Camden Town Group

The Camden Town Group was a group of English Post-Impressionist artists active 1911-1913. They gathered frequently at the studio of painter Walter Sickert in the Camden Town area of London.

Drummond, Malcolm; 19, Fitzroy Street (Walter Richard Sickert’s studio); Laing Art Gallery;

In 1908, critic Frank Rutter created the Allied Artists Association (AAA), a group separate from the Royal Academy artistic societies and modelled on the French Salon des Indépendants. Many of the artists who became the Camden Town Group exhibited with the AAA.

The members of the Camden Town Group included –

Walter SickertJ.B. Manson
Harold GilmanRobert Bevan
Spencer Frederick GoreAugustus John
Lucien PissarroHenry Lamb
Wyndham LewisCharles Ginner
Walter BayesJohn Doman Turner
Gilman, Harold; Mrs Mounter at the Breakfast Table; Tate;
Robert Bevan – Mare and Foal, 1917

Influences include Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin whose work can clearly be traced throughout this groups work. Their portrayal of much of London before and during World War I is historically interesting and artistically important.

In the Cinema by Malcolm Drummond is noted for its claustrophobic feeling. It is an interesting foil to the work of Sickert who painted many rowdy music hall scenes, including Gallery of the Old Mogul (also depicting the viewers of a film).

Drummond, Malcolm; In the Cinema; Ferens Art Gallery
Sickert, Walter Richard; Noctes Ambrosianae, Gallery of the Old Mogul

Sickert’s “Ennui” of 1914 is often considered the masterpiece of this group’s work, with its portrayal of boredom and apathy in the mould of Flaubert and others.

Ennui c.1914 Walter Richard Sickert 1860-1942

The group organised the exhibition of Cubist and Post-Impressionist paintings.

A major retrospective of the group’s works was held at Tate Britain in London in 2008. The show did not include eight of the members, among them Duncan Grant, J.D. Innes, Augustus John, Henry Lamb, Wyndham Lewis and J.B. Manson, who was, according to Wendy Baron, of “too little individual character”.