Registered charity 276264

The Chelsea Arts Club

Event date | Apr 18, 2023

Members enjoyed a private visit to The Chelsea Arts Club, and a talk about the Club by its Secretary, Geoffrey Matthews.

The Club is well known to us and some are members.  It is a private members’ club located in the former Bolton Lodge at 143 Old Church Street, with a membership of over 3,800, including artists, sculptors, architects, writers, designers, actors, musicians, photographers, and film-makers.

The Club was founded on 15th November 1890, when a General Meeting of Chelsea artists voted to bring the Club into existence, adopted the Club’s first constitution, and elected the first Club Council. Arthur Ransome has a vivid account of the proceedings in his book “Bohemia in London” (1907).  The Club was founded as a rival to the older Arts Club in Mayfair, on the instigation of the artist James Abbott McNeill Whistler, who had been a (sometimes controversial) member of the older club.

When the artists met again on Valentine’s Day 1891, to consider a motion to use 181 King’s Road as their first Club premises, their meeting was minuted as a General Meeting of the Members of Chelsea Arts Club.
The first dinner held in the King’s Road Clubhouse on 18th March, 1891, which was for many years celebrated as the birthday of the Club.

The Chelsea Arts Club has an interesting collection of paintings by its members, and serves as a host for many functions, from instrumental and choral performances to visual arts exhibitions, literary talks, and weekend artists’ lunches.



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