The Camden Town Group in Context

ISBN 978-1-84976-385-1

James Bolivar Manson Letter to Lucien Pissarro 17 May 1911

James Bolivar Manson and Lucien Pissarro met in 1910 when Manson was preparing an article about the impressionist painter. The two became close friends and allies over the coming years and through the elder artist Manson became a member of the Fitzroy Street and Camden Town groups.
This letter shows how much help and encouragement Manson gave Pissarro in securing sales and exhibitions. It also demonstrates the usefulness of the shared studio at 19 Fitzroy Street, where the artists involved could display their work to potential customers and so did not have to pay commission to an intermediary, such as a private gallery. The petroleum chemist Sir Boverton Redwood (1846–1919) is given as one likely customer. Manson also mentions a possible exhibition opportunity at the Carfax Gallery, run by Arthur Clifton. Pissarro held his first solo exhibition there in May 1913.

Helena Bonett
August 2011


34. Hampstead Way.
Golder’s Green
17. May 1911.
Dear Pissarro,
 Many thanks for sending me the prospectuses.
 So far I have only had three replies to the letters I have written.
 Sir Boverton Redwood says that his people would rather have one of your sketches than the book (his daughter saw one or two of yr. chalk drawings) – & that they hoped to go to Fitzroy Street soon to get one. [end of p.1]
 If you have sent them all to the N.E.A.C. I will write to tell them so; if not you might bring some up to Fitzroy St on Saturday.
 I suppose that if you sell them at Fitzroy St you don’t have to pay commission, do you?
 I spoke to Clifton on Monday about your having a show at the Carfax. He said that there would be no difficulty about that & that he would like to discuss it later on. [end of p.2]
 I am willing to do any business arrangements in that or anything else. With kindest regards to you all. Yrs sincerely
    J.B. Manson
P.S. Another lady says that she knows yr. work well & likes it very much. She & her husband are coming to Fitzroy St soon.

How to cite

James Bolivar Manson, Letter to Lucien Pissarro, 17 May 1911, in Helena Bonett, Ysanne Holt, Jennifer Mundy (eds.), The Camden Town Group in Context, Tate Research Publication, May 2012,, accessed 13 April 2024.