Contemporary Art Society Annual Report 1970 – 1971

14 January 2012
Cover for the Contemporary Art Society Accounts Report 1970-71
Cover for the Contemporary Art Society Accounts Report 1970-71

Tate Gallery, Millbank, London SW1

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother

Executive Committee
Whitney Straight CBE MC DFC Chairman
Anthony Lousada Vice Chairman
Peter Meyer Honorary Treasurer
The Hon J . D. Sainsbury Honorary Secretary
G. L Conran (until June 1970)
Dr Kenneth Marsh (until June 1970)
Norman Reid
David Thompson
Nancy Balfour
Joanna Drew
Bryan Robertson
Alistair McAlpine
Alexander Dunbar
Carol Hogben
Alan Bowness
Lord Croft

Pauline Vogelpoel MBE Organising Secretary

List of Purchases for the Year 1970

Buyer: Joanna Drew

Cragie Aitchison, Nude Model, 1971
Winston Branch, La Juju vient en viile en fravelo
Peter de Francia, Two Drawings
Peter Kinley, Reclining Nude, 1957 (oil)
Peter Lanyon, Nude, 1954 (gouache)
Martin Lubner, The Rowers (oil)
John Walker, Drawing, 1967 (acrylic and chalk on paper)

Buyer: John Sainsbury
Michael Ginsborg, Pinkert (Acrylic on canvas)
David Hockney, Six Stories from Brothers Grimm, 1969 (Book and six signed etchings)
John Hubbard, Untitled Landscape, 1969/70 (oil)
Bill Jacklin, The Harvest, 1970 (pen on paper)
Bill Jacklin, Gleaners Three, 1969 (pen on paper)
Mark Lancaster, William Wilkins (oil)
Peter Logan, Square Dance (mechanical sculpture)

Gifts to the Society
Presented by Mr and Mrs Hans Juda, group of paintings by David Oxtoby, Geoffrey Beasley, Anthony Carter, Michael Ginsborg, Robert Corcoran, Ray Walker, Philip Morris, Mario Dubsky and Peter Startup

Loans made by the Society to Exhibitions
Small exhibition of painting and sculpture to Farnham Art School.
Exhibition of recent acquisitions to Brighton Art Gailery for Brighton Festival.
Group of recent acquisitions to Highbury Technical College, Portsmouth.
Two works by Barry Flanagan to exhibition “Some Recent Art”, Leeds Festival.

Loans to Colleges and Universities
London University: Department of Extra Mural Studies
London University: Senate House
London University: Queen Mary College Department of Economics
London University: Royal Free Hospital Medical School

Chairman’s Report 21 June 1971
My Chairmanship comes to an end today but I am happy and confident to be able to hand over to Peter Meyer, our able Honorary Treasurer, who has served on the Committee for over fifteen years. Mr. Meyer has a deeply rooted interest in contemporary art and in the aims of our Society.

Our Vice-Chairman, Anthony Lousada, to whom we are deeply indebted for his many years of service on the Committee and for his valuable advice and guidance is also due for retirement today. Mr, Lousade will be succeeded by the Hon. John Sainsbury. We are pleased to welcome Miss Nancy Balfour as our new Honorary Treasurer and Lord Croft as our new Honorary Secretary.

The buyers for 1970 were Joanna Drew and John Sainsbury. Between them they spent £4,485 on fifteen works.

During the year we co-opted two new members to the Committee who come up for formal adoption today. They are Carol Hogben and Alexander Dunbar both valuable additions to the Committee with their wide knowledge of the problems with which we are concerned.

My report covers our activities from June last year until today, I am pleased to say that our events have been as varied and plentiful as usual despite the rising costs and competition from so many other Societies.

On July 2nd twelve Cork Street Galleries very kindly opened their doors to our members between 6 and 8 p.m. to enable them to see their present exhibitions –  our grateful thanks to all these galleries for their charming hospitality – it was generally agreed that this was an attractive idea and members hoped that such an occasion would be organised again, On July 11th and 12th we had a most enjoyable visit to Sussex. An exhibition of our recent acquisitions was on view at the Brighton Art Gailery for the Brighton Festival and after a private viewing our members were entertained to tea in the Paviliion by the Mayor of Brighton. On Sunday they visited Alan Ross’s delightful collection near Hurstpierpoint and later on in the day the party was fortunate to meet Duncan Grant at his remote farmhouse at Firle.

On September 25th members had a party at the Hayward Gallery for the International Survey of Kinetic Art and on the 29th they joined in on an interesting visit to the Annely Juda and Curwen Galleries and Birgit Sjiold’s and Adrian Heath’s studios in the Charlotte Street area. Again we are grateful to our four hosts for making us so welcome.

Our foreign travel last year was limited to a short trip to Portugal and Spain in October. The large party of members who joined this journey agreed that it was one of the most successful ever organised by the Society. Amongst special visits organised for the party were those to the Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon; a tapestry factory at Portallegre where the party were entertained to a magnificent luncheon and shown around the old convent where tapestries designed by well known international artists are woven ; a party at the Visconde de Botelho’s palace in Lisbon and an overnight visit to Cuenca near Madrid where the Museum of Spanish Abstract Art and artists studios are located in 13th Century cliff hanging houses. In Madrid our Ambassador, Sir John Russell, generously entertained the party at the Embassy providing an interesting and valuable opportunity for the party to meet leading personalities in the Spanish art world.

On November 14th Lord and Lady Beaumont of Whitley agreed to allow members to see their interesting collection in Hampstead and although it was a particularly wet day several members of the Friends of the Laing Art Gailery in Newcastle, on a visit to London, braved the journey to the Beaumonts and to the current exhibition at Hampstead Art Centre. We were very pleased to be able to arrange this visit for them particularly as they were such good hosts to us when we spent a weekend in the Newcastle area.

Later in November we organised yet another successful and well supported visit to Manchester to see the Northern Young Contemporaries Exhibition at the Whitworth Art Gallery. We are always so handsomely welcomed here and I would like to express our thanks to the Director and staff of the gallery for the delightful evening party they gave for us, grateful thanks also to Loraine Conran the Director of the City Art Gallery who gave us a most enjoyable sherry party in the gallery on Sunday morning. This provided a wonderful opportunity for members to see the fine collection there which of course included some really first class works presented by the Society over many years. We are also particularly grateful to the Duke of Devonshire for agreeing to the Society’s visit to Chatsworth at a time
of the year when the house is shut to visitors, and last but not least our thanks are again due to Mr. and Mrs. Lockett who once again entertained members to tea at their delightful home where the English water-colour collection is so beautifully housed in a converted barn.

In December members visited three sculptors in their studios near Southwark Cathedral. To Bob Clatworthy, Ken Draper and Michael Fellowes many thanks for allowing the members this enjoyable introduction to their work.

In April we organised again on request from members who had done so before, a repeat visit to St. Ives and area and we had a record attendance of over forty members on this occasion. Again Dame Barbara Hepworth received members so generously with a drinks party in her converted cinema studio and the opening of her wonderful sculpture garden. The Penwith Society gave us a splendid evening party to acquaint many with the work of members of the Society whose studios we were to visit in St. Ives the next morning. The party also visited Newlyn to see studios and the Newlyn Society’s Exhibition. Patrick and Delia Heron once again opened their doors to the party at Zennor and generously provided welcome refreshments, as did the Marjorie Parr Gallery on the Sunday morning after a rather damp but indomitable walk around St. Ives. Last week many members took advantage of the opportunity to visit two most interesting private collections in Beigravia—those of Nancy Balfour and Max Gordon and on Saturday last we had our mammoth excursion to Sussex to visit Ivon Hitchens, Paul Maze, Kit Barker and Graffham Weavers. I am told that despite the desperately narrow Sussex lanes leading to these fascinating destinations the bus and many members in their own cars managed somehow to get from point to point and thoroughly enjoyed a most interesting outing.

We hope you will all try and make a special effort to come and see our Recent Acquisitions Exhibition which we intend holding at the Royal College of Art in October. In this exhibition will be twelve pictures recently presented to us by Alistair McAlpine for which we are indeed most grateful. We must also thank our good friend and supporter Hans Juda for his splendid gift of pictures which were indeed most welcome.

Despite all these good things and the generosity of many friends we still face the difficulties imposed by rising costs. This has meant that we have had with much reluctance to raise the subscription paid to us by Member Galleries. However, we feel sure that they will receive good value for their money. I must once again ask all members to help us by bringing in their friends and by helping in any way they can to increase our membership and our resources.

Finally our grateful and warmest thanks to Pauline Vogelpoel and her assistant for, as always, doing such a splendid and dedicated job.

Hon. Treasurer’s Report 21 June 1971
In 1970 we budgeted to break even on the year and virtually achieved this. Our expenses rose by only a modest amount to £3,792 and we were able to increase our allocation to Buyers to £2,250 each.

Our income of £8,243 included for the first time subscriptions of more than £7.000, largely because we began to see the benefit of the covenants from Dealers’ Galleries referred to by the Chairman last year. Not however the whole benefit, because there are still further refunds to come. During the year, in fact, we obtained refunds covering years as far back as 1966, because our Members are so reluctant to fill in the forms which we send them. May I once again therefore make an appeal to members to return these forms to us as soon as possible.

Other income was much the same as in 1969 except for the proceeds of parties, as I forecast last year. The increased cost of tickets has inevitably made them less popular, in spite of our leaving the profit margin at the barest possible minimum, and it is difficult to see a solution to this problem. I am sure all members will share the great regret of the Committee at the retirement of our Chairman. For the last ten years Whitney has guided the Society’s affairs with a firm sure hand, and has presided at our Committee Meetings with never failing charm and efficiency. We could not have wished for a better Chairman and stepping into his shoes is a daunting prospect.

We shall also miss Antony as our Vice-Chairman. We are particularly grateful to him forgiving us so much of his time, especially when he was Chairman of the Tate, and also for being our Legal Advisor. We are delighted to know that he will continue to act in that capacity.

I therefore have much pleasure in proposing a formal vote of thanks to the Chairman and Vice-Chairman for all they have done for this Society in the last ten years, and I call upon Mr. Sainsbury to second the motion.

The motion was seconded by the Hon. John Sainsbury and was carried unanimously with acclamation.

To download the complete Contemporary Art Society Annual Report 1970/71 as a pdf click here


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