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THE FAS is 125 years old and this is the story of past exhibitions up to the outbreak of World War I. It will conclude with a show called FAS NOW at the end of the year.

In 1876 when the newly founded Society took over 148 New Bond Street from Henry Hart, fancywork repository and Mary Ann Bobbins, milliner, Bond Street was about to become the centre of the art trade.

One can see how the rollcall of exhibitors arrived via the management and the shareholders, one of whom “was the distinguished jurist Sir Francis Jeune and his socialite wife Lady St Helier, whose next-door neighbour in London was Sir Henry Thompson, eminent surgeon, collector and friend of Whistler and Rossetti. The Jeunes were friends of John Everett Millais and George du Maurier ...”

So in 1878 Ruskin showed his cherished collection of 120 Turner watercolours, Whistler exhibited his Venice etchings at his “happening” in 1883, Millais excited the FAS with his 20 works in the same year and Holman Hunt held a “single picture exhibition”, Triumph of the Innocents in 1885. The FAS never looked back.