The ‘Words and Pictures’ Book Club, Friday 22nd April, 2pm at Pebbles, will be discussing: “Circles and Squares – The Lives and Art of the Hampstead Modernists” by Caroline Maclean

Join us for our monthly Book Club to discuss: “Circles & Squares”…

A spellbinding portrait of the Hampstead Modernists, threading together the lives, loves, rivalries and ambitions of a group of artists at the heart of an international avant-garde. Hampstead in the 1930s. In this peaceful, verdant London suburb, Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson have embarked on a love affair – a passion that will launch an era-defining art movement. In her chronicle of the exhilarating rise and fall of British Modernism, Caroline Maclean captures the dazzling circle drawn into Hepworth and Nicholson’s wake: among them Henry Moore, Paul Nash, Herbert Read, and famed emigres Walter Gropius, founder of the Bauhaus, and Piet Mondrian, blown in on the winds of change sweeping across Europe. Living and working within a few streets of their Parkhill Road studios, the artists form Unit One, a cornerstone of the Modernist movement which would bring them international renown. Drawing on previously unpublished archive material, Caroline Maclean’s electrifying Circles and Squares brings the work, loves and rivalries of the Hampstead Modernists to life as never before, capturing a brief moment in time when a new way of living seemed possible. United in their belief in art’s power to change the world, her cast of trailblazers radiate hope and ambition during one of the darkest chapters of the twentieth century.

[published by Bloomsbury, 2020]


These discussion meeting are free of charge, relaxed & informal and take place at “Pebbles” cafe (in the old Havens building on Hamlet Court Road), starting 2pm – all welcome!


Art, Books and Culture Group meeting: NEW DATE: SATURDAY 7th MAY, (11am-1pm) at The Beecroft Gallery, Southend: The Artists International Association and the Spanish Civil War

As the political situation of 1930s Europe worsened, the Artists International Association adopted a ‘popular front’ methodology encouraging a wide range of artists to exhibit under their pro-communist anti-fascist umbrella. This became especially important with the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War when the AIA sought to raise funds for sending food, supplies and ambulances to the frontlines and assisting refugees trying to escape.

Artists Nan Youngman & Priscilla Thornycroft painting: Spain Fights On

Today we will look at the work of the Artists International Association and British artists’ responses to the Spanish Civil War.

Please note we have a new venue and a new meeting time:

The Beecroft Art Gallery, Southend

11am-1pm om Saturday 7th May

£10 on the door as usual

All welcome!


A couple of initial resources:

The Exhibition “Conscience and Conflict” at Pallant House Gallery and a BBC article about it; there is also a book (out of print, but maybe at the library):