Ruskin School of Art

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Ruskin School of Art
Oxford HighSt 74.jpg
Ruskin School of Art
LocationOxford, Oxfordshire, 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.


From 1865, there existed an Oxford School of Art at Oxford University, headed by Alexander Macdonald and housed in the University Galleries (subsequently the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology).[2]

When John Ruskin became Slade Professor of Fine Art at Oxford, he was critical about the teaching methods employed there and set out to reform them. To achieve this, he founded the Ruskin School of Drawing in 1871 to replace the older art school in the same, but restructured, premises and with the existing students. Macdonald was also retained as its head and became, therefore, the first Ruskin Master until his death in 1921.[2][3][4]

It was renamed to Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art in 1945, and to Ruskin School of Art in 2014.

The Ruskin remained at the Ashmolean until 1975 when it moved to 74 High Street. It also occupies a further building at 128 Bullingdon Road, opened in 2015, and operates across both sites.

The Slade School of Fine Art relocated to the Ruskin for the duration of the Second World War.


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.[4]

Ruskin Masters[edit]

The school was traditionally headed by an appointed Ruskin Master. From 2002-2010, Richard Wentworth was the last to hold this position which, since then, remained vacant.[4]

Since 2017, the current Head of School is Professor Anthony Gardner.[4]

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. ^ a b Bodleian Library, Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art.
  3. ^ Royal Academy, RA Collection: People and Organisations, Alexander MacDonald.
  4. ^ a b c d "Ruskin School of Drawing & Fine Art". University of Oxford. Retrieved 21 August 2012.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]