Gore, Spencer Frederick

Date: 1878-1914

Perhaps the most prominent member of the Camden Town Group, Spencer Frederick Gore was born in Epsom, Surrey. He studied at the Slade School of Fine Art, with contemporaries Harold Gilman, Augustus John, Wyndham Lewis, William Orpen, and Albert Rutherston. From 1900 to 1904, Gore spent time travelling between London and Somerset, painting landscapes and theatrical subjects. He also visited Madrid where he was influenced by Francisco Goya’s works and began painting more popular theatre subjects.

Gore first met Walter Sickert while traveling through France with Albert Rutherston in 1904. Gore and Rutherston spent two days with Sickert at his house in Dieppe, where Gore appealed to Sickert to exhibit with the New English Arts Club. When Sickert returned to London in 1905, his and Gore’s studios were close to each other on Fitzroy Street. They would often paint and draw together, evidenced by the fact that the same models and furniture appear across their works. They later bought houses on the same street and were best man in each other’s weddings.

Gore and Sickert would form the Fitzroy Street Group in 1907 and the Camden Town Group in 1911. They would also assist Frank Rutter with the formation of the Allied Artists’ Association in 1908. From 1908 to 1913, Gore taught drawing by correspondence to deaf artist John Dorman Turner.

Gore produced his most modern works while staying at Harold Giman’s house from August to November 1912. The first to follow the new movements that arrived from France he was the only member of the Camden Town Group to exhibit in Fry’s Second Post-Impressionism Exhibition. In 1911 at the Chenil Gallery in Chelsea, Gore held his only solo exhibition entitled Paintings by Spencer F. Gore.

In the summer of 1913, he moved with his wife and daughter to Richmond, where his son was born. He would paint outdoors in Richmond Park, even through the cold and wet winter months. This resulted in a case of pneumonia, which he died from in March 1914 at the age of 35.

The University Art Collection holds two drawings by Gore, both depicting dancing figures.