History of the Isle of Man Art Society


The Isle of Man Art Society was founded in 1953 with 28 enthusiastic members. Founder members include Victor Kneale, Norman Howell, John H Nicholson, Bobby Moore, Jack Gawne, George Cowley, Harold (Dusty) Miller, Alec Quayle, Peter Chisholm (Art Master at Douglas High School for Boys) and George Crellin. Our membership has steadily grown and we now have over 300 members.

  We met in various locations, including

  • Ivanhoe Hotel, Douglas Promenade
  • The Art School, Kensington Road, Douglas
  • Barrack St Church Hall, Drinkwater St, Douglas
  • Close Mooar, Marown
  • Hanover St School, Douglas
  • A joiners workshop since demolished near the present Government Buildings
  • A room above Kissacks, Prospect Hill, Douglas

all this before purchasing our present clubhouse Thie Ellyn, Withington Road, Douglas in 2000. This was formerly owned by the Jehovah’s Witnesses.

The first meeting was held at the Ivanhoe Hotel. Two of our current oldest members are Vice President David Byrne, and Glennis Chad, who have been members since 1956.

The Presidents of the Society have been as follows:

  • William Hoggatt
  • John  H Nicholson
  • Victor Kneale
  • Lawrence Kermode
  • Margaret Oates 2003 – 2013
  • Des Clague from 2013

Margaret Oates joined the Society in 1965, and served the Society in various positions: Committee Member 1983 , Treasurer       – 1996, Chairman 1996 – 2003, President 2003  – 2013

In the late 90’s the decision was taken by the committee, including Margaret and Peter Oates, to purchase our own clubhouse at Thie Ellyn. A significant amount of money was raised by offering Life Membership to those who would donate £100 towards the purchase price.  About 75 members took up this opportunity, of whom 62 are still active members of the Society in 2013.

The Society has always been keen to exhibit the works of its members. The Easter Exhibition was held in the Villa Marina from 2004 to 2009, and then moved to the Villa Marina Arcade in 2010, where it is still held.

Our present membership includes famous artists such as Nancy Corkish, David Byrne, Paul Parker, Des Clague and Catherine James, Svetlana Cameron, and Liana Rosa.

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