Charleston in Lewes

London Group archivist David Redfern comes across a letter.

My attention was drawn to a letter dated 1922 on the Court Gallery’s website from Roger Fry, elected to the Group in 1917, to a Miss P. Preece inviting her to send in work for the Group’s Sixteenth Exhibition in the Mansard Gallery, Heals, Tottenham Court Road. The Court Gallery is run by Denys J Wilcox who wrote “The London Group 1913-1939, The Artists and their Works”, published by Scolar Press in 1995 and the absolute bible for the Group’s history up until the outbreak of the Second World War. Miss P. Preece is none other than Patricia Preece, later Lady Spencer second wife of Sir Stanley Spencer who married in 1937. Wilcox is about to publish a book on Patricia Preece and her long-standing friendship with Dorothy Hepworth who met whilst students at the Slade and forms the basis of an upcoming exhibition “Dorothy Hepworth and Patricia Preece: an untold story” at Charleston in Lewes from 27 March to 8 September 2024. Charleston in Lewes is a new cultural centre in the heart of the town. To say that this was a complicated love triangle is a huge understatement and Wilcox’s researches will shed light on this fascinating story of two important women artists. Unfortunately there is no record of Miss P. Preece having shown with The London Group in 1922.

David Redfern LG 2024