Contemporary Art Society
Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother
Whitney Straight CBE MC DFC (Chairman)
Anthony Lousada (Vice Chairman)
Peter Meyer (Honorary Treasurer)
G. L. Conran (Honorary Secretary)
Sir Colin Anderson
Raymond Mortimer, CBE
Sir John Rothenstein, CBE
Mrs Oliver Parker
Dr Alistair Hunter
Bryan Robertson, OBE
The Hon Michael Astor
Mrs Elizabeth Heygate
Pauline Vogelpoel, MBE (Organising Secretary)
Chairman’s Report 1963
My Report deals with the Society’s activities for the year 1962 and also with 1963 up to the present date. It has been a period of great activity.
Our two buyers for 1962 were Lord Croft and Alan Bowness. They bought over 40 works, and from our funds we were able to allot them £2000 each. I am sure that members would be interested to know that as soon as the pictures that we have bought reach our offices, they are in many cases almost immediately sent out on loan to colleges, exhibitions and other places, pending their eventual allocation in the normal way. We have been very much impressed this last year by the growing interest and demand for these works. In many cases we receive a contribution from those to whom we loan these pictures, and this helps our funds.
On March 17th, 1962, members visited Lady Aberconway’s magnificent collection in North Audley Street and we are most grateful to her for allowing so many of us the privilege. On 7th July, members spent a very enjoyable day in the country. In the late morning. Lord Faringdon very kindly took us around his house, Buscot Park, in Berkshire. Afterwards some were invited to visit Mr Peter Stucley at the Old Parsonage nearby, and others saw William Morris’s house at Kelmscot. In the afternoon The Hon Mr and Mrs Michael Astor entertained large numbers of guests to a delicious tea at Bruern Abbey and here again members were able to see a fine collection of pictures and the house and gardens.
Another most interesting collection seen on November 7th was that of our Treasurer, Mr Peter Meyer, and his wife in Alexander Square. Here again members very much enjoyed seeing these pictures, the house, and meeting their hosts. To all these hosts for their generosity many, many thanks.
We held two successful evening parties during 1962. One for the Francis Bacon exhibition and the other for the Arts Council’s Kokoschka exhibition. Well over 700 people attended each party. We are delighted that members supported these occasions so loyally because in doing so, not only do they enjoy themselves, but they help to swell our picture-buying coffers. In October, the Organising Secretary took thirty fortunate members on a memorable three-week trip to Mexico. Whilst there, the group were well looked after by officials of the Bellas Artes Museum as well as by the Director General of Tourism and the British Council’s representatives. This trip proved as successful as the American trip and though more ambitious and expensive we are happy to say that it was not run at a loss.
1963 has so far been extremely active. Our buyers this year are Mrs Heygate and Mr James Melvin. Once again we have been able to allocate them £2,000 each. By far the most important event in our recent history has been the organisation of a simultaneous exhibition ‘British Painting in the 60’s’ at the Tate and Whitechapel Galleries. We held an evening preview party at the Tate Gallery, and were most honoured that our Patron, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, was able to join us on this occasion. Over 1,000 people attended and it was the most successful evening party that we have ever given. We were honoured at the Whitechapel Gallery by an informal visit by Her Royal Highness Princess Margaret and the Earl of Snowdon.
We are extremely indebted to John Sainsbury, Alan Bowness, Lord Croft and Bryan Robertson for acting as a sub-committee and for choosing those painters who, it was felt, should be asked to contribute. A total of 18,000 people visited the exhibition at the Tate and over 20,000 at the Whitechapel. We sold over 9,000 of what we hope you will agree was an extremely attractive catalogue.
A selection from the exhibition is now in Manchester and will later go to Glasgow and Hull. After this, due to the kindness of the British Petroleum Company, it will visit Zurich during the British Trade Fortnight. This is the first time that a CAS exhibition has been taken abroad. We are extremely grateful to British Petroleum for their imaginative and generous sponsorship which made this possible.
We have purchased £3,000 worth of pictures from the Exhibition and are providing grants to a total of £1,000 to assist member Galleries. Quite recently we held a successful evening party to view the Ivon Hitchens Retrospective Exhibition. Over 650 people attended.
Dr Widdup, who died recently, but was for many years a member of the CAS, left us his entire collection of over 300 pictures, also his private house – subject to certain conditions. This collection, which is a most impressive one, includes fine examples of the works of many of the most important British painters. In March we held the first of our architectural visits when we saw the Yorke, Rosenberg and Mardall’s new building in Fetter Lane. Mr Rosenberg kindly arranged for his own pictures to be on view. We are grateful to the partners of this firm for having devoted a Saturday morning to show us around their new building. After lunch at the Forum Restaurant, which was opened especially for us, we saw the Golden Lane housing estate, and are grateful to Messrs Chamberlin, Powell and Bon for having arranged with the Corporation of London for us to visit this interesting development.
I am glad to say that despite the increase in fees, the membership of the Society has steadily increased – but not at anything like the rate I would have hoped. I do ask you, therefore, to assist us in any way you can to obtain even greater support for cur work. We are most grateful to the Trustees of the Tate Gallery and to Sir John Rothenstein for their kind and continual hospitality, also, of course, to the Trustees of the Whitechapel Gallery and to Mr Bryan Robertson for providing our exhibition with such a splendid setting.
I close in paying the warmest tribute to Miss Pauline Vogelpoel and her assistant, Miss Ballantyne, for their work during the course of the year. Miss Vogelpoel has worked tirelessly to promote the interests of the Society, and I trust that you will agree with me that her efforts have met with a very considerable measure of success.
Buyer: Lord Croft
Eileen Agar, Partners
Karel Appel, Tetes over de Landscape (gouache)
Gillian Ayres, Tachiste (print)
Gillian Ayres, Circles on Dark Blue Ground
Prunella Clough, Two monotypes
Corneille, El Puerto, 1961
William Crozier, Fallen Man, 1962
Lawrence Dawes, Conjunction of Planets (gouache)
Derek Hirst, Shangri-la 3
Peter Lanyon, Dark Beach (gouache)
Bengt Lindstrom, Personage fulminant (gouache)
M. Millares Blanco, Rojo y Negro, 1961 (gouache)
John Piper, White Church, Suffolk (lithograph)
John Plumb, Derwent
Alan Reynolds, Moth Barn (lithograph)
Ceri Richards, Le Poisson d’or (lithograph)
Keith Vaughan, Standing figure
John Wells, Rock Forms, 1961
Brett Whiteley, Untitled painting, 1962
Buyer: Alan Bowness
Bernard Cohen, Shepherds, 1961
Harold Cohen, Alcide, 1962
Patrick Hayman, Cornish Coast, 1959 (watercolour)
Josef Herman, Three miners (charcoal drawing)
John Hoyland, Number 22
Allen Jones, The Third Big Bus
Kalinowski, Enclume des Caracteres (collage)
Leon Kossoff, Building site near St Pauls (drawing)
Lucebert, Mad People
Kenneth Martin, Linear Construction (Brass and wood)
Edward Middleditch, Near Monte Jaque (drawing)
Otto Piene, Red Smoke Drawing
William Scott, Still life, 1956 (gouache)
Ian Stephenson, Burnt Penumbra
Austin Wright, Scoop (sculpture)
Purchased jointly by both buyers
Roger Hifton. March 1961
Gifts to the Contemporary Art Society
Prunella Clough Set of 4 Monotypes presented by Lord Croft.
To download the full Contemporary Art Society Report 1962-63 as a pdf click here