Private Member' Clubs with the Best Art Collections

Private Member' Clubs with the Best Art Collections

Private members clubs were formed in the Georgian era, as places for the nobility to commune and do business, play games and discuss relevant topics of the day, science and art. 

Art has always been a strong tradition in the member's clubs scene ever since and our Director Katie has had the privilege to go to many and see their art collections.  Here are her top 5 in London.

The Oriental club

The Oriental Club has a feeling of a grand old age gone by, referenced now only by books like Love in a Cold Climate, or in films like Murder on the Orient Express (a Poirot story).  The art collection in the club has been amassed over the past century or more from all over Asia and India and has a quirky mix of textiles, masks, paintings of the colonial past, landscapes and portraits.  But more recently they’ve made a huge effort to start collecting work from contemporary artists from Asia, and these are now mixed in with the old oil paintings, which creates a refreshing mix of old and new.


Soho House

Soho House has always differentiated itself from other clubs with its art curation, which frequently changes.  Their curator Kate has become a celebrity herself and has written books about famous artists and figures.  What she and her team do so well is to collaborate with artists.  The works are always chosen with a purpose and the artists are always included in the dialogue, selecting works for the clubs to reflect the themes they display – sometimes is feminist art, sometimes its mark making etc.  It’s this proactive conversation with the artists that makes the work so interesting.


Arts Club 

Nestled in the heart of Mayfair, the Arts Club is surrounded by galleries like Thadeus Ropac and Gizelli Art House.  The Arts Club, as you would expect has a fabulous selection of contemporary art.  Many of the pieces on display are by the club's members – artists themselves, but over recent years as the membership has changed from artists to those who work in the local area, artworks have been selected from elsewhere too, giving the club a constantly changing mix of contemporary and modern artworks.


Home House

Home House has a history going back to 1773, and as was fashionable in the era, made a point of decorating the space with art, sculptures, objects and beautiful pieces of craftsmanship.  Fast forward to the current day and they have made excellent use of their historic art collection, displaying it in quirky and contemporary ways, and have added a plethora of modern and contemporary artworks to compliment the traditional and sumptuous surroundings.


Royal Overseas League

An offbeat choice, but the ROSL has got their own curator and embraces the arts and culture of St James and Mayfair, where it’s located.  They frequently invite galleries to host exhibitions and pop-up shows, so where they don’t perhaps the permanent large collections and displays of some of the other clubs, they engage with the arts on a grassroots level, supporting smaller organisations, galleries and artists.