October 26, 2017 10:30 am
Cadogan Contemporary was opened in the 1980s by Christopher Burness, who grew up in a house located at Cadogan Square in Knightsbridge, west London.
Christopher originally owned an eponymous book publishing company called Cadogan Books, named for the place in which he wasraised. When he began exhibiting art on the ground floor, Cadogan Contemporary was born.
The gallery was first located in Belgravia on Pont Street, just one street over from Cadogan Gardens.
Originally, Cadogan Contemporary sold paintings, photographs, and sculptures from the 19th century onward, much different from the exclusively modern and contemporary art it exhibits today.
The gallery moved to Draycott Avenue where it remained for twenty years and saw patronage from royals and celebrities as it developed an extensive catalogue of artists. Then in 2007, Cadogan moved to 87 Old Brompton Road in South Kensington where it remains today, only a short walk from the area of its namesake.
History of Cadogan
The name Cadogan is of Welsh origin, and comes from the Cadogan family, who claim to descend from the ancient princes of Wales, called Cadwgan. This name can be found all over the areas in central London known as Chelsea and Knightsbridge, where nearby streets and squares were named for the Earl Cadogan.
First created in 1718 for William Cadogan, the Earl Cadogan was established by King George I as a Peerage of Great Britain, meaning that the title held legal standing and was passed hereditarily through a succession of male heirs. As a peer, the Earl Cadogan was an automatic member of the House of Lords in the British Parliament until the House of Lords Act of 1999. Upon Lord Cadogan’s death in 1726, the earldom became extinct as he had no sons, and the title of Baron Cadogan was given to his brother Charles.
The second Baron Cadogan married Elizabeth Sloane, whose father was Sir Hans Sloane, a prominent physician and explorer. The ninety-three acres of Sloane Estates, which included the Manor of Chelsea and Beaufort House, were passed to Elizabeth upon his death, and thus became the basis of the Cadogan family’s wealth since the 1700s.
In 1800, the earldom was reborn when the third Baron Cadogan was created Earl Cadogan by George III. The title continues to be passed down through the Cadogan family to this day to the current Earl Cadogan Charles, the eighth person to hold the title since 1800. The Earl Cadogans have served as Conservative politicians, soldiers, and civil servants through times of war and hardship in Great Britain.
In the 1800s, the fifth Earl Cadogan, George, spearheaded major redevelopment of his family estate. Out of this was born the red brick style architecture the area is known for, Pont Street Dutch. This style is characterised by the large red brick mansions built in the 1880s in a semi-Dutch manner. The underground station at Sloane Square was opened in 1868, followed by the completion of the riverside embankment in 1874. Cadogan Square, named after the Earl, was built between 1877 and 1888 and currently is a prominently residential area with some of the most desirable, and most expensive, real estate in the United Kingdom. Because of this, the area has housed film stars, writers, and artists.
Sloane Street, named after Sir Hans Sloane, is a shopping street located near Knightsbridge. It has become one of London’s most exclusive retail destinations, as it houses the flagship stores for many of the world’s most famous brands such as Giorgio Armani, Tom Ford, and Valentino. Many of the properties along the street still belong to the Cadogan family.
The King’s Road is another street owned by Cadogan Estates, which was once home to the artists and bohemians of the 19th century, the fashion explosion during the sixties and later helped birth the punk movement when Vivienne Westwood’s first shop was opened.
Sloane Square is the heart of Chelsea and Cadogan’s land, and is home to the cultural institutions the Royal Court Theatre and Cadogan Hall, where the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra plays. Cadogan Hall was bought by Cadogan Estates in 2000 and converted from a church into a 900-seat concert hall.
Today, the Cadogan family own much of Chelsea and Knightsbridge, as well as the property management company Cadogan Estates. The area has become a hub for culture, with a long history of harbouring and inspiring icons of art, fashion, music, and literature such as Jane Austen, Jonathan Swift, Virginia Woolf, John Singer Sargent, the Beatles and Mick Jagger.
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