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Scrapbook of St. John's Wood Art Schools.
London, 1932-1939.
Physical Description:
1 v. : ill. ; 28 x 37 cm.
Rare Books and Manuscripts
Folio A 2010 65
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Archives & Manuscripts
St. John's Wood Art Schools occupied three early Victorian houses at 29 Elm Tree Road, in London, just west of Marylebone Cricket Club and Regent's Park. It was established in 1878, and had, as noted in its prospectus for 1933-1935, "flourished as an institution independent of subsidy, and free from outside jurisdiction." By the 1930s, it was well respected, and enjoyed the patronage of the likes of Sir William Llewellyn, R. Anning Bell, Sir George Clausen, Sir John Lavery, A.J. Munnings, and George Spencer Watson. In 1933, Frederick Dudley Walenn was replaced as principal of the school by Patrick Ferguson Millard and Ernest Perry, who ushered in a greater emphasis on modern design. Their school prospectus for 1933-1935 records a method of teaching art emphasizing "three elements ... the physical, the mental, and the spiritual; or, to be more exact, the 'Hand and Eye', the Reason which controls them, and the Creative Urge or Aesthetic Impulse." Course offerings included: Life drawing and painting; Head and costume; Drawing and painting from still life, antique, drapery, etc.; Anatomy; Observation and memory class; Composition class; Lettering, drawing for reproduction, poster painting, design, perspective and architectural drawing; and Mural decoration. In 1945 the school became the Anglo-French Art Centre; it closed in 1951, due to financial troubles.
Associated with the school was the St. John's Wood Sketch Club, presided in the 1930s by Sir George Clausen. As the school's prospectus explains, "Four subjects are given each month ... to each member. The sketches are criticized by visiting artists; a certificate being awarded for the best work in each division. At the end of the year prizes are awarded for the best work done during the year." A description of the school in the 1930s is available in: Spalding, F. Dance till the stars come down: a biography of John Minton (London : Hodder & Stoughton, 1991), p. 16-27.
Title from inside of front cover.
Cataloger has added numeration, in graphite, in the lower right corner of leaf rectos.
Bound in contemporary black half-morocco and green cloth. Rebacked.
Manuscript scrapbook of the St. John's Wood Art Schools, with numerous photographs, prospectuses, programs, and clippings pertaining to the school and to the St. John's Woods Sketch Club, circa 1932 to 1939. The most likely compiler of the album is Patrick Ferguson Millard (1902-1977). The dates of the volume correspond roughly to Millard's presidency of the school, and the only personal note in the entire volume (p. 17r, "My father died Dec 4th 1936") appears to be initialed PFM. Writing is generally in pen and black ink, presumably in Millard's hand throughout. The photographs and other items are lightly annotated with marginal notes. The form of the scrapbook is that of a chronicle; while some of the marginal notes refer to photographs, etc., present in the scrapbook, many other annotations simply record timely events. Some of these events concern the school and include notes on the students' Fancy Dress Dances, Sketch Club exhibitions, guest lectures, and the winners of school scholarships, while other annotations record important newsworthy items, such as the Silver Jubilee, the comings and goings of the royal family, and (in the final years) Hitler's early aggressions in Europe. Notes of important events concerning the royal family are accompanied by related contemporary postage stamps.
The scrapbook includes approximately 90 original photographic prints, including many 8x10s and 5x7s. There are numerous photos of class sessions, with students drawing or painting at their easels. Also numerous are photos of densely hung exhibitions of student artwork, or students' displays of commercial design. There are many photos of instructors, alone or while teaching classes; these include Millard, Raymond Coxon, Robert Kirkland Jamieson, Walenn, John Skeaping, Kenneth Martin, and Lowes Dalbiac Luard. The latter three, especially Skeaping, are depicted while teaching students in the painting of horses, for which Skeaping and students visited the nearby Clapham Park Riding School.
Printed material in the album includes several school prospectuses, which record the school's mission, course offerings, patrons, faculty, and fees. The most frequent printed insertion is the annual program for the St. John's Wood Sketch Club, which includes the rules of the club, names of presiding officers and committee members, and the list of 3 or 4 competition subjects for each month. Most of these programs are annotated with the names of the monthly guest judges. For 1938 and 1939, the scrapbook includes periodic printed announcements or programs of exhibitions of artists of the St. John's Wood Group, which included John Minton, Peggy Erskine, Colum Gore-Booth, Nancy Hess, Edith Lamont, Marion Mackintosh, and Jack Sassoon. Most of these items include the titles (and prices) of artwork exhibited by each artist. Also at the end of the volume are a handful of printed Christmas cards issued by the school, featuring artwork by Italian masters.
Original artwork is limited to the front and back pastedowns. At front is an original pen-and-ink sketch of Ernest Perry, reclining, drawn by [Alice May?] Cook, 1935. On the rear pastedown is a wood-engraved (?) bookplate for the St. John's Wood Art Schools, "designed by Dudley Jarrett students, 1923." Also at the rear is a larger (lithographed?) design for the school, "designed by P.F. Millard, 1935."
Loose items in the album have been removed to an accompanying folder. Their original placement, where known, is recorded in brackets on the versos of each item.
Subject Terms:
Art -- Competitions -- Great Britain.
Art -- Exhibitions -- Great Britain.
Art -- Study and teaching -- Great Britain.
Art schools -- Great Britain.
Art students -- Great Britain.
Clausen, George, 1852-1944.
Coxon, Raymond James, 1897-
Drawing -- Study and teaching -- Great Britain.
Erskine, Peggy.
Gore-Booth, Colum.
Hess, Nancy.
Jamieson, Robert Kirkland, 1881-1950.
Jarrett, Dudley.
Lamont, Edith.
London (England) -- Social life and customs.
Luard, Lowes Dalbiac.
Mackintosh, Marion.
Martin, Kenneth, 1905-1984.
Millard, Patrick Ferguson, 1902-
Minton, John, 1917-1957.
Painting -- Study and teaching -- Great Britain.
Perry, Ernest, b. 1908.
Sassoon, Jack.
Skeaping, John, 1901-1980.
St. John's Wood Art Schools (London, England)
St. John's Wood Sketch Club (London, England)
Walenn, Frederick Dudley, 1869-1939.
Greeting cards.
Postage stamps.
Millard, Patrick Ferguson, 1902-
St. John's Wood Art Schools (London, England)
St. John's Wood Sketch Club (London, England)

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