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Art School: 150 years of Fine Art at Reading

Life drawing class

A life drawing class at the old Art School, London Road

‘Fascinating images illustrate the Department's transformation through the 1970s and 80s, which saw the shifting nature of studio art practice and the emergence of art theory, mirroring the social and cultural changes of the time.' Professor Alun Rowlands, Head of the University's Department of Fine Art

Since then the Department of Fine Art has produced such talents as Turner Prize nominees Cornelia Parker, Richard Wilson and Mike Nelson, and has been associated with successful artists including Walter Sickert and Terry Frost.

The exhibition will be officially launched on Thursday 20 May and be on show in the Museum's John Madejski Art Gallery until the end of September. It will feature works by the Department's students and Professors from the last 150 years and offer a fascinating insight into the subjects that inspired Reading artists over that period. It will also illustrate how the Department's teaching methods developed, from its Victorian origins to the contemporary students of today.

Accompanying the exhibition is a programme of fun activities for the public, including Victorian Art school drawing classes and exhibition tours.

Professor Alun Rowlands, Head of the University's Department of Fine Art, said: ‘We are extremely proud of our Department which is steeped in history. Visitors to the exhibition will discover how and why the Art School began, how its teaching methods changed, and why the curriculum evolved due to student demands.

‘Fascinating images illustrate the Department's transformation through the 1970s and 80s, which saw the shifting nature of studio art practice and the emergence of art theory, mirroring the social and cultural changes of the time.'

All the works have come from the collections of the Museum, Fine Art archives and the University Special Collections with generous loans from various local people.

The Victorian Art school drawing classes and exhibition tours will be given by Professor Stephen Buckley, Dr Roger Cook and renowned artist Marc Camille Chaimowicz.

Art School: 150 years of Fine Art at Reading
20 May - 26 September, Reading Museum, Old Town Hall, Blagrave Street www.readingmuseum.org.uk 

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