The Arts Club
The Arts Club is a London private members club founded in 1863 by, amongst others, Charles Dickens, Anthony Trollope, and Lord Leighton in Dover Street, Mayfair, London, England. Today it is a meeting place for men and women involved in the creative arts either professionally or as patrons.
The Arts Club was a hub of the arts during the 19th-century and, although a social venue, it was known to be a place where influence could be exerted and careers developed. It was seen as the powerhouse behind the dealings of the Royal Academy. Its members and guests included Dickens, Millais, Whistler, Kipling, Monet, Rodin, Degas and Turgenev. As early as 1891, James Whistler, one of the Arts Club's leading members, broke away to found the rival Chelsea Arts Club.
The Arts Club has continued to provide a forum and meeting place for those involved in all the arts. The visual arts predominate the professional artists amongst today's membership; the vast majority of Royal Academicians still present amongst the members. Members not professionally active as artists include art dealers, gallery owners, artists' agents, as well as those who simply have an amateur or recreational interest in the arts.