Slade School of Fine Art

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Coordinates: 51°31′30″N 0°08′04″W / 51.52496°N 0.13440°W / 51.52496; -0.13440

UCL Slade School of Fine Art
Slade School of Fine Art (16694041931).jpg
The North Wing of the UCL Wilkins Building in March 2015
TypeArt school
Established1871; 151 years ago (1871)
FounderFelix Slade
Parent institution
University College London
DirectorKieren Reed
Administrative staff
Bloomsbury, London
England, United Kingdom

The UCL Slade School of Fine Art (informally The Slade) is the art school of University College London (UCL) and is based in London, England. It has been ranked as the UK's top art and design educational institution.[3][4] The school is organised as a department of UCL's Faculty of Arts and Humanities.


Students at the Slade in 1905

The school traces its roots back to 1868 when lawyer and philanthropist Felix Slade (1788–1868) bequeathed funds to establish three Chairs in Fine Art, to be based at Oxford University, Cambridge University and University College London, where six studentships were endowed.

Distinguished past teachers include Henry Tonks, Wilson Steer, Randolph Schwabe, William Coldstream, Andrew Forge, Lucian Freud, Phyllida Barlow, John Hilliard, Bruce McLean, Alfred Gerrard. Edward Allington was Professor of Fine Art and Head of Graduate Sculpture until his death in 2017.[5][6]

Two of its most important periods were immediately before, and immediately after, the turn of the twentieth century, described by Henry Tonks as its two 'crises of brilliance'. The first included the students Augustus John, William Orpen and Percy Wyndham Lewis; the second – which has been chronicled in David Boyd Haycock's A Crisis of Brilliance: Five Young British Artists and the Great War (Old Street Publishing, 2009) – included the students Dora Carrington, Mark Gertler, Paul Nash, C.R.W. Nevinson and Stanley Spencer.

Another cherished period followed the Second World War, under the directorship of William Coldstream, who brought in Lucian Freud to teach, and whose students included Paula Rego, Michael Andrews, and the filmmaker Lorenza Mazzetti. Coldstream was responsible for the creation of the Slade Film Department, the first in any British university, in 1960, with Thorold Dickinson as chief lecturer. Filmmakers associated with the Slade Film Department include Derek Jarman and Peter Whitehead.

Slade Centre for Electronic Media in Fine Art[edit]

The Slade Centre for Electronic Media in Fine Art (SCEMFA) was opened in 1995. The centre provides opportunities for research into electronic media and fine art with the goal of contributing to debate on national and international levels. The Slade had previously been home to Malcolm Hughes's Computer and Experimental Department in the 1970s.

In 1997 SCEMFA presented Collision, a public lecture series by artists, writers, and curators working with interactivity, telematics, and digital works. This exhibition was followed by Spontaneous Reaction, a week-long seminar funded by the Arts Council of England, which took a critical look at interactivity with participants from a variety of disciplines, including psychology, architecture, and computer science.

Throughout 1998, SCEMFA collaborated with Channel 4 UK to organise Cached, a monthly event held at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London. Funded by the Arts Council, this series investigated the conceptual and practical issues of producing art for the internet through a series of artists presentations.

Art collection[edit]

The Slade art collection was started when the yearly prizes awarded to top students was combined with a collection scheme in 1897 and the Summer Composition Prize and the Figure and Head Painting Prizes began to be kept by the school.[7] Works by students and staff of the Slade School of Fine Art form the basis of the UCL Art museum today.[7]


In a 2008 survey conducted by The Sunday Times the Slade recorded perfect scores.[8]

Faculty rankings
The Guardian University Guide 1st[9]
The Complete University Guide 2nd[10]
The Times Good University Guide 2nd[11]


The faculty currently offers the following programs:

Undergraduate studies

  • 3-year BFA in Fine Art
  • 4-year BA in Fine Art

Graduate studies

  • 2-academic year (18 months) MFA in Fine Art
  • 2-calendar (24 months) MA in Fine Art
  • 1-term, 2-term, of 1-year Graduate Affiliate Study


  • MPhil or PhD in Fine Art

Notable alumni[edit]

Full list see Category:Alumni of the Slade School of Art

In fiction[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Academic Staff". Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  2. ^ "Slade School of Fine Art". Retrieved 4 February 2015.
  3. ^ "Art and design". The Guardian. London. 22 May 2012.
  4. ^ "Art and design". The Guardian. London. 17 May 2011.
  5. ^ "The Slade School of Fine Art: Prof Edward Allington". 2013. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  6. ^ "EDWARD ALLINGTON 24 JUNE 1951 - 21 SEPTEMBER 2017". Retrieved 24 September 2017.
  7. ^ a b More about the UCL Art museum Archived 9 January 2016 at the Wayback Machine on the BBC Your Paintings website
  8. ^ McCall, Alastair (19 September 2008). "Double first for Oxford". The Times. London. Archived from the original on 2 December 2008. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
  9. ^ "The Guardian University Guide". London. 12 May 2009. Retrieved 12 May 2009.
  10. ^ "The Complete University Guide". Retrieved 30 April 2009.
  11. ^ Foster, Patrick. "The Good University Guide". The Times. London. Retrieved 20 February 2009.[dead link]
  12. ^ James Fergusson (5 June 1995). OBITUARY:Roy Beddington. The Independent.
  13. ^ Anthony Dyson (6 April 2009). Printmakers' Secrets. A&C Black. pp. 62–. ISBN 978-0-7136-8911-2. Retrieved 10 April 2019.
  14. ^ "Oona Grimes". Drawing Room. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  15. ^ "(Christopher) Nicholas Roald LOGSDAIL". Debrett's. Archived from the original on 8 May 2014. Retrieved 8 May 2014.
  16. ^ "Robert Flavell Micklewright". Art UK. Retrieved 18 September 2022.
  17. ^ "1000 artworks to see before you die". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 April 2021.
  18. ^ "Yolanda Sonnabend (1935–2015)". NPG. Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  19. ^ Lambirth, Andrew (23 November 2017). "Unity Spencer obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 December 2017.

External links[edit]