Cliff Holden


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Cliff Holden FCSD (Fellow of the Chartered Society of Designers)

1919 Born - Manchester
1944 Met David Bomberg
1946 Founding President of the Borough Group
1946-1951 Seven exhibitions of the Borough Group
1951 Exhibition at Parsons Gallery - work by Holden, Creffield, Mead, and Richmond
1952 Exhibition at Gummesons Gallery, Stockholm - work by Holden, Creffield, Mead and Richmond (at the invitation of Torsten Renquist)
1953 Lived and worked in Spain with Dorothy Mead
1955 Exhibitions at Manchester Library - silk screen prints and paintings (also in 1959)
1956 Exhibitions in Stockholm and Gothenburg
  Met Lisa Grönwall and Maj Nilsson and conceived the idea of a design studio
  Guest teacher at Valand School of Art, Gothenburg
1962 Design of the Year - awarded by the Design Centre (presented by Prince Philip)
  Marstrand Designers' murals and wallpaper designs can be found throughout the world (in hotels, offices, embassies, ships, hospitals etc.)
1973 Guest teacher at Mount Mary College, Milwaukee and Goldsmiths College, University of London
1996 Hässlås Målarskola received Northampton Journal Award for quality and service
1999 Composed manuscript "Work in Progress" (deposited with the Tate Archive)
2000 Exhibition in Falkenberg, Sweden - Celebration of Holden's 80th birthday
  Special foyer display of one work at Tate Britain in honour of Holden's 80th birthday
2004 Bomberg and the Borough - exhibition at Tate Britain
  Special display of one work at Tate Britain in honour of Holden's 85th birthday
  Bomberg and Pupils, The Borough Group 1946-1951 - exhibition at the Boundary Gallery, London
  Included in exhibition at Modern British Artists, London
  Launch of web site (
2005 Face to Face: British Self-Portraits in the Twentieth Century - inaugural exhibition at the Northumbria University Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. To read about Cliff's self-portrait which is in the exhibition see Chapter from 'Face to Face...' (Cliff Holden).
2006 Awarded degree of Honorary Doctor of Letters by London South Bank University
2020 Died - Sweden


Work by Cliff Holden is held in the following public collections:-

Arts Council of Great Britain
Victoria & Albert Museum Textile Archives
Whitworth Gallery, Manchester - houses many examples of wallpaper designs
MMU, Manchester College of Art (Graphic Section)
Tate Britain, London
Museum of Modern Art, Edinburgh (Graphic Section)
Manchester City Art Gallery (Rutherston Collection)
Museum of Modern Art, Stockholm
National Museum, Stockholm (Graphic Section)
Laholm's Museum of Drawings
Museums of Gothenburg, Luleå, Eskilstuna, Borås and Karlstad


Information and caption text below courtesy of Tate Online.

Title: Yellow Seated Figure
Medium: Oil on board
Dimensions: 730mm x 572mm
Purchased: 1962
Tate Work Number: T00504
Tate Online Web Page: Yellow Seated Figure

From the exhibition display caption July 2004:

This work was exhibited at the third Borough Group exhibition, in 1949. The subject matter, the muted, earthy colours, vigorous paint work and strong sense of structure are all typical of the group. Holden said that ‘What a painter has to do is not to recognise either the object or the image but to recognise the kind of sensation that has produced the image’.


U.S.A., Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland & U.K.


Cliff was a member of the following organisations:-

The London Group
Fellow of the Free Painters and Sculptors
Fellow of the Chartered Society of Designers
Design Associate, American Institute of Interior Designers
Artists Club, Gothenburg
KRO – The Swedish National Union of Artists
The Swedish National Handicraft and Industrial Design Organization


Cliff drawing on the Virgen de la Cabeza, Ronda, Spain, 3rd October 2004:-

Cliff drawing on the Virgen de la Cabeza, Ronda, Spain, 3rd October 2004:-

[Page last updated: 22nd January 2021]

© Painter's Estate