1882 - ?

Cambridge Drawing Society is believed to be one of the oldest of its kind in the UK, having been founded in 1882 by Lady Sandys, wife of the Public Orator. Meetings initially took place in members’ drawing rooms and later moved to the studio of one Mary C Greene. The early exhibitions were held in the Rate Room of the old Guildhall and the first public exhibition took place in 1906. Throughout its long history the society has fostered the aims of its founding members, “To encourage the arts of drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture in Cambridge and district and to promote exhibitions of members’ work”. Despite its name, the Society is not restricted to drawings, but exhibitions encompass a wide range of original paintings in different media, together with mixed media items, batik, limited edition prints and sculpture. The Society's membership is made up of both amateur and professional artists. Past members include Gwen Raverat, Cecil Beaton, Ronald Searle and Peter Graham, a Vice-President of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters and others for whom the Society provided a stepping-stone to a distinguished artistic career. Current exhibitions are held bi-annually in Spring and Autumn and are staged at the Guildhall.