Artists' League of Great Britain: records

Scope and Content

Administrative documents (1911 - 1983); reports and minutes (1936 - 1982); financial records including annual accounts, receipts, tax returns, and bequests (1924 - 1983); correspondence with members on subjects including membership, copyright, insurance, and disputes with clients (1911 - 1983); correspondence with other organisations, local, national and international (1911 - 1983); correspondence and documentation regarding insurance services for members (1914 - 1981); correspondence, press cuttings and other material collected on subjects of concern to artists (1913 - 1974); material published by the league (ca.1911 - 1961); printed material and ephemera (ca.1950-1979).

Administrative / Biographical History

The Imperial Arts League was founded in 1909 as a protection society run by artists for artists. It set up committees to deal with issues of copyright, insurance of artworks, exhibitions and to encourage the production of art literature. The League also gave advice to members on issues such as agents, displays or sale of work, copyright and insurance of works of art for exhibitions. Membership was open to practitioners of the fine and applied arts and individuals interested in the arts. Members included Ivor Hitchens, Blair Hughes-Stanton, Bernard Leach, Eduardo Paolozzi, Michael Rothenstein and E.H. Shephard. In 1971 the League changed its name to The Artists’ League of Great Britain.


The material is arranged into nine series, broadly following the original filing system as follows: Administrative documents, meetings and reports, finance, correspondence with members, correspondence with other organisations, insurance services, subject folders, publications of the league and printed material/ephemera.

Conditions Governing Access

This archive collection is available for consultation in the V&A Blythe House Archive and Library Study Room by appointment only. Full details of access arrangements may be found here:

Access to some of the material may be restricted. These are noted in the catalogue where relevant.

Conditions Governing Use

Information on copying and commercial reproduction may be found here:

Related Material

Further records of the Artists League of Great Britain are held at the London Metropolitan Archives. Request call number LMA/4054.