Ruskin School of Art

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Ruskin School of Art
Oxford HighSt 74.jpg
Ruskin School of Art
LocationOxford, Oxfordshire, England, United Kingdom
51°45′09″N 1°15′02″W / 51.75250°N 1.25056°W / 51.75250; -1.25056Coordinates: 51°45′09″N 1°15′02″W / 51.75250°N 1.25056°W / 51.75250; -1.25056
Operating agency
University of Oxford
Ruskin School of Art is located in Oxford city centre
Ruskin School of Art
Location in Oxford city centre

The Ruskin School of Art, known as the Ruskin, is an art school at the University of Oxford, England.[1] It is part of Oxford's Humanities Division.


The Ruskin grew out the Oxford School of Art, which was founded in 1865 and later became Oxford Brookes University.[2] It was headed by Alexander Macdonald and housed in the University Galleries (subsequently the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology).[3]

In 1869 John Ruskin was appointed Slade Professor of Fine Art at Oxford. Critical of the teaching methods at the Oxford School of Art, he set out to found the Ruskin School of Drawing in 1871 in the same, but restructured, premises. Macdonald was also retained as its head and became, therefore, the first Ruskin Master until his death in 1921.[3][4][5]

It was renamed to Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art in 1945, and to Ruskin School of Art in 2014.[citation needed] The Ruskin remained at the Ashmolean until 1975 when it moved to 74 High Street. An annexe at 128 Bullingdon Road was redeveloped in 2015, and the Ruskin now operates across both sites.[6] The Slade School of Fine Art relocated to the Ruskin for the duration of the Second World War.[citation needed]


The school was originally founded to encourage artisanship and technical skills. It now provides undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in the production and study of visual art. The subject is taught as a living element of contemporary culture with a broad range of historical and theoretical references.[5]

Ruskin Masters[edit]

The school was traditionally headed by an appointed Ruskin Master. From 2002 to 2010, Richard Wentworth was the last to hold this position which, since then, remained vacant.[5]

Since 2017, the current Head of School is Professor Anthony Gardner.[5]

Previous Ruskin Masters were:



  1. ^ Hibbert, Christopher, ed. (1988). "Ruskin School of Drawing & Fine Art". The Encyclopaedia of Oxford. Macmillan. p. 369. ISBN 0-333-39917-X.
  2. ^ "Oxford Brookes University / History". Oxford Brookes University.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ a b Bodleian Library, Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art.
  4. ^ Royal Academy, RA Collection: People and Organisations, Alexander MacDonald.
  5. ^ a b c d "Ruskin School of Drawing & Fine Art". University of Oxford. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
  6. ^[bare URL PDF]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]