of Cork Street: The Autobiography of an Art Dealer takes its name from the street.
Attack on Cork Street
In 1985 the Grey Organisation, a radical arts collective, launched an attack on Cork Street covering some of the galleries in grey paint. In a press release, GO justified the attacks on Cork Street, describing the galleries established there as "boring and lifeless", stating they "intended to liven up their lives a bit!". The attack took place on Tuesday 21 May 1985, somewhere between midnight and 6am. Members of the Grey Organisation were later arrested, released on bail and banned from central London, but when prosecuted at Well Street Magistrates' court, pleaded 'Not Guilty' and were released without charge.
As of 2012[update], 22–27 Cork Street may be demolished for a £90 million development by the British insurance company Standard Life and the London property development company Native Land on a site stretching to Old Burlington Street. There is a campaign to resist the development, which will directly affect seven of the galleries in the street: Alpha Gallery, Adam Gallery at No. 24, Beaux Arts London at No. 22, Gallery 27 at No. 27, Mayor Gallery, Stoppenbach & Delestre, and Waterhouse & Dodd. Another development could affect the future of four more galleries on Cork Street: Hay Hill, Bernard Jacobson, Messum's, and Petleys.
- Dover Street, another street close by in Mayfair with many art galleries.
- Burlington Arcade, opposite the south end of Cork Street.
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- "Between a Gentleman and His Tailor". The Georgian Index. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
- Jesse, William (1844). The life of George Brummell, esq., commonly called Beau Brummell. Volume 1. Saunders and Otley. p. 64.
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- Browse, Lillian (1999). Duchess of Cork Street: The Autobiography of an Art Dealer. Giles de la Mare. ISBN 978-1900357142.
- "Save the last dance for me?". Stewart Home. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
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- Adam Gallery, London, UK.
- Arts London, UK.
- The Gallery in Cork Street, London, UK.