Norwich 20 Group (N20G) opens three exhibitions in Norwich on Tuesday, March 18 to mark its 70th anniversary, www.norwich20group.co.uk.

N20G was founded by Walter Thomas Watling, art master at CNS, supported by Aileen Law, art teacher at Blyth School and 12 other local artists.  Stimulated by contemporary art movements, they wanted to raise standards of local professional art to something worthy of Norfolk’s artistic history.

N20G now has more than 80 members from across Norfolk.  All aspects of the practice of contemporary fine art are represented, sculpture, print, photography, painting, digital media and installations.

20 now 70 – Norwich 20 Group Artists’ 70th Anniversary Exhibition, curated by Amanda Geitner, Head of Collections and Exhibitions at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, is in the Atrium at The Forum, from March 18 to 31. Visitors can meet N20G artists every day from 10am to 6pm.

20 Group Underground, curated by Frances Martin and featuring larger works, installations, video and sound pieces, is at The Undercroft, Norwich Market from March 18 to 31, 12 noon to 3pm daily.

The Norwich 20 Group – 70 years 1944-2014, an exhibition about the history of the group, curated by Clotilde Wang, is at the Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell from March 18 to May 24.

A series of talks at the Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell about the impact of N20G on the cultural life of Norwich has been arranged to complement the exhibition. Former N20G Chairman, Martin Battye, launches the series with Art Matters at 12 noon on Friday, March 28. Tickets for the talk only are £2.60, or free with museum admission, booking essential, t. 01603 629127.


The museum opens Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 4.30pm. Last admission is half an hour before closing, adult £4.95, concessions £3.95, young person (5-18) £2.95, family ticket (2 adults and all children) £12, family ticket (one adult and all children) £8.  Museum Pass holders, Friends of Norwich Museums and companion with a disabled visitor free.  Pop in for £1 every day one hour before closing time.

The exhibition at the Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell includes graphic panels illustrating N20G’s history, a display case featuring documents and artefacts associated with the group and digital projection of past and present members’ art. A leaflet about N20G history will also be available.

Linda Chapman, Norwich 20 Group Chairman said: “Our 70th anniversary is a very important milestone for the group. We are looking forward to sharing our work with friends old and new at The Forum and The Undercroft. I also hope many people take the opportunity to explore the exhibition about our history at the Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell. I would like to thank Norfolk Museums Service for hosting this exhibition.” More…

Steve Miller, Head of Norfolk Museums Service said: “As the Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell celebrates the very best examples of artistic design and production in the city over centuries, we are delighted to play host to this exhibition which highlights artistic talent and tradition in Norwich.”

Over the years N20G has included nationally known artists, for example, Michael Andrews, Bernard Reynolds, Edward Barker, Leslie Davenport, Mary Newcomb, Jeffery Camp RA, and Cavendish Morton. Many current and past members have received patronage, exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and Galleries in East Anglia, London and internationally, with works in both private and public collections.  Some have received prestigious awards, including election to the Royal Academy.


N20G has strong links with Norwich’s twin cities and has held joint exhibitions with Novi Sad, Rouen, Koblenz and El Viejo.

The group has a licentiate scheme and invites four graduates annually, from Norwich University of the Arts, to become members and exhibit with the group free of charge for one year.


Talks Programme at the Museum of Norwich at the Bridewell. 

All talks are £2.60 for talk only, or free with museum admission. Booking essential on 01603 6291267. A ticket for all five talks is available at a cost of £10.00.


Friday, March 28 12 noon

Art matters – a perspective on the role, function and outreach of N20G and the perception of the arts in the community.

Martin Battye, N20G Chairman 2011-2013


Friday, April 4 at 12 noon

Memories of the N20G – gives an insight into the development of the group – looking back at the members’ aspirations, difficulties and involvement.

Jane MacKintosh, N20G Chairman 1978-1980


Friday, April 25 at 12noon

The history of the N20G through the archives – tells the story of a unique group of artists in Norfolk from research through several private and public archive collections.

Clotilde Wang, Curator of the exhibition


Friday, May 2 at 12noon

Twin Cities Shows – how and why N20G reached out and collaborated with artists from the Norwich Twinned Cities of Koblenz, Rouen, Novi-Sad and El Viejo.

Barry Watkins, N20G Chairman 2005-2007


Friday, May 16 at 12 noon

About the life drawing workshop – a brief account of the history and purpose of the life drawing workshop which has existed on a drop-in basis for 40 weeks of the year, every year, without interruption for the last 30 years.

Linda Chapman, N20G Chairman 2014