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About the Society

The Worshipful Mayor of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea
The Earl Cadogan DL

Honorary Members
Serena Barrow
Heather Wills-Sandford
President - Luke Martineau

History of the Society
Founded in 1910, The Chelsea Art Society is the oldest and sole survivor of the many art groups that blossomed in the area around that period. Rossetti and Turner began the trend to settle in Chelsea in the mid 19th Century, followed by Whistler, Sickert, Augustus John and John Singer Sargent. Amongst the group was Sir James Dromgole Linton, a frequent exhibitor at the Royal Academy and an Honorary member of the Scottish Water Colour Society. He chose Chelsea as the place to found an art group to exhibit annually.

The Chelsea Art Society flourished and even survived the disruption of two World Wars, revived in 1946 by Alfred Egerton Cooper RBA.

Its current President is Luke Martineau. There are currently around 100 members and artists are invited to join the Society through having shown exceptional work at the exhibition over a three year period. The majority of exhibitors tend to be residents of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea but are free to apply from all over the UK.

Traditionally, the Mayors of Chelsea have always been patrons of the Society. Other past patrons have included Lord Olivier, Joyce Grenfell, Lord Thornycroft and Lord Rawlinson of Ewell QC. Present patrons include The Earl Cadogan DL. There are also distinguished honorary members, including Ken Howard OBE RA RWS NEAC.


The Society's Annual Open Art Exhibition
This Open Art Exhibition in Chelsea is a firmly established annual event, in its home at Chelsea Old Town Hall, where it has been held since 1994.  Between 500 and 600 paintings and sculptures are displayed for sale - selected from more than twice that number, attracting not just established artists but younger ones producing more innovative work.  The majority may be professional artists but as an open exhibition, there are also works of above average quality by many non-professionals. The huge variety and the high standard of work is reflected in the number of buyers and its prominent position in the Kings Road attracts visitors from all over the world.

Who can be a Member?
The number of Members is kept at 100. As vacancies occur each year, new members may be invited to join the Society by the Council from exhibitors who have shown exceptional work for a minimum of three years, with all three works selected for hanging.
Browse current members of the Society

How is the Chelsea Art Society run?
The society is a financially sound, non-profit making group with no residential qualifications for members or exhibitors. It is governed by a council comprised of members with an Honorary President, Vice President, Secretary and Treasurer. The President is usually someone of high artistic achievement. 
The Council and its Officers

A Tradition of Awards

Earlier awards developed with time and the personal interest of donors. To date, there are a number of prizes in various categories, namely:

The Julian Barrow Award for a Painting
Agnes Reeve Memorial Award for a Painting of London
Gwen Mandley Memorial Award for a Watercolour
Green & Stone Award for an Oil Painting
Tiranti Award for a Young Sculptor
C.A.S. Award for a Sculpture by a Non-Member
Sculptors' Own Award for a Member
Heatherleys Award for Drawing
C.A.S. Award for a Print

The Awards 2019
The Awards 2018
The Awards 2017
The Awards 2016
The Awards 2015
The Awards 2014
The Awards 2013
The Awards 2012


The Friends of the CAS are a vital support to the Society. There is a small subscription of £20 p.a.


  • Invitation to annual Friends’ party
  • Entry into the annual Prize Draw to win a work of art donated by a member
  • Private View invitation and free catalogue to the annual exhibition
  • Chance to meet and get to know practising artists
  • Opportunity to be a Patron of the Arts in Chelsea
  • Friends’ Sketching Day with members of the Society (dates to be announced)
More information on becoming a Friend

Contact the Society