Artists' society founded in London in 1886 in reaction against the conservative and complacent attitudes of the Royal Academy. The founders—largely artists who had worked in France and had been influenced by plein-air painting—included Clausen, Sargent, Steer, La Thangue and Tuke. There were about 50 members when the inaugural exhibition was held in April 1886 at the Marlborough Gallery. In 1889 the NEAC came under the control of a minority group led by Sickert, who had joined in 1888; he and his associates were influenced by Impressionism, and in 1889 they held an independent exhibition under the name ‘The London Impressionists’. Sickert resigned in 1897 (he returned in 1906) and from then up to about the First World War the NEAC was effectively controlled by Frederick Brown (see Slade), Henry Tonks, and Steer. In this period it contained most of the best painters in England. From about 1908, however, it began to lose initiative to progressive groups such as the Allied Artists' Association and the Camden Town Group. After the war the NEAC occupied a position midway between the Academy and the avant-garde groups. With the gradual liberalization of the Academy exhibitions its importance diminished, but it still exists.