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Women's International Art Club

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0000 WIAC
Held at: University of the Arts London: Chelsea College of Art and Design
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Full title: Women's International Art Club
Date(s): 1942-[1976]
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 2 files
Name of creator(s): Women's International Art Club


Administrative/Biographical history:

The Women's International Art Club was founded in Paris in 1900, as the Paris International Art Club. At this time there was very little opportunity for women to exhibit their art work, and as an exhibiting society the Club was instrumental in bringing the work of women sculptors and painters to the notice of the general public. The first exhibition under its new name was held at the Grafton Galleries in London in 1900. The Club had an annual exhibition of paintings and sculptures in London until it closed in 1976, and smaller exhibitions were also shown outside London and abroad. The foreign sections of the Club also contributed work to the exhibition, including the Italian, Scottish, Dutch, American, French and Greek sections.

Members' works were submitted for selection by a selection committee, comprising officials of the club and two outsiders chosen from the artistic community, usually art critics, gallery owners etc. In the 1950s and 1960s the club continued to flourish, encouraging young experimental artists and organising exhibitions from abroad. In the 1970s the waning of interest in large exhibitions and rising costs of gallery space led to the closure of the club in 1976. Exhibitors included Gwen Barnard, Eileen Agar, Elizabeth Frink, Lee Krasner and Gwen John.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Women's International Art Club (WIAC), 1942-[1976], comprising catalogues of WIAC annual and other exhibitions, 1942-1968; rules of the constitution and exhibitions of the club, 1952-1971; exhibition publicity material, 1960-1964, view cards and invitations, 1963-1965; summaries of meetings, 1953, 1957-1958; minutes of meetings, 1959-1962, 1970-1971; audited accounts, 1955-1971; correspondence, 1952-1971, largely to Gwen Barnard, relating to her election to WIAC, 1952; printing of catalogues and financial and administrative matters [1959]-1971; relating to WIAC exhibitions, 1959-1964; letter from Brenda Chamberlain concerning plagiarism in art, [1958-1959]; press cuttings, 1961; photograph of WIAC members, 1962; newsletter, 1971; histories of the WIAC, [1962]-[1976].

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The records are arranged chronologically.

Conditions governing access:

By written application to the Site Librarian, Manresa Road, London, SW3 6LS. Researchers from the London Institute may visit by appointment.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Photocopying is permitted at the discretion of the Librarian.

Finding aids:

A list is available at Chelsea College of Art & Design Manresa Road Library.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Most of the papers are of the painter Gwen Barnard, who joined the club in 1952 and served on committees from this date. She was Vice Chairman from 1958 to 1960, and Chairman from 1960 to 1964.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Allied Materials

Related material:

Records of the WIAC, 1921-1975, are held by the Women Artists Slide Library, Fulham; exhibition catalogues 1899-1938, held by the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Julie Tancell as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
July 2002

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