Society of Women Artists

Scope and Content

Society of Women Artists exhibition catalogues 1934-1939, 1947-1969, 1976-1988 and 1 box of miscellaneous papers. Introduction to the Society of Women Artist booklet with monographs on the fourteen artists who have been its president or acting president, 1989.

Administrative / Biographical History

It is not certain exactly when and by whom the Society of Women Artists was founded. Earliest minutes, if kept, were lost or destroyed with other records at 195, Piccadilly, London during the Second World War. The Society's papers date from 1929. However, catalogues in the Victoria and Albert Museum Library show the Society of Female Artists held its first exhibition in 1857 at The Gallery, 315 Oxford Street, where 358 works were displayed by 149 female artists. The Society changed its name in 1873 to Society of Lady Artists. Early members included Rosa Bonheur and Lady Elizabeth Butler. In 1932 Dame Laura Knight was invited to become President and retained that Office until she retired in 1968 to become a Patron. As at 2009 The Society maintained a website

Access Information

Access for visitors is by appointment only.

Other Finding Aids

List available at the Library (database)

Archivist's Note

Description by Althea Greenan, MAKE 2002. Submitted to the Archives Hub as part of Genesis 2009 Project.