Contemporary Art Society Annual Report 1951

11 August 2014
Cover for the Contemporary Art Society Accounts Report 1951
Cover for the Contemporary Art Society Accounts Report 1951

Patron: Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother

Raymond Mortimer, Chairman
Sir Colin Anderson, Hon. Treasurer
E. C. Gregory, Hon. Secretary-
Edward le Bas
Robin Ironside
Lord Methuen
Sir Philip Hendy
W. A. Evill
Eardley Knolhs
Hugo Pitman
A. E. Popham
Howard Bliss
Sir Edward Marsh
Mrs Cazalet-Kcir
Sir Kenneth Clark
Sir John Rothenstein
Lorainc Conran
Eric Newton
Denis Mathews, Assistant Secretary lion.
Mrs Gordon-Ives

Speech by the Chairman, Raymond Mortimer

Having been chosen, most surprisingly, as the new Chairman of your Society, I now have the alarming privilege of reporting progress to you at this General Meeting.

Perhaps you will complain that there has been no progress to report, for our membership has remained stationary; there are still less than 1800 of us. We can however boast, I believe, that the Society is more useful, vigorous, and
vital than this miserable figure might suggest. Since the last meeting we have presented 114 pictures to sixty-four museums.

Sixty-three of these, please notice, are in the provinces. The Director and Trustees of the Tate give us lodging and an immense amount of other help: it is other museums that chiefly profit. Most members of the Society, let me add,
five in or near London. I wish I were now speaking in Manchester, say, or Liverpool or Birmingham or Leeds. The pride of these and all the other great provincial cities might be wounded, I fancy, if they realized to what an extent
their museums have been benifitting by the charity of us Cockneys. I wish that we had on our Committee some enthusiastic collector from the Midlands or the North who could advise us how to find members up there.

It is very pleasant for us down here to feel so virtuous. But are we really so virtuous, or do some of us belong to the Society chiefly for the treats and outings it provides? These all take place in London or within reach of London. Our members who live far from London get no such fun for their money. They may be few, but they are more certainly virtuous than we are.

The treats this year have included two parties at the Tate; parties at the Redfern and the Roland, Browse and Delbanco Gallery, and at the Dutch Club. Then there were visits to the collections of Lord Radcliffe and Dr Roland; and over a hundred members came to the depths of Dorset to see the magnificent Old Masters belonging to Mr Bankes at Kingston Lacey, and the Pitt-Rivers Museum, and the collection, most belonging to Mr Knollys and Mr Sackville-West, at Long Crichel House. There was the delicious trip down the Thames to see the finer Oronsay, where we were the guests of the Orient Line in far the best-looking ship I have ever seen. (Most liners, alas, refurnish in the style of super cinemas de luxe.) We owe our thanks to our various hosts and also to Mr Denis Mathews and Mrs Gordon-Ives, who took infinite trouble to arrange these outings. Two last words. First, the cost of running the Society has inevitably risen, and it is essential to increase our membership. Will each of you somehow enlist one new member, by hook or by crook? Secondly, you will, I am sure, wish me to express the gratitude we all feel to Sir Edward Marsh for all he has done for the Society during the long years of his chairmanship. He has been incomparably lavish of his time, his money, and his enthusiasm. Though he has insisted upon resigning the chairmanship, you will be happy to know that he remains on the Committee.

 Report by the Honorary Treasurer, Sir Colin Anderson

Some, years ago we were asked why we spent less each year on pictures than we gained in income. It was so sensible a question that we decided to answer it by buying more generously each year – for, indeed- to buy is our proper duty.
Since then our annual allocation to the buyer has gone up and up, and although our membership, and so our income, has done the same, our expenditure on paintings still outstrips it . For the period since 1947 we have spent more on purchases than has come in by subscriptions and interest, and thanks to hoarded funds we can still, for some time, continue to do so. But I feel we should all know that at our present income from subscriptions and interest on investments, and with our present level of expenditure on organisation, we could in any year spend about £1300 in purchases, even without eating into capital. As I say, we have been spending a bit more than this, and next year, i n honour of the Coronation, we plan to do so again. As Honorary Treasurer, I naturally have suggestions made
to me about how our money should be spent – a subject on which it is far easier to get advice than upon how it should be amassed in the first place. One of the things I have heard bears no direct relation to our allocation for picture-buving. It is that our evening parties are not cheap enough. The answer is worth publishing. Our parties are run as
efficiently and economically as we know how, with two provisos. First, that they shall, as far as possible, avoid being
scruffy: w e all of us want them to be well-ordered. Secondly, that they shall pay for themselves and never on any account draw from our picture-buying funds. We have recently been making about 8d from each ticket we have sold for evening parties and that princely dividend goes towards buying pictures, which, after all, is the reason for our existence. But it is not the aim of the parties to make money: they are meant, rather, as a social attraction on which we arc careful not to lose i t . To those who have felt that the price of tickets is too high we will explain t h a t , as far as our evening functions at the Tate Gallery are concerned, we have to pay overtime to the staff; to pay for the printing, postage, and flowers; and to pay for the outside catering (naturally more than an internal catering charge). We also, when our evening parties are given to view exhibitions organised by the Arts Council, pay them an entrance fee to the exhibition on each ticket sold for our party. This alone may amount to £50 or more. It is a continuing mercy that the grand setting of the parties is given to us by the kindness of the Tate Trustees. Meanwhile, members can feel assured that our functions arc not expensive for what they are, and that they do not draw from our funds or our income.

Purchases by the Society in 1952


By the Committee
Lynn Chadwick. Mobile. 1951
By Mr W. A. Evill
F. E. Me William. Cain and Abel Statuette. Plastic wood


By Mr W. A. Evill
Francis Bacon. Study. 1951
Edward Burra. The Birds. Water-colour
Peter Dunbar. Landscape near the Sea
John Grome. Sicilian Widows
Anthony Gross. Three Tunny Fish
Edmond Kapp. Paris
John Piper. Yorkshire Fragments at Finghall. Gouache
Alan Reynolds. Oast Houses
William Roberts. The Goats
Kyffin Williams. Y Gam and Foelgoch

Prints and Drawings

By Mr W. A. Evill
Michael Ayrton . Cows at Avebury II. Chalk drawing
Charles Ginner. The Alhambra, Leicester Square. Pen drawing with colour washes
Peter Peri. Swift’s ”Gulliver’s Travels’. Eight coloured etchings, with aquatint, etc

Gifts and Bequests to the Society in 1952

Bequeathed by Mr Ivor Novello
John Nash. Cornfield
By Mr G. Hornblower
Sine McKinnon. Spring in Provence
From Sir Edward Marsh
Bernard Meninsky. Portrait of a Woman
From Mrs Nora Hackett
Gerard Chown. Le Puy. Water-colour
Gerard Chown. A Hillside Road. Water-colour
From Mr Philip Gibbons
Dennis James. Dudley P.H., Northumberland. Watercolour
Dennis James. Sedgehill Banks, Northumberland. Watercolour
Dennis James. Lady Victoria Pit, near Edinburgh. Watercolour

Gifts made by the Society in 1952
Tate Gallery 
Lynn Chadwick. Dragonfly. Mobile, iron CJ^
Cecil Collins. Sleeping Fool
Jacob Epstein. Kathleen. Bronze
John Nash. Cornfield
Edouard Pignon. Le Mineur
Jankel Adler. Girl with Cat
Auckland (New Zealand)
Claude Rogers. Margery Few
Therese Lessore. Woolcot, Bath
Francis Bacon. Magdalene
Sylvia Gosse. First Communion
F. E. McWilliam. Man and Wife. Concrete
George Bissell. Shelbourne
Bishop Sueter (New Zealand)
A. Dunoyer de Segonzac. Trees. Drawing
Humphrey Spender. Flower Decoration. Lithograph
Margaret Fisher Prout. Stapleford Church
P. Wilson Steer. House and Trees
Alfred Rich. Three landscapes. Water-colours
Henri Matisse. Odalisque. Lithograph
Mona Moore. On the Manod. Drawing
Pablo Picasso. The Dove. Lithograph
Stephen Bone. Arisaig, Inverness-shire
Geoffrey Rhodes. The Valley
Matthew Smith. Femme en Chemise
Walter Bayes. Clifton
Mary Fedden. Flowers
Ceramics by Duncan Grant, Vanessa Bell, and Quentin Bell
Sine McKinnon. Spring in Provence
Victor Pasmore. The Cafe
Duncan Grant. Flower Decoration
Frances MacDonald. Bala Lake. Watercolour
Ceri Richards. Arrangement for Piano
Ian Fairweather. Landscape
John Tibbie. Head of a Woman
Bernard Dunstan. Dawn
Simon Levy. Skull
Edward le Bas. Still Life with Pheasant
H. du Plessis. Churchill, Oxon
Graham Sutherland. Cornfield and Rocks. Gouache
Graham Sutherland. Tree Forms in Estuary. Gouache
Stephen Bone. Westminster
Dunedin (New Zealand)
E.Box. The Beach
John Tunnard. Sea Flower. Water-colour
Anthony Gross. Pujol. Water-colour
John Piper. Portland Bill
Adrian Daintrey. Portrait of a Young Man
Edmond Kapp. Figure Study. Drawing
Jan le Witt. Lac d” amour. Gouache
John Craxton. Girl with Scarf
Henry Moore. Goethe’s ‘Prometheus‘. Illustrated book
Beatrice Bland. Building the Rick
Charles Ginner. The Bridge. Watercolour
Hawkes Bay (New Zealand)
David Bomberg. Town of Alora. Charcoal drawing
Windham Lewis. Stooping Nude. Drawing
Bernard Meninsky. Figure in a landscape
Robin Darwin. Ice Hockey at the Empress Hall
Philip Connard. The Shipyard
Bernard Dunstan. Girl Sewing. Pastel
Victor Pasmore. Triangular Motive. Oil and collage
Maurice de Saumarez. Kate Reclining
Vanessa Bell. Roses. Lithograph
W. McKnight Kauffer. The Station Cafe. Watercolour
John Tunnard. Departure. Watercolour
Anne Estelle Rice. Giselle
Michael Ross. The Artist’s Wife
Graham Sutherland. Maize. Lithograph
T. Ward. Putney Reach. Watercolour
Roy de Maistre. Crucifixion
Pic. Lalutte Angelique
Charles McCall. Maquillage
H. Nyberg. Plaice
Manchester (Rutherston Loan Collection)
Alberto Giacometti. The Artist’s Mother. Gouache on canvas
Manchester (Whitworth)
Duncan Grant. The Hawk. Lithograph
Kenneth Wood. By the Boathouse. Watercolour
A. Gwynne Jones. Landscape. Water-colour
Alfred Rich. Glossop. Watercolour
Merthyr Tydfil
Keith Baynes. Flowers
R. Vyvian Pitchforth. Chess Players
Brian Robb. Odalesque
Albert Morocco. Low Tide
Winifred Nicholson. Primula Stellata

Newcastle upon Tyne
William Gear. Composition
R. Vyvian Pitchforth. The Elm Tree
R. Vyvian Pitchforth. The Removal
Dorothy Larcher. Iris and Rose
Mark Gertler. Nude
Leonard Greaves. The Worth Bodice
Victor Pasmore. Green Landscape with Gate
Carel Weight. ‘ As I went…’
Frank Dobson. Antelope. Drawing
Lucien Freud. Still Life with Sea Urchin. Tempera
Verge Sarratt. He d’Yeu
Barbara Hepworth. Figures on a pink ground. Drawing panel
Ben Nicholson. Zennor, 1941. Drawing
Pablo Picasso. Bull with grey horns. Lithograph
Raymond Coxon. Chrysanthemums
Ernest Dade. Yorkshire Coast. Watercolour
Muirhead Bone. Lower Thames. Drawing
Barnett Freedman. Marionette. Watercolour drawing
Wyndham Lewis. Head of a Boy. Drawing
Leonard G. Bramer. View on Burslem
Thomas Dartere. Campagna Romana. Watercolour
Bernard Meninsky. Portrait of a lady
Gilbert Spencer. Self Portrait
William Roberts. Dr Paul de Zoya
Michael Ayrton. Roman Window
Leonard Greaves. Pears
David Jones. Flowerpiece. Watercolour drawing
Henry Moore. Head. Bronze
Sylvia Gosse. Breton Woman
William Roberts. Sketch Music. Drawing
Duncan Grant. Sketch for the decoration of the Queen Mary.

Ceri Richards. St Cecilia
Graham Sutherland. Two Standing Forms. Watercolour
Jankel Adler. The Poet

Loans made by the Society in 1952

To the British Council for Venice Biennale
Graham Sutherland. Two Standing Forms. Gouache
Graham Sutherland. Thorn head. Gouache
Edouardo Paolozzi. Forms on a bow. Brass

This exhibition is to be shown i n the Musee d’Art Moderne, Paris, and has been asked for by the Stedelijk Museum,
Amsterdam, and possibly Brussels or Basle.

To the Arts Council
Jankel Adler. The Poet
Jankel Adler. Girl with Cat
Bernard Meninsky. Madonna and Child
Elliott Seabrooke. Landscape

To the Architectural Institute
A series of small groups of paintings. The artists represented were: Graham Sutherland, Duncan Grant, Kenneth Wood, Sickert, John Piper, John Craxton, Ivon Hitchens, John Tunnard, Edmond Kapp, Peter Dunbar, Anthony Gross, Francis Bacon, Andre Masson, Claud Rogers, and Dennis James.

South-West Essex Technical College
Denis Mathews. Two Roads at Night

During 1951-52
The collection of Mr Howard Bliss has been divided up into groups and loaned for six months to a number of art galleries. At the end of one period it is possible for another group of pictures to be borrowed so that people in all parts of the country may see examples of the contemporary work with which we are familiar i n London.

A list of the artists represented and the towns where they have been shown is given below:

Batley, Belfast, Birkenhead, Birmingham, Bournemouth, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, Derby, Harrogate, Hove, Hull, Leeds, Leicester, Lincoln, Manchester, Newark-on-Trent, Newcastle upon Tyne, Salford, Wakefield, and Worcester.

Norman Adams, Jankel Adler, Cecil Collins, John Craxton, Oscar Dalvit, Merlyn Evans, Terry Frost, Patrick Heron,
Ivon Hitchens, Edgar Hubert, James H u l l , Leslie Hurry, Kenneth Lawson, Louis le Brocquy, Jan le Witt , G. Mayer-Marton, Charles Murray, Pic, John Piper, Peter Potworowski, W i l l i am Scott, John Tunnard, Kenneth Wood, and Leon Zach. In 1952 three larger groups were formed, each making a self-contained exhibition. These have been lent to Aberdeen, Bradford, and York.

The Bishop Otter College, Chichester 
Paintings by John Craxton, Ivon Hitchens, and William Scott.


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