Archives & Library

The Leicester Galleries and its Exhibition Catalogues

The Leicester Galleries was a commercial art gallery that operated in central London between 1902 and 1977. It was particularly known for exhibiting British and French artists’ work and for promoting the work of leading modernist painters and sculptors. The Centre’s Library holds one-third of the gallery’s entire output of 1,400 exhibition catalogues, donated by Peter and Renate Nahum in January 2020. The collection is fully catalogued and available for research. This spotlight feature highlights some of the key artists and themes promoted by the gallery and illustrates some of the catalogues in the Library’s holdings.

Dora Gordine

Dora Gordine was one of the few female sculptors awarded a solo show at the gallery. She had five such shows between 1928 and 1949, of which the Library has three catalogues. The first show in 1928 (463) was very successful. All the work displayed was sold, including a Javanese Head that was bought by Samuel Courtauld for the Tate Gallery collection. Her 1938 exhibition (684) included over fifty works exhibited in two galleries: drawings and early sculpture were shown in the Entrance Gallery, and the Hogarth Room contained the rest of the exhibited sculpture.

The twelve-page illustrated catalogue includes an Introduction by the critic Dugald Sutherland MacColl and a biographical note.