The Hampstead Artists' Council was founded in 1943 by local artist Richard Carline.
The Hampstead Artists Past & Present exhibition was curated by the Hampstead Artists' Council and displayed in their headquarters on Rosslyn Hill in Hampstead between 15th December 1945 and 12th January 1946.
Chairman H. F. Clark outlines the purpose of the Council in this catalogue:
'Since its foundation at the beginning of 1944, the Hampstead Artists' Council has regularly sponsored small exhibitions and one-man shows of members' work in accordance of its policy of strengthening the ties betweeen the artist and the district in which he lives. This Exhibition is, however, the first large one to be organised by the Council and it serves to inaugurate occupation of its headquarters at Studio House.'
The patrons of the exhibition included Sir Kenneth Clark; the Mayor of Hampstead, Alderman Mrs Carnegie; and the Chairman of the Hampstead Heath Protection Society, W. J. H. Brodrick, Esq. Local artists Richard Carline and Percy Smith served on the Exhibition Committee. Carline also located and assembled the works of Hampstead artists of the past and prepared the notes on the artists and wrote the foreword for this catalogue.