The Camden Town Group in Context

ISBN 978-1-84976-385-1

Harold Gilman Letter to Lucien Pissarro c.May 1911

In Charles Ginner’s reminiscences of the Camden Town Group, he wrote:
Harold Gilman was the prime mover in the formation of the Camden Town Group. It had come to pass that the New English Art Club had been rejecting his works as also the works of painters he most admired. Something had to be done, and when possessed with the idea that some wrong needed redressing he was not one to let the matter rest until something had been done.
In this letter to Lucien Pissarro, Gilman offers to help the artist with any arrangements for the upcoming Camden Town Group show. The group’s first exhibition was held in the basement of Arthur Clifton’s Carfax Gallery in June 1911. The group comprised of sixteen members and this letter shows that even before the first exhibition they were keen to find a larger gallery space for the next show, as there was only enough space at the Carfax to display four works each. However, the group continued to exhibit at the Carfax Gallery for the next two exhibitions before becoming the larger London Group.
Charles Ginner, ‘The Camden Town Group’, Studio, November 1945, pp.129–36.

Helena Bonett
August 2011

Transcript

[Handwritten:]
19 Fitzroy Street
W.C
Dear Pissarro
You will have heard from Manson our most noble & honourable secretary that the Camden Town Group opens at Carfax on 14th (private view) of June. The sending in days are the Friday & Saturday before that. There will be room for about four pictures each but it depends on the sizes. Clifton thinks it a good plan for us to let him have a few others [end of p.1] not to be hung but brought out to be shewn. If you are not back in time if you will let me know what pictures you want sent I will see that all is done. Sickert is coming back to Fitzroy Street you will be glad to hear. Gore is to be president of the new society. This will be a good way of avoiding meetings – at any rate for the present – to settle small details such [end of p.2] as how is to hang the pictures. Two or three men will be quite enough. It is important to find a bigger gallery for the autumn now because we shall all be away till too late probably & all the galleries will be engaged.
Just tell me anything you want done about your pictures.
    Yrs sincerely
     Harold Gilman

How to cite

Harold Gilman, Letter to Lucien Pissarro, c.May 1911, 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/harold-gilman-letter-to-lucien-pissarro-r1104617, accessed 24 May 2019.