The Camden Town Group in Context

ISBN 978-1-84976-385-1

Social class and social type

Harold Gilman 'Mrs Mounter at the Breakfast Table' exhibited 1917
Harold Gilman
Mrs Mounter at the Breakfast Table exhibited 1917
Tate N05317
For the American author Henry James, London was ‘the biggest aggregation of human life, the most complete compendium of the world’. The largest city in Europe and the heart of the largest empire ever known, London had become in the early years of the century a conglomeration of races, cultures and lifestyles in which the conventional markers of social identity lost legibility among the growing urban population.
Faced by these changes, many artists and writers became interested in observing social groups and new ‘types’, identifiable through occupation, dress, gesture and environment.
Essays in this section explore matters of class, character and identity in Camden Town Group paintings.

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How to cite

‘Social class and social type’, in Helena Bonett, Ysanne Holt, Jennifer Mundy (eds.), The Camden Town Group in Context, Tate Research Publication, May 2012,, accessed 22 February 2024.