Skip to main content

The independent group at the Institute of Contemporary Arts : its origins, development and influences 1951-1961

Whitham, G. J (1986) The independent group at the Institute of Contemporary Arts : its origins, development and influences 1951-1961. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.85974) (KAR id:85974)

PDF (Main text)
Language: English

Download (16MB) Preview
[thumbnail of Main text]
This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.
Request an accessible format
PDF (Appendix)
Language: English

Download (27MB) Preview
[thumbnail of Appendix]
This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology.
Request an accessible format
Official URL:


Abstract of Ph D. thesis. University of Kent at Canterbury Contents / Acknowledgements / General introduction to the work 1. 1951 and Before: the Establishment of the ICA (British art c.1935-51; the concept and development of the ICA; early ICA exhibitions; the Institute's Dover street premises) 2. 1952: the Genesis of the Independent Group (Some dissatisfaction amongst the ICA's YOlli1ger members; early organised meetings of the Independent Group; members of the Independent Group) 3. 1953: the Independent Group Develops - Contributions at the ICA (Early Independent Group concerns and their manifestation in the ICA programme; the social and cultural background of Independent Group members; the exhibition Parallel of Life and Art) 4. 1954: Focusing Interests - the 'Fine Art/Pop Art Continuum' (Independent Group activities inside and outside the ICA; the emergence of Lawrence Alloway and John McHale as important members of the Group; the concept of the 'Fine Art/Pop Art Continuum') 5. 1955: Formal Meetings and the Concept of ' Multiple Connectivity' (Organised meetings of the Group; the exhibition Man, Machine and Motion; the 'investigations' into expendability, mass communication and popular culture, and the institutionalisation of 20th century art, using the method of 'multiple connectivity') 6. 1956: Theory into Practice - This is Tomorrow (Events at the ICA involving Independent Group members; the House of the Future; the organisation of This is Tomorrow ('l'IT ); the exhibits of 'l'IT, with special reference to the role of e:x-member;-of the Independent Group) 7. 1957-58: Outlets f or Independent Group Ideas - Ark and the Paintings of Richard Hamilton -- (The role of Ark in the dissemination of Group ideas; the influence upon painters a t the RCA; the 'pop' paintings of Richard Hamilton and their relation to Group discussions ; exhibitions and events of 1957-58) 8. 1959-61: Further Limits of Independent Group Influence - Architectural Design, the Cambridge Connection and Pop Art (The role of Architectural Design in the dissemination of Group ideas; rCA events which involved ex-members of the Group; Cambridge Opinion and the Scroope Group; the relation of the Independent Group to Archigram and the RCA's 1961 Young Contemporaries) 9. 1962 and Beyond: Myths Created and Myths Modified (The waning of Independent Group influence at the ICA; the Group's challenge to existing interpretations of 20th century art and especially to pre-war Modernism; the Group's influence upon the post-1960 pop aesthetic.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.85974
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 09 February 2021 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Uncontrolled keywords: Painters; Sculptors; Critics; Art history
Subjects: N Visual Arts > NX Arts in general
A General Works > AZ History of Scholarship. The Humanities
C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CB History of civilization
D History General and Old World > D History (General)
L Education > LA History of education
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of History
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2019 16:23 UTC
Last Modified: 14 Feb 2022 11:32 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
  • Depositors only (login required):


Downloads per month over past year