The NEAC was founded in 1886 in reaction to the conservative attitudes of the Royal Academy. These were progressive young artists and Sargent was the most progressive. During its inception, John was at the vanguard of bringing the ideas of French Impressionism to England (and the United States) but would very quickly abandon that lead.
The very first exhibition was in April, 1886 at the Marlborough Gallery. Fifty artist participated. Sargent showed two paintings, one of which was of his friend Mrs. Frederick Barnard.
Max Beerbohm became a member of the (NEAC) in 1909 and this caricature may have been his tribute to his joining. The drawing shows some of the club's members with Sargent included -- second in from the right, at back.
The members shown are, from left to right : Walter Sickert, Wilfrid de Glehn, William Orpen, Augustus John, Dugald S. MacColl, Philip Wilson Steer, Henry Tonks, William Rothenstein (on table), Sargent, Albert Rutherston (under table), "Peter" Harrison and Walter Russell.
The drawing is a revised version of one done in 1906, in which, the earlier one, Roger Fry and Charles Conder appeared instead of Sargent and de Glehn.
Today, the New English Art Club is
still very much in existance -- see
more about them.