The Camden Town Group in Context

ISBN 978-1-84976-385-1

Author unknown, ‘The Carfax Gallery’

Westminster Gazette, 6 December 1911.

There is a group in Camden Town, Of artists brave and free. ... Thus, with a large promise of metrical possibilities, had one begun to sing of the works of art that, for the time, adorn the Carfax Gallery, when the disturbing thought arose that such treatment were, from one of the bourgeois, hardly respectful to a very serious community. We must be kind to the Anarchist in our midst, if only for the sake of encouraging home industries. And, though his maidens be mightier than many mountains, or smaller, infinitely, than the easy chairs of our northern suburb, due credit must be given to him by all right-minded and conscientious scribes, for the superior quality of the emotional significance of their proportions. Of course, they do these things better in France. Our own Mr. John does them better, when he is in the mood. Indeed, he lends his name to the group; and to his mission in this desert may quite reasonably be ascribed some of its most conspicuous revelations. He, himself, for the present, abides within the tents of the New English; but Mr. Walter Bayes is chained to the barricade, a captive. The Camden Townists will observe, more with sorrow than with anger, that he has sold his principal exhibit. When we turn to the works of Mr. Sickert a new thought arises. What is the bond of union that unites the Group? It cannot be entirely geographical, for we – perhaps wrongly – have rather associated some of the more prominent members with south-western districts. They have been seen in Chelsea, and from Chelsea to Camden Town is a far cry. These alliances are disturbing and portentous to the ant-like brain of the bourgeois; of which an inspired picture is promulgated by the painter of “Port de Mer” (35). Does Mr. H.G. Wells lurk behind this line of skirmishers, mediating lunar mysteries for the destruction of our peace of mind? However these things may be, Camden Town is in arms, and its flag flies bravely in Bury-street. Victory is near. Already we have been almost shocked!

How to cite

Author unknown, ‘The Carfax Gallery’, in Westminster Gazette, 6 December 1911, in Helena Bonett, Ysanne Holt, Jennifer Mundy (eds.), The Camden Town Group in Context, Tate Research Publication, May 2012,, accessed 19 May 2024.