History of The London Group

The London Group was formed by an amalgamation of the Camden Town Group and the English Cubists (later Vorticists) in 1913. This grouping of radical young artists came together as a reaction to the stranglehold which the Royal Academy had on exhibiting new work. Founder members included Spencer Gore, Wyndham Lewis, Sickert and Epstein. The London Group decided on a written constitution and a number of officers to run the Group’s affairs. Members were to be elected to the Group based on a democratic election. A Working Party was set up to organize London Group exhibitions which were to revitalize contemporary visual art, bringing in new European developments in painting and sculpture, especially from France. Artists exhibited their own choice of work. The London Group made no judgmental decisions on members’ work, a tradition proudly defended to this day.

The beginning of the First World War and the early death of the first President, Harold Gilman, were inauspicious moments for the new group, yet it survived and, in the Twenties, developed into a progressive and critically acclaimed venue for contemporary artists. Roger Fry and the Bloomsbury set were extremely influential in the Group during this decade.

The Thirties saw a greater diversity of activity. There was a healthy exchange between the more objective Cézanne salon and the Surrealists, for example. Again, the Group survived another World War, managing to mount exhibitions throughout the early Forties.

As Europe healed its wounds The London Group was to enter into a golden period in the 50’s and early 60’s. There were regular, affordable venues to hold annual exhibitions, large enough to offer space for every member to show more than one work and to invite non-members through open submission. The highlight of this period was The London Group Jubilee Exhibition held at the Tate Gallery in 1964.

In the 1970s The London Group became the major vehicle for young artists emerging from art school in the way the Young Contemporaries was for art students. It held major open exhibitions across London including the Royal College of Art, The South London Art Gallery and Camden Art Centre. The nature of contemporary visual art and its consumption began to change and diversify and this change was reflected in the membership and exhibition strategies of the Group. The last large ‘open show’ was launched by Lord Gowrie, the then Minister for the Arts, and was also The London Group’s 80th Anniversary Exhibition, held at the Concourse Gallery, Barbican in 1993. The 90th Anniversary Exhibition in Cork Street saw the launch of The London Group website and a commemorative yearbook published in 2003.

At present The London Group has more members than at any point in its history and continues to function without style or dogma, being the only democratically run group which survives into the 21st century. It has recently reintroduced the open submission exhibition and diversified into small group exhibitions for all its members.

David Redfern (2013)


Founder Members

There were 32 Founder Members, 26 men and 6 women. These were the artists who drew up the written constitution and elected the first officers to form The London Group in 1913.

Founder Members from the Camden Town Group Walter Bayes, Robert Bevan, Malcolm Drummond, Harold Gilman, Charles Ginner, Spencer F. Gore, C.F. Hamilton, Percy Wyndham Lewis, J.B. Manson, Lucien Pissarro, W. Ratcliffe, Walter Sickert

The Camden Town Group circle Renée Finch, Douglas Fox-Pitt, Sylvia Gosse, A.H.’Nan’ Hudson, Thérèse Lessore, Walter Taylor

The Post-Impressionists grouped around Roger Fry Bernard Adeney, Frederick Etchells, Jessie Etchells, Duncan Grant, Ethel Sands, Edward Wadsworth

The English Cubists (before they became The Vorticists with Wyndham Lewis) David Bomberg, Jacob Epstein, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, C.R.W. Nevinson,

Independents Henry Lamb, John Nash, Harold Squire, Harald Sund

Presidents since 1913

Date of election to The London Group in brackets.

  • 1914 – 1919 Harold Gilman (1913)
  • 1919 – 1921 No President elected,Robert Bevan (1913)had overall responsibility
  • 1921 – 1923 Bernard Adeney (1913)
  • 1924 – 1926 Frank Dobson (1922)
  • 1926 – 1936 Rupert Lee (1922)
  • 1936 – 1937 R.P. Bedford (1932)(Chairman)
  • 1937 – 1943 Harold Sandys Williamson (1933) (Chairman)
  • 1943 – 48 Elliott Seabrooke (1920) Assumed Presidency during WW2
  • 1948 – 1951 Ruskin Spear (1940-43)
  • 1950 – 1951 John Dodgson (1947)
  • 1952 – 1965 Claude Rogers (1938)
  • 1966 – 1971 Andrew Forge (1960)
  • 1971 – 1973 Dorothy Mead (1960)
  • 1973 – 1977 Neville Boden (1965)
  • 1977 – 1979 Peter Donnelly (1973)
  • 1979 – 1993 Stan Smith (1975)(79-81 period of reorganisation evidence unclear)
  • 1983 (for 24 hours) Dennis Creffield (1962)
  • 1993 – 1995 Adrian Bartlett (1981)
  • 1995 – 1998 Philippa Beale (1977)
  • 1998 – 2000 Matthew Kolakowski (1990)
  • 2000 – 2005 Peter Clossick (1999)
  • 2005 – 2007 Philip Crozier (2001)
  • 2007 – current Susan Haire (2004)

Essays on The London Group

Moving with the times: 100 years of the London Group by Nicholas Usherwood

Why The London Group? – Peter Clossick’s 2008 paper

A further article by Peter Clossick about the Group

An older article by Nicholas Usherwood



The London Group: a history 1913-2013 by David Redfern

Despite The London Group celebrating its One Hundredth Anniversary in 2013 no complete history of the Group has ever been written…that is, until now! “The London Group: a history 1913-2013” written by David Redfern, a current member of the Group, tells the story of this well known artists’ exhibiting cooperative from its origins as an enlargement of the Camden Town Group in 1913 through one hundred years of triumphs and tears to the vibrant and enthusiastic Group it is today, all set in a cultural, social and geographical context.

(Softback 416 pages with many B&W and colour illustrations) The book costs £20 and is available from Amazon


New Members by Year

October 25th 1913 Walter Bayes, Robert Bevan, Malcolm Drummond, Jacob Epstein, Frederick Etchells, Douglas Fox-Pitt, Harold Gilman, Charles Ginner, Spencer F. Gore, Duncan Grant, Anna Hope Hudson, Percy Wyndham Lewis, J.B. Manson, C.R.W. Nevinson, W. Ratcliffe, Ethel Sands, Walter Sickert, Harold Sund, Henry Lamb and Lucien Pissarro were also listed as Founder Members but did not exhibit.
November 1913 Bernard Adeney, Renée Finch, Cuthbert Hamilton, Harold Squire, Edward Wadsworth
Other Founder Members, 1913 David Bomberg, Jessie Etchells, Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, Sylvia Gosse, Thérèse Lessore, John Nash, Walter Taylor
1914 Adrian Allinson, Horace Brodsky, Benjamin Coria, Mary Godwin, James Hamilton Hay, Stanislawa de Karlowska, Jacob Kramer, Paul Nash, William Roberts
1915 Mark Gertler, Randolph Schwabe
1916 Phyllis Barron, E. McKnight Kauffer, Ethelbert White, Adrian Allinson
1917 Roger Fry, Nina Hamnett
1919 Boris Anrep, Keith Baynes, Vanessa Bell, Bernard Meninsky
1920 Ruth Doggett, Frederick J. Porter, Elliott Seabrooke, Matthew Smith, Cicely Stock, E.M. O’Rourke Dickey
1921 Richard Carline
1922 George Barne, Sidney Carline, Frank Dobson, Rupert Lee, Lydia Pearson-Righetti, S. Popovitch, Paule Vezelay, (Marjorie W. Williams)
1923 Mario Bacchelli, R. O’Connor, Guy Maynard, J.W. Power, Edward Wolfe
1924 K.M. Morrison, Alfred Thornton
1925 Rene Paresee, Wyndam Tryon, Allan Walton
1926 Jessica Dismorr, Chantal Quenneville
1927 Elizabeth Andrews, John Banting, Vera Cunningham, Alan Durst
1928 John Farleigh, Cicely Hey, Cedric Morris, Elizabeth Muntz
1929 H.E. Du Plessis, R.V. Pitchforth, Maresco Pearce, Arthur Pollen
1930 Noel Adeney, Barbara Hepworth, Maurice Lambert, Edna Manley, Henry Moore (never paid his subs), Hyam Myer, John Skeaping
1931 Raymond Coxon (Hon.), R.O. Dunlop, Elsie Farleigh, Ivon Hitchens
1932 R.P. Bedford, David Low (Hon.), Morland Lewis
1933 Eileen Agar, Phyllis Bray, William Coldstream, P.N. Dawson, Edna Ginesi (Hon.), Blair Hughes Stanton Rodrigo Moynihan, John Piper, H.S. Williamson
1934 Hans Feibusch, James Fitton, Victor Pasmore, John Tunnard
1935 Gertrude Hermes
1936 Ethel Walker
1937 Robert Medley, Graham Sutherland
1938 Ceri Richards, Claude Rogers
1940 – 43 Edward Le Bas, J. Buckland Wright, Kathleen Faussett-Osborne, Elsie Few, Henry Gotlieb, Lawrence Gowing, Frances Hodgkins, Augustus John (Hon.), Oscar Kokoschka (Hon.), Lynton Lamb, Mary Potter, Ruskin Spear, Fred Uhlman, Jack B. Yeats
1944 Geoffrey Tibble
1947 John Dodgson
1948 Anthony Gross, Karin Jonzen, Kit Lewis, L.S. Lowry
1949 Robert Adams, Edward Ardizzone, Robert Buhler, Edward Burra, Morris Kestelman, Kenneth Martin, John Minton, F.E. McWilliam, Peter Potworowski, William Scott, Julian Trevelyan, Keith Vaughan, Carel Weight
1951 Bernard Meadows, Anne Neville, Brian Robb, William Townsend
1952 Eleanor Bellingham-Smith, Lynn Chadwick, Patrick Heron
1953 Kenneth Armitage, Merlyn Evans, William Gear, Stanley Hayter, Josef Herman
1954 Roy de Maistre, Martin Froy
1955 Louise Ie Brocquy, Anthony Fry, William Turnbull, Bryan Wynter
1956 Robert Clatworthy, Elizabeth Frink, Philip Sutton
1957 Norman Adams, John Bratby, Alan Davie, Terry Frost, Patrick George, Leonard Rosoman, Jack Smith
1958 Wendy Pasmore, Euan Uglow
1959 Mary Fedden, Anthony Hatwell, Mary Martin
1960 Frank Auerbach, Andrew Forge, Dorothy Mead
1961 Andre Bicat (Hon.), Jeffrey Camp, Anthony Eyton, Cliff Holden, Leslie Marr
1962 Craigie Aitchison, Michael Andrews, Dennis Creffield, Paul de Monchaux, Adrian Heath, Brian Wall
1963 Frank Bowling, Michael Elliot, David Hockney, Leon Kossoff, Evert Lundquist
1964 Anthony Green, Kenneth Turner
1965 Neville Boden, Geoffrey Harris, Albert Irvin, David Partridge, Edwin Pickett, Paula Rego, Matt Rugg, Michael Sandle, Bernard Schottlander, Rachel Tripp
1968 Basil Beattie, Brian Fielding, Michael Kenny, Stephen Lobb, Barry Martin, Stass Paraskos, Arthur Wilson
1971 Anne Buchanan, Julian Cooper, Peter Cresswell, Michael Harrison, Laetitia Yhap
1973 Peter Archer, John Bellany, Peter Donnelly, John Hoskin, Caroline Jackson, Colin Nicholas, Livia Rolandini, Peter Startup, Jesse Watkins
1975 David Haughton, Richard Og, Stan Smith, John Watson, Mary Webb
1977 Moich Abrahams, Philippa Beale, Peter de Francia, Stanislaw Frenkiel, Robert Mason, Keith Reeves
1978 Ray Atkins, John Barnicoat, Robert Clarke, Tom Cross, John Crossley, David Gluck, Anthony Whishaw
1979 Cyril Reason
1980 Sheila Watkins (Hon.)
1981 Martin Ball, Evelyn Ballantine, Adrian Bartlett, Lindsay Davidson, Ken Draper, John Epstein, Keith Grant, Mel Gordon, Jane Humphrey (Hon.), Michael Heindorff, Gillian Ingham, Jane Joseph, Roger Kite, Robin Klassnik, Victor Kuell (Hon.), William Mills, Mike Pope, Peter Richmond, John Roberts, Elma Thubron, Harry Thubron, S. Torrents
1984 Victoria Bartlett, Gus Cummins, Joe McGill, Janet Nathan, Janet Patterson, Suzan Swale, Mike Thorpe, Christopher Twyford
1987 Clive Burton, Harvey Daniels, Brian Kneale, Chris Plowman
1988 John Copnall, Jean Gibson, Tricia Gillman
1989 David Carr, John Edwards, Alex Ramsay
1990 David Annesley, Sharon Aivaliotis, Ines Buhler, Hugh Davies, John Dougill, Alfred Harris, William Henderson, lan Hunter, Matthew Kolakowski, Prudence Kurrle, Eric Moody, Peter Morrell, Ken Oliver, Robert Russell, David Shutt, Kevin Slingsby, Keir Smith, Philippa Stjernsward, Mark Vaux, David Whitaker, Gary Wragg
1994 Michelle Avison, Bryan Benge, Oona Grimes, Colin Kerrigan
1996 Steven Foy, Trevor Frankland, Jules De Goede, Sophie Horton, Bryan McCann, Hideo Nakane, Eugene Palmer
1997 Slawomir Blatton, Pauline Little, Mark Povell, Susan Wilson
1998 lan Parker, Wendy Anderson, Kate Montgomery, Georgina Hunt, Tony Collinge
1999 Neil Weerdmeester, Peter Clossick
2000 Annie Johns, C. Morey De Morand, David Redfern, David Tebbs, James Faure Walker, Bill Watson
2001 Philippa Tunstill, Philip Crozier, Mark Dunford, Graham Mileson, Tom Scase, Wendy Smith, Kathleen Mullaniff, Peter Matthews
2002 Michael Phillipson, Anne Cloudsley, Frank Bowling, Julie Held, Mark Dickens, Anthony Daley, Lucy Jones, Tony Carter, John Holden
2004 Mark Ainsworth, Jeff Dellow, Tricia Gillman, Susan Haire, Marcelle Hanselaar, Richard Kemp, Peter Lowe, Wendy Taylor
2005 Susan Skingle
2006 Daniel Preece, Simon Read, Tommy Seaward
2007 David Chalkley, Angela Eames, Philippa Beale
2008 Amanda Loomes, Chris Poulton, Victoria Rance, Paul Tecklenberg
2009 Paul and Laura Carey, Sam Jarman, Valerie Jolly
2010 Victoria Arney, Ece Clarke, Aude Hérail Jäger, Jeff Lowe
2011 Genetic Moo, Lydia Maria Julien
2012 Charlotte C Mortensson, David Theobald, Erika Winstone
2013 Eric Fong, Vaughan Grylls, Marenka Gabeler, Susan Sluglett, David Wiseman
2014 Juliette Losq, Tisna Westerhof
2015 Tim Craven, Jeff Dellow, Cadi Froehlich, Martin Heron, Judith Jones
2017 Darren Nisbett, Claire Parrish, Almuth Tebbenhoff
2018 Stephen Carley, Sandra Crisp, Alexandra Harley, Jockel Liess, Micheál O’Connell