2018 marks the 150th anniversary of the foundation of Croydon School of Art, one of the borough’s key cultural institutions.
Croydon School of Art was established by the Literary & Scientific Society and formally opened in May 1868. Its first teaching rooms were in the Public Halls, Croydon, which stood on the corner of George Street and Wellesley Road until 1947.
From very early in its history, the School of Art had a close relationship with the Council, initially through grants before coming under its direct control in 1932.
The increasing number of students and range of courses offered by the School put pressure on the accommodation. Even before the Second World War, plans were developed for new premises on the Fairfield site.
In 1960, Croydon Technical College & Croydon College of Art were formally opened on the current site beginning a period of great cultural activity.
The exhibition displays works from many of the artists who had connections with the School, either as students, visiting teachers or lecturers.
These range from Victorian watercolours and oils depicting Croydon in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, to graphic prints and abstract paintings from artists such as Richard Allen (1933 - 1999), John Hoyland (1934 – 2011) and Bridget Riley (b. 1931). Local artist Norman Partridge (1921 – 2002) was a student at the School from the age of 16 and two works by him, depicting the interior of the studios and teaching rooms, have been specifically purchased for this exhibition.
The Museum of Croydon also holds archival and local history material related to the history of the School, some of which is included in the exhibition.
Interior of Croydon Art School' by Norman Partridge (m/1992/584).
'Croydon School of Art' exhibition
Wednesday 20 December 2017 - Saturday 14 April 2018
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