James Putnam
Biography # Press # Contact # Credits
  Inventory Suscribe to James Putnam's newsletter  
# Interviews
# Publications
# Exhibitions
# Conferences
# Talk & Debate
# Salon
# Collaborations
The Salon is held every few months at Blacks, 67 Dean Street, Soho, London, W1

A 21st century salon in Soho has a natural sense of continuity. From the 18th century onwards Soho typically provided the venue for informal gatherings of artists and writers as well as for the decororous proceedings of some learned societies. The house on 67 Dean Street was built by local carpenter, John Meard for his mother and is one of a small group he built between 1722 -32 that turn the corner into Meard Street. It was later occupied by Anthony Chamier, who was one of the original members of 'The Club', a 'salon' founded by Samuel Johnson and Joshua Reynolds, which also convened at 67 Dean Street between 1764 and 1767. They originally met on Mondays for dinner and conversation at the 'Turk's Head in Gerard Street but moved to various venues including 67 Dean Street. Its members included playwright Oliver Goldsmith, the actor David Garrick, the statesman Edmund Burke, the historian Edward Gibbon , the philologist Sir William Jones and the scientist Sir Joseph Banks. Attendance was taken seriously, with fines for defaulters. The house at 67 Dean Street was restored and opened as the members club, Blacks, in December 1992.

The Salon is intended as a convivial encounter between like-minded people of diverse disciplines - artists, writers, scientists, economists, musicians, doctors, lawyers, anthropologists, archaeologists etc.. Everyone talks from five to ten minutes on a given theme followed by discussion between individuals rather than as a group. Each Salon is chaired by Sacha Craddock and the food carefully prepared by Giuseppe Mascoli with a menu intended to coincide with the theme. The Salon allows the participants to say what they want instead of having this relationship to accountability - instead of responding to what's already there, they initiate at whatever level they feel appropriate and have a constuctive and joyous time, assisted by fine food and wine.

Selected image:

Members of the original Salon ('The Club') which met at 67 Dean Street between 1764-67. (from left to right) Boswell, Dr. Johnson, Reynolds, Garrick, Burke, Paoli, Burney, Warton and Goldsmith)

Members of the original Salon 

back to Salon back to top