1905—Organized by Vanessa Bell after an inspiring trip to Paris, “The Friday Club” created a space favorable to London painters. Comprised of students from the Royal Academy and the Slade School of Fine Arts, early members included Clare Atwood, Mary Creighton, Edna Clarke-Hall, J.D. Innes, Sylvia Milman, Henry Lamb, Derwent Lees, and Margery Snowdon. Informal, weekly meetings were held in Vanessa’s Gordon Square home, occasionally meeting at Henry Lamb’s studio on Cheyne Walk. The group even hosted an annual Friday Club Dance—a common feature among artists’ groups of Paris and London—in the botanical gardens of Regent’s Park.
The club’s first exhibition was in November 1905, most-likely held at Lamb’s Cheyne Walk studio. Exhibitions were held almost yearly, in small art galleries such as Clifford’s Inn Hall in 1907, the Baillie Gallery in 1908, and the Alpine Club Gallery from 1910 to 1918. However by 1913, Vanessa Bell, Frederick Etchells, Duncan Grant, and Roger Fry stopped exhibiting with the club. The four then formed “The Grafton Group” alongside Wyndham Lewis. At the same time, club discussion and meetings ceased and Essil Elmslie, later to be Mrs. Charles Rutherston, replaced Vanessa Bell as secretary.
The last exhibition was held in May 1922 at the Goupil Gallery.
Posted by: Kimmy Hale
Shone, Richard. “The Friday Club.” Burlington Magazine. Vol. 117, No. 866. Special Issue Devoted to Twentieth-Century Art. May, 1975. pg. 278-284. Print.
Atwood, Claire. The Rehearsal, Drury Lane. 1917.
Grant, Duncan. The Lemon Gatherers. 1910.