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 

Louise Bomford


Past Presidents


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