Victorian London : Mapping the Emergence of the Modern Art Gallery

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Belgian Gallery

In April 1875, William Michael Rossetti dismissively recorded the opening of the Belgian Gallery. “Mr. Gammon informs us in a neat circular: ‘This gallery has been formed at the request of the Belgian artists, whom I represented for many years at the International Exhibitions, and the collection comprises many of the finest productions of the eminent masters of that school.’ After visiting, at the private view on Saturday last, the cramped rooms wherein the pictures are collected, we cannot confirm Mr. Gammon’s estimate of them: on the contrary, they appear to us to be, in general calibre, slight, rough, and even rubbishy performances.” (“The Belgian Gallery,” Academy, 24 April 1875, 434.) Later reviews of the Belgian Gallery exhibitions took a more positive view of at least some of the pictures on view; the Art Journal singled out several works by Karl Gussow, including Widow and The Old Man’s Treasure as the “great feature” of the gallery (“The Belgian Gallery,” Art Journal, March 1877, 79). This latter work is currently in the collection of the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool []
and their website notes that it was “one of three paintings that Gussow exhibited at the Liverpool Autumn Exhibitions between 1879 and 1881.” It is interesting to note that another painting by Gussow in the Walker’s collection – The Oyster Girl (1882) – was once owned by a “Mr EJ Vaughan, barrister, of Crowborough, East Sussex, who died in or shortly after World War II.” []

In 1877, an advertisement in the Times announced the “New Belgian Galleries” at 112 New Bond Street would shortly be completed (26 June 1877, 1) and by 1878 Gammon and Vaughan were holding exhibitions at that address. A catalogue from 1878 noted “For the information of Artists, no work can be exhibited unless by special invitation. Should an Artist wish to become an Exhibitor, it will be necessary for him to obtain an introduction from an Artist whose works have previously been admitted to these Exhibitions. All works are received subject to Approval. All works of art exhibited are for sale, and are guaranteed to be by the Artists whose name appears in the Catalogue.” (Seventh Winter Exhibition of the Belgian Gallery London: 1878.)

buildings: image 3 of X thumbAddress: 28 Old Bond Street [ google maps ]

Start Date: by 1875

End Date: 1877

Other Locations:
112 New Bond St (1877-1880)


J. H. Gammon

E. J. Vaughan

Specialization: contemporary Belgian art

Selected exhibitions

See: “Exhibitions Associated with: Belgian Gallery”
Exhibition Culture in London 1878-1908, University of Glasgow

Exhibition catalogues: National Art Library, London (1878)


Fletcher, Pamela and Anne Helmreich. “Selected galleries, dealers and exhibition spaces in London, 1850-1939.” In The Rise of the Modern Art Market in London, 1850-1939. Eds. Pamela Fletcher and Anne Helmreich. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2011. 296.

How to cite:
Pamela Fletcher and David Israel, London Gallery Project, 2007; Revised September 2012.

Bowdoin College