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Chelsea Art Society – a bit of History

Chelsea Art Society – a bit of History

Founded in 1910, The Chelsea Art Society is the oldest and sole survivor of the many art groups that blossomed in the area around that period. Rossetti and Turner began the trend to settle in Chelsea in the mid 19th Century, followed by Whistler, Sickert, Augustus John and John Singer Sargent. Amongst the group was Sir James Dromgole Linton, a frequent exhibitor at the Royal Academy and an Honorary member of the Scottish Water Colour Society. He chose Chelsea as the place to found an art group to exhibit annually. 

The Chelsea Art Society flourished,  survived two World Wars, and was revived in 1946 by Alfred Egerton Cooper RBA.

Its current President is Alice Hall. There are currently around 112 Members and artists are invited to join the Society through having shown exceptional work at the exhibition over a three year period. The majority of exhibitors tend to be residents of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea but are free to apply from all over the UK.

Traditionally, the Mayors of Chelsea have always been patrons of the Society. Other past patrons have included Lord Olivier, Joyce Grenfell, Lord Thornycroft and Lord Rawlinson of Ewell QC. Present patrons include The Earl Cadogan DL. Over time, we have had many distinguished honorary members, including Ken Howard OBE RA RWS NEAC who died in September 2022. Past President, Trevor Chamberlain ROI RSMA, is now an Honorary Member.

  • Earl Cadogan, DL

  • The Worshipful, the Mayor of RBKC

  • Alice Hall ROI

Honorary Members
  • Trevor Chamberlain ROI RSMA

  • Serena Barrow

  • Heather Wills-Sandford

How is the Chelsea Art Society run?

The Society is a financially sound, non-profit making group with no residential qualifications for Members or exhibitors. It is governed by a Council comprised of Members with an Honorary President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. The President is usually someone of high artistic achievement.