In the early 1900's Albert Strange, the Headmaster of the Art School in Scarborough, organised sketching outings at weekends with some of the teachers and, although Albert died in 1917, from these beginnings the 'Sketching Club' was formed in 1929. The Club thrived, with monthly meetings at the Library, and an annual exhibition.
Later, in order to widen the scope of the Club, it was decided to form the Scarborough Art Society, and this came into being on 5th January 1937.
The Society's first President was Richard E. Clarke, who was Art Master at the Boys High School and also taught at the Art School. Prominent members included S.E.Saunders and Carl Herman. Also involved were well-known artists such as Rowland Hill, the Wanless brothers, and the famous creator of railway posters, Frank H. Mason.
During the Second World War the popular practice of going out sketching had to be confined to members' gardens, and an exhibition was held in an attic!
In 1947 the Art Gallery was acquired by the Borough and the Society started holding exhibitions here, culminating in the Diamond Jubilee Exhibition in 1997.
In 1959 the Society began organising its Open Air Sales, twice a year, in the 'Sunken Garden' near the Town Hall, at the request of Scarborough Council, and these continue to the present day.
The 21st Century sees Scarborough Art Society continue with its monthly painting demonstrations by professional artists, together with its Open Air Sales in August, and other events through the year.