The programme and menu from the Cave of the Golden Calf, Cabaret and Theatre Club

The Cave of the Golden Calf was England's first 'Artists' Cabaret Club'. It opened in the basement of a cloth warehouse at 9 Heddon Street, just off Regent Street, in 1912. Its creator was Frida Strindberg, a wealthy bohemian with a passion for the arts. She intended her club to be a meeting place for writers and artists, an avant-garde rival to the nearby Caf Royal. The model was the Kaberett Fledermaus in Strindberg's native Vienna. To create the artistic mood of her club, Strindberg commissioned several young British artists to carry out work. Among them were Jacob Epstein, Eric Gill and Wyndham Lewis. Here, Lewis's jagged patterns mark out the club's character as a futuristic and modern-minded one. The Cave went bankrupt in 1914, but not before Strindberg herself had become disappointed by its failure as an avant-garde and artistic venture. It came to be seen as an amusing place for high society, who came to enjoy cabaret, ragtime music, and dance. Drinks were served until dawn. The Cave was nevertheless an influential venture, which introduced the concept of cabaret to London. It provided a model for the generation of nightclubs that came after it in the 1920s.
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27.4 x 21.6 cm
Lewis, Wyndham
© Wyndham Lewis Memorial Trust

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