History of the Society
The Stratford-upon-Avon Art Society is celebrating its 60th Anniversary this year and was born after a meeting on the 8th May 1959 between W.T. Rawlinson, Wilfred Puddephat, Louise Bomford and others who thought it would be a good idea to form an art group. An open exhibition was held at the NFU Insurance Society’s sports day at Tiddington, to advertise, inform and encourage people to join what they decided to call the Stratford Arts Circle. The aim of the Society was to be open to everyone who practised or appreciated visual art. An inaugural meeting was planned for Friday18th September 1959. 87 people turned up and at the end of the meeting 70 people had paid their subscription of 10/6d. The Stratford Art Circle held its first exhibition in Stratford in September 1959 with 171 works submitted by local artists. After one year the membership had risen to 96. In 1968 the Art Circle renamed itself the Stratford upon Avon Art Society and in 1970 the group decided to transfer its annual exhibition to King Edward VI Grammar School (William Shakespeare’s School) where it is still held today.
Founder of the Society
1958 – 1974 Wilfred Puddiphat A.T.D.
1974 – 1988 William T Rawlinson A.T.D.,F.R.S.A.
1988 – 1990 Arnold Suttleworth A.T.D.,F.R.S.A.
1990 – 1990 Dorothy Cross
1991 – 1992 David Phillips A.T.D.
1993 – 1994 Stanhope Hodson Dip. Arch., RIBA
1994 – 1996 Claire Austin–Rich
1996 – 1998 Ronald Robinson
1998 – 2000 Stanley Morris
2000 – 2003 Pauline Bamber
2003 – 2005 Kate Carr
2005 – 2007 James Henly
2007 – 2012 Prunella Webb
2012 – 2015 John Freeth
2015 - Michael Culverwell