The Camden Town Group in Context

ISBN 978-1-84976-385-1

Charles Polowetski, Bernard Gussow, James Bolivar Manson and Samuel Halpert in a Studio on Rue Belloni, Paris 7 June 1903

Charles Polowetski, Bernard Gussow, James Bolivar Manson and Samuel Halpert in a Studio on Rue Belloni, Paris 7 June 1903
Charles Polowetski, Bernard Gussow, James Bolivar Manson and Samuel Halpert in a Studio on Rue Belloni, Paris 7 June 1903
Photograph, black and white, on paper, taken by Charles Ezekiel Polowetski (born 1884)
Inscribed in an unknown hand 'Halpert did a Beardsley portrait of [?"him" or "me"]', 'In Jacob Epstein's Studio | rue Belloni, Paris', 'Charles | Polowetski', 'June 7 1903', 'Bernard | Gussow', 'J B Manson', 'Samuel Halpert' and annotations for printing in pencil on back
Tate Archive TGA 792/17
In 1903 James Bolivar Manson resigned from his position as a bank clerk and travelled to Paris with his new wife, the musician Lilian Laugher. There they rented a room for £1 a month in the Latin Quarter and Manson trained at the Académie Julian. He became friends with other émigré artists, sharing a studio with the Russian painters Charles Polowetski (born 1884) and Bernard Gussow (1881–1957) and the American sculptor Jacob Epstein (1880–1959).
Gussow and Epstein had first rented a studio on the rue Belloni (now rue d’Arsonval), Montparnasse in 1902. According to David Buckman’s account, Manson shared this studio in 1903 with Epstein, Gussow and Polowetski, each artist using one corner of the room. In this picture Polowetski stands behind Gussow and uses a remote shutter release to take the photograph; Manson, in the centre of the image, is comically draped with a white rag. On the right of the photograph is another Russian artist, Samuel Halpert (1884–1930), who painted a portrait of Manson around the time this photograph was taken (now in the National Portrait Gallery, London). Epstein is not in the photograph but may be represented by what appears to be a sculptor’s visor hanging on the wall behind. For more on Epstein and Manson, see TGA 806/1/300, TGA 806/1/301, TGA 806/1/302, TGA 806/1/303 and TGA 806/1/304.
David Buckman, James Bolivar Manson: An English Impressionist, 1879–1945, London 1973.

Helena Bonett
July 2011

How to cite

Charles Polowetski, Bernard Gussow, James Bolivar Manson and Samuel Halpert in a Studio on Rue Belloni, Paris, 7 June 1903, in Helena Bonett, Ysanne Holt, Jennifer Mundy (eds.), The Camden Town Group in Context, Tate Research Publication, May 2012, https://www.tate.org.uk/art/research-publications/camden-town-group/charles-polowetski-bernard-gussow-james-bolivar-manson-and-samuel-halpert-in-a-studio-on-r1104600, accessed 23 January 2022.