The Society History

1878

A group of artists met in Bromsgrove House in Croydon.  They called themselves The Watteau Society , no doubt in honour of the great French artist, Antoine Watteau.

 1881

Society renamed as Croydon Art Society.

 

 1890

Society moves into a room of The Croydon Camera Club at 56 George Street, Croydon.

Irving Montague, post Crimean War artist was elected as the first President.

Exhibitions, called Soirees,held in various locations in Croydon including the Small Public Hall..     Photography,crafts and needlework were allowed in the exhibitions.

 1895

A club was formed within the Society called the Drawing and Sketch Club whose main aim was to foster good drawing.

 1896

Membership stood at 115 members.

 1903

Exhibition held at the Art Galleries in Park Lane, Croydon.     It was the custom in those early days to invite well known artists to exhibit their work.    Invited were:John Singer Sargent, and Sir Alfred East.

 1904

The Society’s name changed to THE CROYDON ART SOCIETY.

 1907

Exhibition held at the Gallery, 16 Park Lane, Croydon.     Invited artists included: Frank Dicksee and William Holman Hunt.     Among the members exhibiting their work were: Walter Wallis , William Watkins, Terrick Williams and John Gray.

1911

Cicely Mary Barker joins the Society at the age of 16.     Already an established artist she was made a Life Member, the youngest person ever to receive this honour.

1914

Exhibition staged at the Art College, Park Lane, Croydon.     340 works on display including that of two Vice-Presidents, Alfred Parsons, RAand Arthur Hacker, RA..     Another member whose work was shown was William Tatton Winter, RBA .

1914        

WAR    Little paperwork exists for this period.    It is known many members who were active in the Society prior to hostilities were still in the group after the war ended.

1920s to 1930s

I928

Dame Laura Knight gave a critique of members’ work

1932

50th Jubilee Exhibition held.

1936

Exhibition held in the Central Library..

1939

Once again the world is at war.

On the 11 October 1939 the Society suspended activities until further notice..

1946

Society resumes again on 2 April 1946 with 37 members.    Prior to the war the membership stood at 80.    First exhibition after the war  was held in Allders. Department Store in Croydon.     This attracted over 3000 visitors.

Hesketh Hubbard elected President.

 1949

Diamond Jubilee Exhibition held at Allders Department Store.     Well known members at that time included Aubrey Sykes.

1950s

Membership stood at 149    Attendance at exhibitions 3000 - 4000.

More Croydon artists with works in the RI exhibition than any other town in the country.

Members of the Society are exhibiting their work in:

The Royal Academy

The Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours

The Royal Institute of  Oil Painters

The Royal Portrait Society

The Royal Society of Marine Artists

The Society of Women Artists

The Pastel Society

The Society of Graphic Art

The Wapping Group

 

Members from that time included:  James Edwin CooperJack Merriott,and Juliet Pannett.

1952

At the annual exhibition of the Wapping Group of Artists, 38 out of the 126 works on display were by members  of The Croydon Art Society

1953

7 out of the 30 members of the Wapping Group of Artists were from The Croydon Art Society including Wilfred Fryer

1955

The Society takes part in the Artists of Croydon Exhibition at Thomas Parson Gallery in New Bond Street, London.

1959

Due to reorganisation within Allders Department Store last exhibition held at this venue.

70th Annual Exhibition held at Trinity School in North End followed by annual exhibitions until the early 1960s at the Education Offices in 38 High Street., Croydon.

1960s and 1970s

Members of the Society at that time included: William Eyre, Godwyn Bennett, Harold Tambyn Watts and Richard Tearoe.

Society Annual Exhibitions held since 1968 in the Arnhem Gallery of the Fairfield Halls.   Exhibitions have been held annually in Fairfield.  Since 1999 have been staged in the Sun Lounge..

1971

Constance Mary Cooper becomes President and plays a highly significant part in the Society over the next three decades.

1977

Every member of the Society donates a painting to be auctioned on behalf of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Appeal.    £1260 was raised for the appeal.

1983

Ten members paint and present to the Borough one picture each to mark the Borough’s Centenary.   Two members work purchased by the Borough and reproduced to give copies to visiting dignatories.

1985 and 1986

The Society exhibits for the first time in London at the Guildhall Galleries.

1987

The Society exhibits at Smiths Gallery in Covent Garden and also locally in Cheam.

1990s

Important artists at this time included:  Claude MurrillsJoan Kinder,Reginald H Hill and Richard Walker.  Exhibitions held in Whitgift School Gallery, 1996 - 2000

2001

The Society exhibits for the first time at Bromley Central Library and for the next 8 years.

2002

The Society exhibits for the first time at Denbies Wine Estate, Dorking and annually there to the present time.

2009

The Society exhibits for the first time at Chequer Mead Community Arts Centre in East Grinstead.

2010, 2011 and  2012

The Society holds Exhibitions in the Museum of Croydon Clocktower Galleries.    Private Views held and the first Exhibition opened by the Mayor, Councillor Avril Slipper.