The Society History
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.
Society renamed as Croydon Art Society.
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.
A club was formed within the Society called the Drawing and Sketch Club whose main aim was to foster good drawing.
Membership stood at 115 members.
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.
The Society’s name changed to THE CROYDON ART SOCIETY.
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.
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.
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 .
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
Dame Laura Knight gave a critique of members’ work
50th Jubilee Exhibition held.
Exhibition held in the Central Library..
Once again the world is at war.
On the 11 October 1939 the Society suspended activities until further notice..
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.
Diamond Jubilee Exhibition held at Allders Department Store. Well known members at that time included Aubrey Sykes.
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
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
7 out of the 30 members of the Wapping Group of Artists were from The Croydon Art Society including Wilfred Fryer
The Society takes part in the Artists of Croydon Exhibition at Thomas Parson Gallery in New Bond Street, London.
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
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..
Constance Mary Cooper becomes President and plays a highly significant part in the Society over the next three decades.
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.
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.
The Society exhibits at Smiths Gallery in Covent Garden and also locally in Cheam.
The Society exhibits for the first time at Bromley Central Library and for the next 8 years.
The Society exhibits for the first time at Denbies Wine Estate, Dorking and annually there to the present time.
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.