© Lowestoft Art Group
A HISTORY OF THE LOWESTOFT ART GROUP
(formerly known as ‘The Lowestoft & District Art Group’)
In the late nineteen forties, a group of local artists met to form an Art Society which was to meet monthly in a building, (now the Academy of Music), situated in the High Street, Lowestoft. After only a few months this group collapsed due to poor support and a lack of funds. However, two of its members are still members today.
During the early fifties a second group was formed by the then Principal of the Regent Road Art School, Miss Varley. The meetings were held Monthly at the Morton Road School of Art. This society continued until Miss Varley retired, moving from the Lowestoft area, leaving a void for those with an interest in Art. Then Arthur Lee and Wilf Sutton started a group and advertised in the Journal asking those interested to attend a meeting. They got about ½ a dozen members one of them being Gerald Rose (not a relative of our lovely Donny). After about six months this club collapsed. At this time there was also a club called ‘Lowestoft and District Arts Society’. Wilf exhibited at this club. It was a very high standard of work and was very difficult to get into.
In 1959 an advertisement appeared in the Lowestoft Journal, asking those interested in Art to attend a meeting at The Hatfield Hotel. The meeting was well attended. Those present were Hubert Palfrey, Dr. Vining, Peter Lang, Colin Self, Wilfred Sutton and Peter Beare. The present Lowestoft & District Art Group was duly formed. Among the Officers and Committee were Dr. and Mrs Roy Vining, the late Mr Hubert Palfrey and Mr. Peter Lang. An early exhibition was held at the hotel. However, the Group really got underway with its first major exhibition at St. John's Church Hall in December, 1960.
Over the last 50 years of existence the quality of work by members has increased. The generosity of spirit among the experienced members gives an added warmth to the Group as a whole. The principle aim of the Group is to increase and develop knowledge and ability in the appreciation and performance of Art. In the past such well-
Our meetings are now held twice a month, on the 2nd and 4th Fridays in each month, at St. Mark’s Church Hall, Oulton Broad, Church functions allowing, and we hold one Exhibition per year -
Based on ‘A History of the Group’ by Wilfred Sutton (written in 1989 & revised in February 1998)
with further input from Wilf, David Balder, Peter Beare and Gordon Goodman.
This was also the venue for their meetings. The exhibition was successful, lasting two weeks, entry was by catalogue (see above) at 6d each (pre-
A few years later the exhibition venue moved to the Copperfield Lounge at the Suffolk Hotel on the site now occupied by MacDonald's. The Secretary had to guarantee that no nails or screws should be driven into the walls. The walls had to be lined with special screens, these being made by the members at the old hall which is now the Fisheries. Each year these screens were taken to the 'Suffolk', erected and removed at the close of the exhibition. Present Members are very fortunate that they are not involved in such hard work today. The Group continued to hold its exhibitions at the Hotel until the ownership changed.
It was with regret that the Group moved as the Hotel was a very good venue. The the new South Lowestoft Methodist Church became available and the Group was pleased to have the use of the Hall for its exhibitions. This was not successful, however; the public only coming to see the exhibitions in dribs and drabs. After several years the Group decided to hold its exhibitions in the new public library.
From 15th -
Our meetings were held every fortnight, usually on the first and third Fridays of the month, at the Lord Kitchener's Memorial Holiday Centre, Kirkley Cliff, where working evenings were held including life-
1st page of the 1960 Exhibition catalogue
LOWESTOFT & DISTRICT ART GROUP
WATER COLOURS, AND, DRAWINGS.
1 Cley Mill, Norfolk
2 Old Cottage, Wrentham
4 Hayrick, Mobbs' Farm
5 Grove House, Kessingland
6 R.N. Memorial, Lowestoft
7 Industrial Landscape
8 Oulton Broad
9 Gale off Corton Roads
10 Bishops Bridge, Norwich
11 Routine Work
12 Fishing Boat, South of France
13 Kessingland Country
14 Marshes, Beccles
15 Old Flemish House, Kersey
16 Suffolk Scene
17 Glevering, Wickham Market
19 Washerwomen of Assisi
20 Sailing Barge off Lowestoft
21 Summer Squall
22 Boats, Lake Lothing
23 Jungfrau from Wengeren Alp
24 Angel Hill, Bury St. Edmunds
26 Spanish steps, Rome
27 Interior of St. Mark's, Venice
28 Covehithe Church
29 Sailing barge in Lake Lothing
31 Farm buildings, Gunton
32 Autumn, Gunton Cliff
33 A bit of old Lowestoft
Clifford Russell 9
W. Edward Back
) Copies 10/6d
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