City and Guilds of London Art School

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City and Guilds of London Art School
Type Charity
Established 1854
Principal Tamiko O'Brien
Location London, United Kingdom
Affiliations Birmingham City University

The City and Guilds of London Art School is an art college[1] in London, England, United Kingdom. It is one of the country's longest established art colleges, and offers courses ranging from Foundation, through B.A. degree, Postgraduate Diploma and M.A. degree levels.[2]

The Art School is housed in a row of Georgian buildings in London's Kennington district,[3] close to the south bank of the river Thames.


The City and Guilds of London Art School was founded in 1854.[4] It was known as Lambeth School of Art[5] and was based in Black Prince Road and St Oswald's Place. In 1879 the School was taken over by the City and Guilds of London Institute and acquired its current Kennington Park Road premises, becoming known as the South London School of Technical Art.[6] In 1937 it changed its name to the current City and Guilds of London Art School.[7]

In its early years the Art School's teachers and students worked closely with industrialists, particularly Henry Doulton,[8] seeking to combine artistic creativity with manufacturing processes. Students and teachers became instrumental in both the Arts and Crafts movement and Art Nouveau.[9] After the Second World War the Restoration and Carving courses were established to train for the restoration of London's damaged architecture.

During the 1960s the Art School became more of a distinctly fine art institution, and in 1971 ceased to be dependent on its industrial subscribers, becoming an independent charitable trust. In 1997 and 1998 the Fine Art Painting, Sculpture and Conservation courses were validated at undergraduate B.A.(Hons) level. In 2000 the M.A. course in Fine Art was validated by the University of Central England (now Birmingham City University).[10]

Visiting Lecturers have included: Norman Rosenthal, Basil Beattie, Paul Winstanley, Andrew Mummery, Alexis Harding, Gordon Cheung, Colin Smith, David Kefford, Anne Hardy, Tom Godfrey, Lucy Williams, Zavier Ellis, Max Attenborough, Chris Davies, Will Turner, Paul Becker, Francesca Lowe, Helen Sumpter, Nick Hackworth, Jonathan Wateridge, Neil Rumming, and Christian Ward.

In a 2008 letter to the Observer newspaper and Art Monthly by Graham Crowley (former Professor of the Royal College of Art) the City & Guilds Fine Art Department was singled out for its ‘magnificent job’ in ‘maintaining the transformative power and joy of education through art’.[11]

In 2009 Booker Prize shortlisted writer Tibor Fischer became the RLF writing fellow at City and Guilds.[12]

In April 2011 Modern Painters (magazine) surveyed art world professionals to create a list of the top ten British art schools, resulting in the City and Guilds of London Art School coming third, after the Royal College of Art and the Royal Academy, and beating institutions including the Slade School of Art, Goldsmiths College, Glasgow School of Art, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, and Chelsea College of Art and Design amongst others.[13]

In September 2011 alongside Art Below the school carried out the "Art Lift" project the works of sixteen MA students were displayed in the lifts of Kennington underground, coinciding with the "Cleaver Square-based school's fine art show"[14] and the Kennington Station near the event.

Notable alumni[edit]

(Years are for college attendance)

Notable teachers and lecturers[edit]


  1. ^ College listed age in (accessed 5 April 2009)
  2. ^ Courses listed on school's website (accessed 25 March 2010
  3. ^ Artist describes location at (accessed on 5 April 2009)
  4. ^ describes potter John Sparkes leading the college in 1856 (accessed 5 April 2009)
  5. ^ describes early name and history (accessed 5 April 2009)
  6. ^ describes name change (accessed 5 March 2009)
  7. ^ Guildhall Library Manuscripts list name changes at (accessed 5 March 2009)
  8. ^ describes role of Henry Doulton (accessed 5 March 2009)
  9. ^ College timeline at (accessed 8 March 2009)
  10. ^ Birmingham Institute of Art and Design validation at (accessed 5 March 2009)
  11. ^ Thorpe, Vanessa (10 February 2008). "Low morale devastates art colleges". The Guardian (London). 
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "BBC News - Art students transform lifts at Kennington Underground". 2 September 2010. Retrieved 2011-12-25. 
  15. ^ Biography of Stephen Wiltshire in The Independent
  16. ^ Michael Renton's obituary in The Independent
  17. ^ Sir George James Frampton's entry at the Royal Academy Collection web site
  18. ^ Cannon, Michael (1979). "Brodzky, Horace Ascher (1885–1969)", in Australian Dictionary of Biography online, accessed 28 September 2015.
  19. ^ John Charles Lewis Sparkes
  20. ^ Guardian Obituary
  21. ^ Tony Carter at the City & Guilds of London Art School
  22. ^ RCA website page
  23. ^ "Artist biography;- Rodney Joseph Burn". British Council. Retrieved 13 May 2015. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°29′14″N 0°06′26″W / 51.48722°N 0.10722°W / 51.48722; -0.10722