University of The Arts London Camberwell

University of The Arts London Camberwell

Camberwell College of Arts (formerly known as Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts) is a constituent college of the University of the Arts London, and is regarded as one of the UK’s foremost art and design institutions. It is located in Camberwell in South LondonEngland, with two sites, located in Peckham Road and Wilson Road. It offers further and higher education programmes, including postgraduate and PhD awards. The College has retained single degree options within Fine Art, offering specialist Bachelor of Arts courses in paintingsculpturephotography and drawing. The College also runs graduate and postgraduate courses in art conservation and fine art as well as design courses such as Graphic DesignIllustration and 3D Design.

The College’s history is finely intertwined with that of the South London Gallery, with which the College shares its site. Manager of the South London Working Men’s College in 1868, William Rossiter, purchased the freehold of Portland House on which the College now stands in 1889. The resulting Gallery opened in 1891, followed by the Technical Institute, the school’s first guise in 1898. The philanthropist, John Passmore Edwards, gave a substantial sum of money for the erection of the building in memory of Lord Leighton. The architect was Maurice Bingham Adams.[4]The school and gallery were the fruition of an artistic movement in Camberwell, supported by Edward Burne-Jones, Lord Leighton, Walter Crane and G F Watts. The school aimed to give the ‘best artistic and technical education to all classes in the district’. Originally, the school offered classes in specific trades, such as architecturecabinet design, embroiderywood carvingwood block and stencil cutting. By 1920, a Fine Art Department had been created.

During World War IIVictor Pasmore was appointed head of the school’s Painting Department.[5] He brought in William Coldstream, who in turn brought in Joe Dixon from the RCA and Claude Rogers. These three eminent Euston Road School painters, whose own work was figurative, initiated an exciting period for the School. Many well-known artists, including Frank Auerbach,[6]Lawrence Gowing and Edward Ardizzone taught at Camberwell during this period. The prominent painter Robert Medley was Head of Painting in the early 1960s. Ron KitajKenneth MartinPatrick ProcktorEuan UglowFrank Bowling and David Hepher all taught at the School during the 1960s and 70s. During this period, the School had a thriving art history department, headed by Conal Shields, that employed painters such as Harold Cohen and academics, including T. J. Clark. In 1973, the School expanded into a modern purpose-built block next to the existing premises. Both of them are now Listed Buildings. The College is currently undergoing a major £62 million redevelopment, working with Stephen Marshall Architects.

In the 1980s, Wendy Smith became the head of Fine Art and employed Noel ForsterJohn HilliardCornelia ParkerPhyllida BarlowGavin Jantjes and Ian McKeever. Tony Messenger and Eileen Hogan took charge of the graphics department, Eileen Hogan established and ran The Camberwell Press, and Eric Ayers presided over the typography school. Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts became a constituent College of the London Institute in 1986, formed by the Inner London Education Authority to associate London’s art, design, fashion and media schools into a collegiate structure. The school was renamed Camberwell College of Arts in 1989. During this restructuring Camberwell temporarily lost its Fine Art courses but by the time the London Institute was granted University status and was renamed University of the Arts London in 2004, the department had been fully restored to the College. Well-known artists currently teaching at Camberwell include Richard Slee, Matt Franks,[7] Brian GriffithsSaskia Olde Wolbers, Fran Cottell, Rebecca Fortnum, Kelly Chorpening, Patricia Ellis, Anna Mossman, David Cross of Cornford & Cross, Daniel Sturgis, Rupert Norfolk, Duncan Wooldridge, Bernd Behr, Jordan McKenzie, Anne-marie Creamer, Danny Treacy and Hew Locke. In 2014 the American academic Hal Fosterwas appointed as ‘Practitioner in Residence’ within the Fine Art Department, In 2016 Griselda Pollock assumed this title.