Under its general regulations, the Club may have up to 2,000 members. It is governed by its Trustees and a General Committee of members.
The day-to-day running is managed by an Executive Committee. There are also sub-committees (for Audit, the Library, Investment, Music, Talk Dinners, Wine and Works of Art) which manage specific areas of the Club’s life.
Library and Archive
The wide interests of the Club’s membership are reflected in the Athenaeum Library, regarded by many as the finest club library in London. From the outset members were encouraged to donate works to the Library and many of the Library’s 70,000 volumes are donations. The collection is augmented by a steady stream of new acquisitions.
The Club also has an extensive archive, including Club minutes and published member lists, photographs and special collections.
On the recommendation of the architect John Nash, the Club commissioned the 24-year-old Decimus Burton to design a clubhouse. By 1827, the designs and plans for a house in the Grecian style had been approved and the tender of the builders accepted. The house was built on a portion of the courtyard of the demolished Carlton House on lease from the Crown and was opened in 1830.
This was one of the earliest buildings to be lit by gas and, in 1886, the Clubhouse became one of the first buildings to be lit by electricity. The premises were extended by the addition of a top storey, designed by Thomas Edward Collcut in 1899 and completed in 1901. This was remodelled to provide accommodation for members in 1928.
The magnificent premises have been carefully maintained and some of the original mahogany furniture designed by Burton is still in use today.
The Club has recently extended its lease on the building, securing its future for generations to come