With the end of our summer schedule, we now look forward to Nirmala’s attractive fall program at our home in Windsor Park. This is a seasonal Tuesday pattern which was established by a group coordinated by Josephine Crease (pictured above), and including Samuel Maclure, Sophie Pemberton and Margaret Kitto, in the early 1900s and thus actually pre-dates the formation of the Island Arts Club (IAC) in 1909. In those early days, Crease’s group used the name Sketching Club during the Summer, and Art/Studio Club during the indoor season. But it was the former title that prevailed. Those interested in sketching were to provide the backbone of the IAC, later the Island, Arts and Crafts Society, and the Sketch Club, which survived the demise of the IACS in the 1950s.
Nude models are now an important feature of our fall program. But, unsurprisingly in Victoria, their acceptance was a slow process. In 1922 it was announced that life classes would be started at the Club with four professional living models, both draped and nude. In the event, however, even in the progressive and liberal life classes of Ina Uhthoff in 1937, “nude” models were reportedly required to wear “bathing drawers” which reached their knees. And as recently as the 1980s, a ballot on preference for nude or clothed models came out just 10 to 4 in favour of nudes, with 2 abstentions. We’ve moved forward a little since!