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TANNER, Robin (1904-1988)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0366 BTA
Held at: Institute of Education
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Full title: TANNER, Robin (1904-1988)
Date(s): 1920s-1988
Level of description: collection
Extent: 12 boxes; 1 large packet
Name of creator(s): Tanner | Robin | 1904-1988 | artist and educationist
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

Robin Tanner (1904-1988) became a teacher in 1924, having studied at Goldsmith's College, London, and taught in schools in Greenwich, and then in Corsham and Chippenham, Wiltshire. In 1935 he became on of His Majesty's Inspectors of Schools in primary education and subsequently worked in Leeds, Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire. In Oxfordshire he worked with Edith Moorhouse, the County's Primary Adviser and his views on primary education were also influenced by the work of Christian Schiller. He retired in 1964 but continued to participate in numerous short courses and conferences, giving lectures and arranging displays to illustrate his themes, including at Dartington Hall in Devon, Cowley Manor in Gloucestershire and Woolley Hall in Yorkshire. Tanner believed that the study of natural things and the exploration of arts and crafts, music and poetry were essential for the development of teachers and children. He was himself a distinguished artist and etcher and helped to found and support the Crafts Study Centre at the Holborne Menstrie Museum in Bath. He married Heather Spackman in 1931.


Scope and content/abstract:

These papers relate primarily to Robin Tanner's work in education and not to his activities as an artist and etcher. They include lectures, addresses and conference papers together with photographs of accompanying displays, 1950s-1980s; a small group of papers relating to individual schools, 1930s-1980s; some publications; a little correspondence, mainly from the 1960s-1980s; slides of works by young people taught by Tanner in the 1930s; and personalia, including poetry and prose anthologies, some neckties and a cassette recording of a talk by Heather Tanner and Dietrich Hanff on 'Life in the Tanner Household'.

Access & Use

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Conditions governing reproduction:

A reader wishing to publish any quotation of information, including pictorial, derived from any archive material must apply in writing for prior permission from the Librarian or other appropriate person(s) as indicated by the Archivist. A limited number of photocopies may be supplied at the discretion of the Archivist.

Finding aids:

Archival Information

Archival history:

This collection was originally part of the National Primary Education Archive at Bishop Grosseteste College, Lincoln.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Allied Materials

Related material:

Wiltshire Museum and Library Service, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, holds a collection of drawings and paintings by children taught by Tanner. The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, and Bristol Art Gallery have complete collections of Tanner's etchings. Further archive material may be found at Bristol University Library.

Publication note:

Double Harness (autobiography) (Impact Books, 1987); From Old Chapel Farm (selected letters) ed Tim Fenn, (Impact Books, 1991).

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:

Date(s) of descriptions:
Created 11/24/1999, modified 12/7/2000

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