Edinburgh College of Art
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|University of Edinburgh (2004-present)|
Heriot-Watt University (1966-2004)
Heriot-Watt College (1885-1966)
Watt Institution and School of Arts (1852-1885)
|Chancellor||HRH The Princess Royal, Chancellor of the University |
|Principal||Professor Juan Cruz |
|Students||3,130 (2017/2018) |
|Postgraduates||800 (taught postgraduates)|
Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) is one of eleven Schools in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Edinburgh. Tracing its history back to 1760, it provides higher education in art and design, architecture, history of art, and music disciplines for over two thousand students, and is at the forefront of research and research-led teaching in the creative arts, humanities, and creative technologies. ECA comprises five subject areas: School of Art, Reid School of Music, School of Design, School of History of Art, and Edinburgh School of Architecture & Landscape Architecture (ESALA). ECA is mainly located in the Old Town of Edinburgh, overlooking the Grassmarket; the Lauriston Place campus is located in the University of Edinburgh's Central Area Campus, not far from George Square.
The college was founded in 1760, and gained its present name and site in 1907. Formerly associated with Heriot-Watt University, its degrees have been issued by the University of Edinburgh since 2004. The College formally merged with the University on 1 August 2011, combining with the School of Arts, Culture and Environment and continues to exist with the name Edinburgh College of Art as an enlarged school in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.
Edinburgh College of Art can trace its history back to 1760, when the Trustees Drawing Academy of Edinburgh was established by the Board of Trustees for Fisheries, Manufactures and Improvements in Scotland. This board had been set up by Act of Parliament in 1727 to "encourage and promote the fisheries or such other manufactures and improvements in Scotland as may most conduce to the general good of the United Kingdom". The aim of the academy was to train designers for the manufacturing industries. Drawing and the design of patterns for the textile industries were taught at the Academy's rooms at Picardy Place.
The Board was responsible for the construction of the Royal Institution (named for the Royal Institution for the Encouragement of the Fine Arts in Scotland), now the Royal Scottish Academy building, on The Mound and also commissioned the Scottish National Portrait Gallery on Queen Street. From 1826, classes were held at the Royal Institution building. The Master of the School was always a fine artist, the first being French painter William Delacour. Subsequent masters included Alexander Runciman and David Allan. The Academy's focus gradually shifted from applied arts to encompass fine art, and the school gained a reputation for excellence in both painting and design. Scottish artists who were trained at the Academy include John Brown, Alexander Nasmyth and Andrew Wilson.
In 1858, the Academy was affiliated to the Science and Art Department in London, known as the "South Kensington system", under which it became the Government School of Art for the city of Edinburgh. A School of Applied Art was also established under this system. The Drawing School became part of a system of schools managed on similar lines, and distinctive teaching practices were lost. In 1903 it amalgamated with the School of Applied Art. In 1907, the Scottish Education Department took over responsibility for the school, and it became Edinburgh College of Art.
The College was officially recognised by the Scottish Government as a Small Specialist Institution for the teaching of art, design and architecture prior to the merger with University of Edinburgh in 2011. From 1968 to 2004, it was associated with Heriot-Watt University for degree awarding purposes. In 2004, it partnered with the University of Edinburgh for degree awarding purposes, and the two institutions merged in 2011.
The first Professorship in an ECA subject area was the Reid Professor of Music, which was created in 1839, with the Watson Gordon Chair of Fine Art founded some forty years later, the first of its kind in the British Isles and a turning point in the teaching of the History of Art.
With the creation of Edinburgh College of Art in 1907, the institution moved to new premises on Lady Lawson Street. Formerly a cattle market, the site lies above the Grassmarket and opposite Edinburgh Castle. The red sandstone main building was designed in the Beaux-Arts style by John Wilson while working for John More Dick Peddie and George Washington Browne, and was completed in 1909. The main building was listed Category A in 1970. Inside, the Sculpture Court displays casts of the Elgin Marbles and other antique statuary, alongside changing displays of contemporary student's work.
The Architecture Building was added to the east end of the college in 1961, designed by architect Ralph Cowan, who was a Professor of Architecture at the college. In 1977 the Lauriston Campus was expanded with the addition of the Hunter Building. This L-shaped red sandstone block encloses the college courtyard, and fronts Lauriston Place to the south. In the 1990s the college took over a separate group of buildings in the Grassmarket, for use as a library and teaching space, and also took over the former Salvation Army building on West Port. These buildings in the Grassmarket and West Port were disposed of after the College purchased Evolution House.
The nine-storey Evolution House on West Port by Reiach and Hall Architects was completed 2003, adjacent to the main College building. Built as speculative offices, it now houses the art and design library, as well as providing design studios and office facilities for the School of Design. While the College remains mainly concentrated on the Lauriston Place Campus, as a result of the merger with the University of Edinburgh in August 2011, the new enlarged ECA incorporated Minto House on Chambers Street (ESALA) and Alison House in Nicolson Square (Reid School of Music). In 2017, the Lauriston Campus expanded to include the former Lothian 'Museum of Fire' Building (arch. Robert Morham, 1897-1901).
The Wee Red Bar serves as the student union bar, and acts as a year-round venue for gigs and theatre shows, and also acts a venue during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
Notable alumni and academics
- Theodore S. Clerk, (1909-1965), city planner, first Ghanaian architect and developer of the port city of Tema
- Sir Nicholas Grimshaw (born 1939), architect of the Eden Project, president of the Royal Academy since 2004
- Sir Robert Matthew (1906–1975), designed the Royal Commonwealth Pool and founded RMJM
- Patrick Nuttgens (1930–2004), academic and writer on architecture
- Sir Basil Spence (1907–1976), architect of Coventry Cathedral and the New Zealand Parliament Building (nicknamed 'The Beehive') in Wellington, New Zealand
- Sir William Kininmonth (1904–1988), architect of Adam House and Pollock Halls, both in Edinburgh
- Sir James Dunbar-Nasmith (born 1927), conservation architect and head of ECA's Department of Architecture 1978–1988
- Rab and Denise Bennetts, founders of Bennetts Associates
- John McAslan
- Sarah Gough Adamson, landscape painter
- Sam Ainsley, artist
- Barbara Balmer, painter
- Violet Banks, painter
- Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, artist
- Mardi Barrie, artist
- Dame Elizabeth Blackadder, artist
- Elizabeth York Brunton, painter and printmaker
- Hugh Buchanan, artist
- Paul Carter, artist
- John Kingsley Cook, artist and College lecturer
- Stanley Cursiter, artist
- Alan Davie, artist
- Mabel Dawson, painter
- Isobelle Ann Dods-Withers, painter
- Yvonne Drewry, painter and printmaker
- Moyna Flannigan, painter and printmaker
- William Geissler, artist
- William George Gillies, artist
- Tom Gourdie, artist
- Sir James Gunn, artist
- William Hole, artist
- Gwyneth Leech, artist
- Tessa Lynch, artist
- William McLaren, artist
- Wendy McMurdo, artist
- Caroline McNairn, artist
- David Michie, artist
- John Maxwell, artist
- Robert Montgomery, artist and poet
- Katie Paterson, artist and Honorary Fellow of the University of Edinburgh (2013)
- Sir Robin Philipson, artist
- John Platt, artist
- Nina Pope and Karen Guthrie, aka Somewhere
- Barbara Rae, painter and printmaker
- Anne Redpath, artist
- Patrick Reyntiens, artist
- Paul Rooney, artist
- Helen Stevenson, printmaker
- Alan Sutherland, artist
- Adam Bruce Thomson, artist
- Clare Twomey, artist
- Richard Wright, artist, winner of the 2009 Turner Prize
- Mark Osborne, artist
- Mary Syme Boyd
- John Bellany, painter
- William Crozier, painter
- Victorine Foot, painter
- William Gear, painter
- Nicola Green, painter
- Callum Innes, painter and Turner Prize nominee
- Lady Caroline Kininmonth, painter
- David McClure, painter
- Alexander McNeish, painter
- Sir William MacTaggart, painter
- Emily Murray Paterson, painter
- Samuel Robin Spark, painter
- David Dougal Williams, painter
- Alexander Carrick, sculptor and academic
- Fanny Lam Christie, sculptor
- Christopher Hall, sculptor
- Pilkington Jackson, sculptor of the iconic Robert the Bruce statue at Bannockburn, and the college war memorial (1922)
- Hew Lorimer, sculptor
- James Pittendrigh MacGillivray, sculptor
- Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, sculptor and artist
- Phyllis Bone, sculptor
- Mary Syme Boyd, sculptor
- Donald Locke, sculptor
- David Harding, sculptor
- Louise Alder, Soprano
- Sandy Brown, Scottish jazz clarinettist
- Anna Clyne, Composer
- Django Django, band
- Al Fairweather, Scottish jazz trumpeter
- Futuristic Retro Champions, Scottish ElectroPop band
- John Maclean (film director), member of The Beta Band and The Aliens.
- Sir James MacMillan, Composer and Conductor
- The Magnificents, Scottish rock band
- Jamie Muir, percussionist with Music Improvisation Company, King Crimson, Giles, Muir, Cunningham
- The Rezillos, 1970s new wave band, featuring Jo Callis who went on to The Human League
- Donald Runnicles, Conductor
- Rebecca Saunders, composer
- Roy Williamson, member of The Corries, and author of Flower of Scotland
- Shashi Caan, interior architect/designer and president of The International Federation of Interior Architects/Designers(IFI)
- Holly Fulton, fashion designer
- John Maclean (film director), film director
- Ryan McHenry, film director
- Kerry Anne Mullaney, film director
- David Shaw Nicholls, designer & architect
- Aileen Paterson writer and illustrator of children's books
- Adam Robson, rugby player, former head of the Scottish Rugby Union
- "New Chancellor elected". ed.ac.uk. 14 April 2011.
- "Edinburgh College of Art appoints new Principal". www.eca.ed.ac.uk. Retrieved 2 December 2019.
- "Colleges and Schools". ed.ac.uk. 24 October 2013.
- "history of the college". eca. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 14 October 2011.
- "Ministerial announcement approving merger". University of Edinburgh. 4 February 2011. Retrieved 11 December 2015.
- Edinburgh Cast Collection Archived 27 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Edinburgh College of Art. Retrieved on 21 June 2010.
- Pithers, Ellie (15 February 2014). "The world of fashion designer Holly Fulton". Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 15 April 2014. Retrieved 7 April 2014.
- Notes on the Early History of the Royal Scottish Academy, George Harvey, (Edmonston & Douglas, 1873)
- Archives of Scottish Higher Education
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Edinburgh College of Art.|
- Scott Lawrie - The History of Edinburgh College of Art 1906-1969, MPhil Thesis, 1995. Copies held in ECA library and Heriot-Watt University Library.