London Sketch Club


Period: 1823-1899 - The beginnings

Members of emerging Artists' Society first meet in stable yard in Grays Inn Lane

Artist's Society is formally founded.
Members comprise many 'black and white' artists of the day, including such eminent artists as Sir John Tenniel, Arthur Rackham and Charles Keene

Artist's Society acquires studio off Fitzroy Square (second studio is added in 1841)

Sketching section is formed within the Artists' Society. This section is later to form the basis for The Langham Sketching Club

Artists' Society moves to purpose-built studios at 1 Langham Place. Renames itself The Artist's Society and Langham Sketching Club (now known as The Langham)

Conversazioni and smoking parties become commonplace in London.
Founding of the club

Young turks of The Langham found The London Sketch Club on April Fool's Day. Founder members include Dudley Hardy, Phil May, Walter Churcher, Tom Browne and Cecil Aldin
The club's first president is George Haité
The club meets at The Modern Gallery, 175 Bond Street.
Inaugural exhibition at Modern Gallery
See the Early Minutes page for meetings leading up to the club's foundation.

Early characters: Phil May, John Browne, John Hassall
Associations and cross memberships: The Savage Club and others

Boer War starts

Period: 1900 - 1914

Club divided into Fairy school and Poster school.
'Say, Watchman, What of the Night?' adopted as club song. Words from Isaiah XXI,II, Composed by J Sargeant, published by Boosey & Co. in 1905.

When news of the relief of Mafeking reached the club its President George Haité led the members in columns of four to the celebrations in the streets outside the War Office

Boer War ends
The club meets at the The Continental Gallery, 157 Bond Street
Dinner held to commemorate King's coronation
The club leases Punch Bowl Club for meetings

Death of Phil May
Club moves to permanent premises in 79 Wells Street, off Oxford Street

The Poster Exhibition at The Royal Aquarium gave the poster industry a boost and reveals the work of the Beggarstaffs

Clay Thomas, baritone and the club's First Watchman, joins club.

Death of Tom Browne

London Sketch Club, Chelsea Arts Club and The Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours jointly hold the Three Arts Ball

Club moves to new premises at 246a Marylebone Road
Silhouettes of members started
Introduction of Tuesday nights
Club holds first London Sketch Club Ball

WW1 begins
Club remains open throughout the war

Club characters: Tom Browne, John Hassall

Members eminent in other fields: Robert Baden-Powell and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Famous visitors: Charlie Chaplin and GK Chesterton

Entertainers: Clay Thomas, Harry Hemsley

Period: 1915 - 1929

First World War

Collapse of the illustrated book market

Drawing sessions on Tuesday evenings started

Club characters: John Hassall, George Parlby

Entertainers: Clay Thomas, Stanley Holloway, Harry Hemsley

Period: 1930 - 1949

Club holds public exhibition in Mall Galleries

Whole club invited to visit Empress of Britain liner to view Heath Robinson's mural

Second World War
Club remains open throughout the war

Collapse of the illustrated magazine market

Bomb demolishes Langham Chambers, home of The Langham

Julian Kimble gives singing lessons at club

Edward Swann pioneers weekend drawing trips with Galleon Holidays

Artists of 30s: Sidney Strube, Harrison, Terence Cuneo Beauvais

Artists of 40s: David Langdon, Arthur Ferrier, Ley Kenyon

Club characters: George Parlby

Members eminent in other fields: Sir Arthur William Tedder

Entertainers: Clay Thomas, Stanley Holloway, Harry Hemsley

Period: 1950-1989

Club moves to new premises at 7 Dilke Street

Club suspends dinners co-hosted with the Chelsea Arts Club

'The Sketch Pad', the official organ of the London Sketch Club launched. Its first editor is Deric St Julian-Bown

Club holds last joint exhibition with The Langham
Club holds first public exhibition since 1934, again in Mall Galleries.

Member's income from painting holidays offsets lack of commissioned magazine work

Edward Swann launches Galleon World Travel

Don Blake takes over editorship of The Sketch Pad

Key personalities: John Seabrook and Don Blake in 70's, Gathorne Butler in 80s

Regular sketchers of 70s: Adrian Bury, Rudolph Benesh, Charles Skilton amongst others

Sketchers of 80s: Peter Blake, Michael Forman amongst others

Entertainers: Clay Thomas, Stanley Holloway, Leslie Sarony, Henry Oscar

Period: 1990-1999

Club holds Centenary Dinner to commemoratie the founding of the club
Exhibition of archives
Public Exhibition in Physic Garden

Hiring of part-time barman

Recruitment of younger artist members, including architects, graphic designers

Period: 2000-

Club launches its internet site

Club pioneers monthly open drawing sessions
Club reinstates dinners co-hosted with the Chelsea Arts Club
Arts and Craft's style bar installed.

The interiors of this Victorian studio were conserved and re-furbished. The main studio room was redecorated and a new, more flexible, lighting system was installed. On the ground floor a new club archive room was established, with an adjoining suite of secure archival storage for the club's historic collections.


� The London Sketch Club