Victorian London : Mapping the Emergence of the Modern Art Gallery

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McLean’s Gallery

Thomas McLean was a print dealer and publisher who followed the common practice of exhibiting paintings as publicity for the forthcoming engravings.  His business premises were established in the Haymarket well before 1865, but that year is the first secure documentation I have found of the street number no. 7 Haymarket (Art Journal, December 1865, 371).  In the mid-1860s, he began holding annual exhibitions of water-colour drawings, and quickly became known as one of the leading dealers in London. In his guidebook to London, Charles Eyre Pascoe gave potential visitors a long description of McLean’s specializations: ““Mr. McLean, in the Haymarket (No. 7), is a well-known and discriminating collector of the works of modern English artists. His gallery generally contains some good water-colour drawings by prominent members of the Royal Society and Royal Institute of Painters in Water-Coulors; and he periodically arranges special exhibitions of the works of some one painter of acknowledged reputation. Mr. McLean is also one of the most noteworthy of the “printsellers” of the west end of town, as may be judged by a cursory glance as his window (see also p. 304). Annually in May he has an exhibition of oil-paintings; and in the autumn of water-colour drawings, which deserves the attention of the visitor going the round of the London art-galleries. In general, the work of young artists, whose merits the world has not yet begun to recognize, find a place in McLean’s collection.” (299-300) The business was taken over by Eugene Cremetti (The Year’s Art 1911, 140) and conducted at this address until at least 1922.

Address: 7 Haymarket

Start Date: by 1865

End Date: at least 1914 [at least 1922]*


Thomas McLean

Eugene Cremetti (by 1910)

Selected exhibitions

For selected exhibitions, see: “Exhibitions associated with Thomas M. McLean”
Exhibition Culture in London 1878-1908, University of Glasgow

Exhibition catalogues:  National Art Library, London (1857-1922)


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. 308.

Pascoe, Charles Eyre. London of today: An illustrated handbook for the season. Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1885.

“Thomas McLean.”
Exhibition Culture in London 1878-1908. University of Glasgow. Accessed 9 August 2012.


*The dates that appear in the heading are those identified as securely documented “start” and “end” dates when the map animation was created. Additional research has extended the time span that the gallery can be documented at this address.

Unless otherwise noted, the documentation of a gallery’s start and end dates at a location is drawn from listings in The Year’s Art.

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

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