The London Group

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Robert Bevan (1865–1925), Two Bridges, c. 1912, exhibited at the first exhibition of the London Group in March 1914.

The London Group is an artists' exhibiting society based in London, England, created to offer additional opportunities to artists besides the Royal Academy of Arts. It is oldest standing artist led organisations in the world, which was formed in 1913 with the merger of the Camden Town Group, an all-male group, and the Fitzroy Street Group. It holds open submission exhibitions for members and guest artists.

History[edit]

The London Group founded in 1913, when the Camden Town Group came together with the English Vorticists and other independent artists to challenge the domination of the Royal Academy of Arts, which had become unadventurous and conservative.[1]

The London Group emerged from a merger of the Fitzroy Street Group and the male member only Camden Town Group organization.[2] Founding members included the patron-artist Ethel Sands, artist Anna Hope Hudson,[3] Walter Sickert, Jacob Epstein, Wyndham Lewis, and Henri Gaudier-Brzeska.[4] Another early female member was Marjorie Sherlock.[2] Throughout its history The London Group has consistently held open submission exhibitions to encourage and support other artists struggling to get their work shown in public. The open submissions are shown along with the work of existing members and guest artists.[5] The exhibition Uproar! celebrated the first 50 years of the London Group in 1963 and it highlighted to role played by women and emigre artists in its membership.[6] While in 2013-14 The Ben Uri Gallery has celebrated The London Group's 100-year anniversary with an exhibition Uproar: The First 50 Years of The London Group 1913-1963 curated by Rachel Dickson and Sarah MacDougall.[4]

One of the oldest standing artist led organisations in the world The London Group continues to exist today with over 80 members. In 2011 the open exhibition presented over 140 artists at the Cello Factory. The group celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2013 with several shows, both historical and contemporary.[2]

David Bomberg, The Mud Bath, 1914, Tate Gallery. Bomberg was a founding member.

Overview[edit]

The London Group is composed of working artists. All forms of art are represented. The group functions democratically without dogma or style.[2] It has a written constitution, annually elected officers, working committees and a selection committee. There are usually between 80 and 100 members and an annual fee is charged to cover gallery hire and organisational costs. The group has no permanent exhibition venue and rents gallery space in London, most recently at the Menier Gallery, Bankside Gallery and Cello Factory. Most years see several new members being voted in, from nominations made by current members.[2]

Prominent Members[edit]

The London Group has supported many of the most celebrated British artists of the twentieth century.

Jacob Epstein's 1913 sculpture The Rock Drill was first shown in the second London Group show in March 1915. The original is now lost.
The London Group Open 2011 at the Cello Factory, London

Presidents[edit]

Presidents since 1914 are:[2]

President Election Served Comment
Harold Gilman 1913 1914–1918 Gilman was a founding member.
Robert Bevan 1913 1918–1921 Bevan was a founding member and the Treasurer until 1919; He was a Caretaker President.
Bernard Adeney 1913 1921–1923 Adeney was a founding member.
Frank Dobson 1922 1924–1926
Rupert Lee 1922 1926–1936
Harold Sandys Williamson 1933 1937–1943 Chairman. He was also known as H.S. Williamson.
Elliott Seabrooke 1920 1943–1948 Assumed Presidency during World War II.
Ruskin Spear 1940–43 1948–1951
John Dodgson 1947 1951–1952
Claude Rogers 1938 1952–1966
Andrew Forge 1960 1966–1971
Dorothy Mead 1960 1971–1973 First woman President
Neville Boden 1964 1973–1977
Peter Donnelly 1973 1977–1979
Stan Smith 1975 1979–1993 1979–81 period of reorganisation, evidence unclear
Dennis Creffield 1962 1983 He was president for only 24 hours.
Adrian Bartlett 1981 1993–1995
Philippa Beale 1977 1995–1998
Matthew Kolakowski 1990 1998–2000
Peter Clossick 1999 2000–2005
Philip Crozier 2001 2005–2007
Susan Haire 2004 2007 – Haire is the current President.

Notes[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wilcox, Denys J.The London Group, 1913-1939: the artists and their works. Scholar Press, 1995
  2. ^ a b c d e f Redfern, David. The London Group: A History. London Group, 2013.
  3. ^ Ethel Sands. Tate. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
  4. ^ a b Dickson, Rachel ; MacDougall, Sarah; Baron, Wendy; Wilcox, Denys; Redfern David. Uproar: The First 50 Years of The London Group 1913-1963 published by Lund Humphries Publishers Ltd 2013.
  5. ^ Redfern, David. The London Group: A History. London Group, 2013
  6. ^ [1] Review in Studio International from 1963

External links[edit]