Victorian London : Mapping the Emergence of the Modern Art Gallery

Data » Gallery List

Vokin’s Gallery

John Vokins (1788-1832) began his a carving, gilding and framemaking business in the early nineteenth century, and the firm expanded into art dealing under the direction of his sons John Henry and William. In the 1850s, J. and W. Vokins sold the work of William Powell Frith and John Frederick Lewis, and Doran cites a sale receipt from 1855 marked with the Great Portland Street address (157). Around 1880, the firm began advertising exhibitions at the “J. and W. Vokins Gallery.” William Vokins seems to have been the primary partner in the art dealing business, and in his obituary he was described as “the doyen of his profession in London.” (Times, 30 October 1895, 6) Much of his collection of modern pictures was sold after his death, but the gallery continued to list exhibitions at Great Portland Street through 1900 (The Year’s Art 1901, 116). That same year the firm listed its current premises as 10 King-street.

Address: 14 Great -Portland St

Start Date: by 1880 [by 1855]*

End Date: at least 1899 [1900]*


J. and W. Vokins (firm)

John Henry Vokins (1810/11-1878)

William Vokins (1815-1895)

Arthur Vokins (1839-1913)

James Theodore Vokins (1844-1910)

Selected exhibitions

Loan Exhibition of water colour drawings by Birket Foster (1882) [NAL]

Loan Exhibition of the works of Fredk. Tayler (Times, 10 June 1880, 1)

P. De Wint (Centenary Exhibition) (Times, 7 May 1884, 1) [NAL]

Loan collection of pictures by George Morland (1884) [NAL]

Water colour drawings by deceased and living artists (1895) [NAL]

Exhibition catalogues:

National Art Library, London (1884-1895)


British Picture Framemakers, 1630-1950. National Portrait Gallery, London. 2nd edition, October 2009. Accessed 20 August 2012.

Doran, Victoria. “Frith’s Frames and the Business of Frame-making.” In William Powell Frith: Painting the Victorian Age. Eds. Mark Bills and Vivien Knight. New Haven and London: Yale University Press in association with Guildhall Art Gallery, City of London; Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate Museums and Arts, 2006. 157-160.

*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.

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

Bowdoin College