A history of The London Group in catalogue covers

London Group Archivist David Redfern LG  takes us on a historical tour of the ‘look’ of The London Group. 

The history of The London Group can be read from many sources, but by far the most stimulating is reading exhibition catalogues which were printed to accompany most of the Group’s exhibitions. The information contained therein is invaluable, names of participating artists, titles of works, dates, prices, dimensions but not least the catalogue covers which display the prevailing graphic taste of the time and which were quite often designed “in house” by a London Group member; in particular, current member Jane Humphrey who has designed many of the Group’s recent catalogues. Given that the Group has just refreshed its brand and logo it is timely to look back at catalogue covers from the past and to relish their, sometimes quirky, appeal.

Newsletter catalogue covers

The London Group president at the time is indicated in italics

“The First Exhibition of Works by Members of The London Group”
The Goupil Gallery, Lower Regent Street, March 1914. 
Harold Gilman

With immaculate timing the enlarged Camden Town Group, renamed The London Group, holds its first exhibition a few months before the planet’s first world war. The planet and the group survived.


“London Group Retrospective Exhibition 1914-1928”, New Burlington Galleries 
April-May 1928. 
Rupert Lee

Membership numbers were declining and so officers decided to organise a major retrospective in order to recruit more members, which proved to be successful.


“The London Group Thirty-seventh (eighth?) Exhibition”, New Burlington Galleries
2nd November to 25th November, 1939.
H. S. Williamson

It would appear that there was some confusion as to whether this was the Group’s thirty-seventh or thirty-eighth exhibition, but then again, there was a war on.


“The London Group Sixth War-time Exhibition”, The Royal Academy
12th October to 9th November, 1944. 
Elliott Seabrooke

The poor quality and A5 size of paper is testimony to the scarcity of materials at the end of the Second World War.


“London Group”, New Burlington Galleries, February to 3rd March, 1951. 
“London Group”, New Burlington Galleries, (?) to 24th November, 1951
John Dodgson

This was the year of the Festival of Britain and The London Group played its part in the celebrations by organising two massive open submission exhibitions.


“A Selection from The London Group Exhibition 1954”, Southampton Art Gallery 
12th February to 13th March, 1955. 
Claude Rogers

The Group did not only show in London. Here a selection of works from the 1954 Members’ Exhibition was toured to Southampton.


“London Group 1914-64, Jubilee Exhibition, Fifty Years of British Art”, Tate Gallery
5th July to 16th August, 1964. 
Claude Rogers

A major retrospective of the first fifty years of The London Group at the capital’s most auspicious contemporary art gallery.


“London Group ‘68”, The Royal Institute Galleries, Piccadilly 
12th to 28th November, 1968.
Andrew Forge

These capacious exhibition galleries were situated opposite the Royal Academy on Piccadilly. Sculptures of famous historic artists can still be seen on the façade of the building.


“London Group 1971, Members’ Choice Exhibition”, The Royal Academy Diploma Galleries 
18th March to 18th April, 1971. 
Dorothy Mead

The London Group’s first woman president, Dorothy Mead; sadly she died in 1975. Mead had close links with David Bomberg and the Borough Group.


“The London Group”, Camden Arts Centre 
8th February to 27th February, 1977. 
Neville Boden

The current president, Neville Boden, had links with the organisers of this well-known and respected art institution.


“London Group at the RCA”, Royal College of Art 
31st March to 15th April, 1978. 
Peter Donnelly

The well-appointed gallery at the RCA was offered for hire as a number of London Group members taught at the College and got a good deal.


“The London Group 75th Anniversary Exhibition”, Royal College of Art 
6th August to 28th August, 1988. 
Stan Smith

The Group was never one to let an anniversary go unmarked.


“The London Group Biennial 1995 Open Exhibition”, Concourse Gallery, Barbican Centre 
8th December, 1995 to 7th January, 1996. 
Philippa Beale

The selection committee of Robin Klassnik, Angela Flowers, Jenni Lomax and Louisa Buck was chaired by president Philippa Beale.


“London 2000”, Lethaby Gallery, Central Saint Martins
28th July to 15th August, 2000. 
Matthew Kolakowski

The Lethaby Gallery was situated deep within the warren of the old Southampton Way building, hired by the Group during the academic summer recess. 


“The London Group Annual Exhibition”, Bankside Gallery
8th April to 17th April, 2005. 
Peter Clossick and Philip Crozier

Seventy-one out of a total of ninety members took part in this exhibition. Total costs for hiring the Bankside Gallery and other expenses came to £7,533.72. The Group recently showed here again in November 2022.


“The London Group Annual Exhibition 2010”, The Cello Factory, Waterloo
1st June to 11th June, 2010. 
Susan Haire

This was the first annual exhibition at The Cello Factory, for many years thereafter the Group’s happy home.


“The London Group Centenary Open 2013”, The Cello Factory, Part One
14th to 24th May, Part Two 28th May to 7th June, 2013. 
Susan Haire

One hundred years since the Group’s formation in November 1913 a major celebration is held at The Cello Factory, so big it had to be shown in two parts.


“From David Bomberg to Paula Rego”, Southampton City Art Gallery
28th June to 1st November, 2014. 
Susan Haire

The London Group returned to Southampton in an ambitious exhibition showing past London Group members’ work from the gallery’s permanent collection alongside current members. Bomberg and Rego were both members of The London Group.

David Redfern LG, 2022


The historical London Group catalogues display celebrating the Group’s extraordinary 109-year history, curated by David Redfern LG as part of our 2022 Annual Exhibition at Bankside.