North British Academy of Arts

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Coordinates: 54°58′44″N 1°36′47″W / 54.979°N 1.613°W / 54.979; -1.613

The North British Academy of Arts (1908 - 1924) was an art institution of Newcastle upon Tyne in northern England.


The Academy, later known as the North British Academy of Arts, Science, Literature, and Music, was located in the Claremount Buildings on the western side of Barras Bridge on the corner with Eldon Place in Newcastle upon Tyne, which is now opposite the County Council Offices.[1] Its objectives were initially "for the advancement of art, the encouragement and advantages of its associates and members, and for the creation of local art patriotism and enthusiasm amongst cultured and influential classes of North Britain."[2] They soon evolved to encompass "the betterment of humanity by the advancement of art, literature, science, music, education, law, medicine, manufactures, commerce, agriculture, industries, and, engineering, to the end that the sum of human knowledge may be increased",[3][4] with the Society organized into ten sections, each presided over by a distinguished specialist.[4] It was founded in 1908, incorporated in 1913, and dissolved in 1924. William James Morgan (1850-1923) was the secretary throughout the life of the Academy. At various times, Henry John Brinsley Manners (1852-1925), the 8th Duke of Rutland, was its president.[1][5][6] Early on the membership secretary was Frederick Huntley (1887-1960), and curator was William J. Macgarree. [7]

The "Entrance Fee" was two guineas, the "Annual Subscription", one guinea, and "Life Composition", twelve guineas. Annual Meetings were held in September, and exhibitions of members' works normally held twice a year. Members were described as fellows of the Academy, and entitled to append F.N.B.A. after their names.[1]


Eight exhibitions were held by the Academy before the Great War.[8]

Exhibition Location Town Dates
1 Academy of Arts Gallery[9] Newcastle upon Tyne 3-24 Feb 1909
2 Corporation Art Gallery[10] City of York 24 Jan-19 Feb 1910
3 Royal Society of British Artists[11] London 29 Aug-19 Sep 1910
4 Corporation Art Gallery[10] City of York 3 Jul-12 Aug 1911
5 Towneley Hall Art Gallery & Museums Burnley 5 Mar-27 Apr 1912
6 Crystal Palace London 1 Nov-31 Dec 1912
7 Victoria Institute [12] Worcester 1 May-7 Aug 1913
8 Crystal Palace London 6 Apr-8 Aug 1914

Works known to have been displayed at these exhibitions include:

  • Sounding a Rally - A portrait study of Miss Stanley "Bimbie" Edwards, the first English girl scout, by Philip Homan Miller, which was exhibited in the London exhibition of 1910.[13]
  • A Garden in Sark - A watercolour painting by Frances Anne Hopkins, which was exhibited in the York exhibition of 1910.[14]


Notable men and women were invited to become members, including:

A list of members can be found in the first Exhibition Catalog.[8]


Publications[1] by the academy included:

  • Inaugural Address by Sir William Blake Richmond.
  • Journal and Transactions of the N.B.A (1909-1913).
  • Annual Report (1918, 1921, 1922, 1923).
  • Catalogue of the Pictures Exhibited by Members at the Different Exhibitions Held During the Year (1918, 1921, 1922, 1923).

And also

  • Jeffrey Marden, Surgeon - A Novel by E.N. Blamey (1913).[33]
  • Exhibition Catalogues (1909, 1910, 1911, 1912, 1914).[8]


A gold medal and honorary fellowship was offered in 1909 to the first British aviator who flew a British-made machine between Newcastle and London to encourage the fledgling British aviation industry.[34]

A gardening competition was established in 1910 to foster a love of nature and beauty amongst school children, so that the homes of the poor might be beautified and the young provided with an innocent and interesting hobby. Initially there were 2,761 child gardeners at work in the slums of Newcastle upon Tyne, competing for prizes to a total of 50 guineas with the Academy providing the seeds. Their window boxes and flower pots were to be exhibited and judged in one of the school halls of the city in September of the following year. It was intended to extend the competition to London and other cities and towns of the United Kingdom, with school principals in North Britain being asked to encourage their charges to enter the competition.[35]

Scholarships were provided for talented poor students in the arts, music, painting, literature, etc.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e The Official Year-Book of the Scientific and Learned Societies of Great Britain and Ireland, Charles Griffin & Co. Ltd., London 1910-1924.
    Note: The entry for 1924 includes the annotation "[No Return.]", and there is no entry for 1925.
  2. ^ Dominion, 9 January 1909, page 11e.
  3. ^ a b Pars about People in New Zealand Observer and Free Lance, 8 October 1910, page 4a.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Local and General News in New Zealand Herald, 29 September 1910, page 4h.
  5. ^ a b The London Gazette of 4 March 1924 [p1973a] advised that the North British Academy of Arts was voluntarily "wound up" on 5 February 1924 at an Extraordinary General Meeting of its shareholders held at 28 Bedford Row, London. Arthur Willey, accountant, of 50 North Parade, Whitley in Northamptonshire was appointed liquidator. A subsequent Extraordinary General Meeting of its shareholders confirmed these resolutions on 22 February 1924. Maisie Strobel was annotated as secretary of the Society.
  6. ^ The London Gazette of 29 April 1927 [p2826a] advised the registration (Reg. No. 5683 R. N'bld.) of the North British Academy of Arts had been cancelled by the Registrar of Friendly Societies as it had ceased to exist.
  7. ^ a b c d Lillian Heatley - Membership Certificate dated 29 December 1909
  8. ^ a b c Catalogue of the National Art Library
  9. ^ Evidently the Academy had its own gallery in the Claremount Buildings.
  10. ^ a b The Corporation Art Gallery is known as the Laing Art Gallery.
  11. ^ The Royal Society of British Artists appears not to have been the preferred location for this exhibition, as the Academy had applied for, and been refused, permission to hold a second exhibition of works in 1910 at the Laing Art Gallery. (Laing Art Gallery, Committee Minute Book, Volume Two, 29 April 1910 cited on page 182 of Class, Nation and Localism in the Northumberland Art World, 1820-1939 by Rachel Mumba, PhD Thesis, Durham University 2008.
  12. ^ North British Academy of Arts, Morpeth Herald, 25 April 1913, p.11f.
  13. ^ a b The Outlook, 26 November 1910, Page 721.
  14. ^ a b "A Garden in Sark" by Frances Anne Hopkins. There is a North British Academy York Exhibition 1910 label on the reverse side of this watercolor painting.
  15. ^ No "A. Bailey" was an Australian MLA in 1910. However an Abe Bailey was elected to the first Parliament of the Transvaal Province in 1908 to represent the district of Krugersdorp.
  16. ^ A Concise Genealogy of Isaac Elbert Brush & Delia Williams Phillips, His Wife, and of Their Descendants, privately published, Cleveland (OH) 1932.
  17. ^ Document III.1: Mr. Chou Show Son in A Documentary History of Hong Kong Society, ed David Faure, Hong Kong University Press, Hong Kong 1997, pages 118-9.
  18. ^ Chinese Educational Mission Connections 1872-1881 - Chow Chang Ling
  19. ^ Edward Enoch Anderson RBA 1878-1961
  20. ^ Exploring Surreys Past - Ernest Christie
  21. ^ Francis Henry Lenygon 1877-1943: From Lincoln to Long Island - A Transatlantic Story of a Lincoln Choirister
  22. ^ Frederick Barnett Kilmer in History of Middlesex County, New Jersey 1664-1920, Volume 2, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, New York and Chicago 1921, pages 96-7.
  23. ^ Memoir and Letters of Francis W. Newman
  24. ^ Paintings authenticated by HR Hall, BDB17/SP3/61, Cumbria County Record Office, Barrow-in-Furness, 1910.
  25. ^ Anthropologic Miscellanea, American Anthropologist, 12(1): 118-140.
  26. ^ Chinese Educational Mission Connections 1872-1881 - Jeme Tien Yau.
  27. ^ No other evidence of a "Maisie Strobel" could be found.
  28. ^ Nestor Cambier
  29. ^ New Architect of St. John's Cathedral in Oswego Daily Times, 22 September 1911, Page 7d.
  30. ^ Sir Robert Lorimer Papers, Gen. 1963/1-68 MSS 2482-2494, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh.
  31. ^ Kothari, Jehangir Hormusji in Supplement to Who's Who in India - Containing Lives and Photographs of the Recipients of Honours on 12th December 1911, Together with an Illustrated Account of the Visit of Their Imperial Majesties the King-Emperor and Queen-Empress to India and the Coronation Durbar by Prag Narain Bhargava, Newul Kishore Press, Lucknow 1912, page 176.
  32. ^ Men of 1914: An Accurate Biographical Record of Prominent Men in All Walks of Life Who Have Achieved Success in Their Chosen Vocations in the Various Civil, Industrial, and Commercial Lines of Activity, American Publishers' Association, Chicago 1915.
  33. ^ British Library Catalogue Call Number NN.1315
  34. ^ More Encouragement for British Flyers in Flight - Official Organ of the Aero Club of the United Kingdom, 11 September 1909, page 560.
  35. ^ Children and Flower Culture in The Limerick Chronicle, 16 June 1910, page 2e.