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Chelsea College of Art & Design

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0000 Chelsea College
Held at: University of the Arts London: Chelsea College of Art and Design
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Full title: Chelsea College of Art & Design
Date(s): 1928-2001
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: Approximately 50 boxes
Name of creator(s): Chelsea College of Art & Design
Chelsea School of Art
Hammersmith College of Art and Building


Administrative/Biographical history:

Chelsea College of Art & Design has its origins in the South-Western Polytechnic, which was opened at Manresa Road, Chelsea in 1895 to provide scientific and technical education to Londoners. Day and evening classes for men and women were held in domestic economy, mathematics, engineering, natural science, art and music. Art was taught from the beginning of the Polytechnic, and included design, weaving, embroidery and electrodeposition. Instruction in design especially adapted to various industries was an early feature of teaching in art at Chelsea. The South-Western Polytechnic became Chelsea Polytechnic in 1922 and taught a growing number of registered students of the University of London.

At the beginning of the 1930s the interests of the school of art began to widen, including courses in craft training. Teaching began to cover commercial design, with courses including package design, block-printed fabrics, knotted rugs, painted furniture and typographical lay-out introduced between 1931 and 1938. Fine art courses appeared, with a sculpture department founded under the Principal, H S Williamson. Notable teachers in the School of Art have included Henry Moore, Graham Sutherland, Lawrence Gowing, Norbert Lynton and Patrick Caulfield. On 1 January 1957 the college was designated a College of Advanced Technology, and became known as Chelsea College of Science and Technology. The School of Art was separated and became independent. In 1964 the School of Art merged with the Regent Street Polytechnic School of Art to create a new Chelsea School of Art in purpose built premises at Manresa Road, directly managed by London County Council. Courses were reorganised leading to the new Diploma in Art and Design in Painting and in Graphic Design and Sculpture. Under the first head of the new institution, Lawrence Gowing, an option programme was introduced encompassing workshops on experimental music, poetry, artists' books, psychoanalysis, philosophy and anthropology. A basic design course pioneered by Victor Pasmore and Richard Hamilton developed to become the basis of the College's foundation course. An MA in Fine Art was introduced in 1974.

Hammersmith College of Art and Building was founded in 1891 by Francis Hawke, with the establishment of a few evening classes to prepare students for science and art certificates. In 1904 the school was taken over by London County Council and a new building erected at Lime Grove, which opened with an extended curriculum in 1908. A trade school for girls was erected on the same site in 1914. From the outset the College had a tradition of training and education in art closely associated with the building professions and craft. A new building was opened in 1930. Hammersmith College merged with Chelsea College of Art in 1975.

In January 1986 Chelsea School of Art became a constituent college of the London Institute, formed by the Inner London Education Authority associating its art schools and specialist colleges of printing, fashion and distributive trades into a collegiate structure. In 1989 the School was renamed Chelsea College of Art & Design. New courses since 1989 include a BA in design, an MA in History and Theory of Modern Art, and an MA in the Theory and Practice of Public Art and Design for the Environment.


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of Chelsea School of Art, 1928-2001, later Chelsea College of Art & Design, comprising minutes and agendas of Academic Board meetings, 1975-1991; minutes of the Board of Studies, and related papers, 1991-1993; minutes of the Academic Committee and related papers, 1992-1993; papers of the Advisory Committee of the New School of Art in Chelsea, notably minutes, agendas and papers, 1958-1964, including schedule of accommodation for proposed College, 1958; minutes of the Chelsea School of Art/Hammersmith College of Art and Building (Art Department) Formation Committee, 1974, relating to the merger of the colleges; minutes of the Fine Art Area Committee, 1990-1993; minutes of Library Committee, 1978-1980;

Principal's reports to the Governors, 1959-1965; instrument of Government and draft Articles of Government, 1970; list of former staff and students at the College, 1958 and minutes of H S Williamson presentation committee, 1958 (retiring head of College); summaries of part time teaching staff contracts, 1971-1976;

correspondence with Professor Gowing concerning the administration of the new college, 1958; inventory and papers relating to equipment and furniture for the new college, [1960-1963]; correspondence concerning the building of school, 1963-1964, including furniture catalogues; papers concerning the opening ceremony of the new College building, 1964-1965, including programme for the opening of new building, 1965; correspondence and papers relating to Henry Moore's sculpture Two Piece Reclining Figure no.1, purchased by the College in 1963; photographs of its erection at the College, 1964; survey of accommodation and equipment, 1975;

papers concerning the Academic Development Plan, 1976; report of the Council for National Academic Awards, 1975; papers relating to bursaries and awards, 1975; papers relating to Council for National Academic Awards visit, including review of MA in Fine Art, 1977; papers relating to Quinquennial reviews, 1977-1982; papers concerning the Council for National Academic Awards review visit to Chelsea, 1982; programme for opening of South Park Annexe, 1982; submissions for new course in 3D Design, 1982; proposed MA in History of Modern Art, 1986; papers and circulars relating to ILEA, 1970s-1986;

Chelsea School of Art programmes for end of term plays/entertainments, 1932-1962; copies of The Queel, 1928-1929, Chiaroscuro, 1949, Chelsea College of Art magazines; magazines and works produced by students, including Pump, Chelsea School of Art magazine, 1977-1978; MONTAGE 4, 1984; newsletter, 1977; Chelsea School of Art Graphics magazines, 1977-1982; Insight, 1991, Review, 2000, London Institute magazines; briefing, London Institute newspaper, 2001; Entitled, London Institute students union magazine, 2001;

prospectuses, 1959-2001; publicity leaflet for new courses, 1962; Chelsea College of Science and Technology annual report, 1958-1959; press cuttings, 1970-1991, relating to the College and Government policy; press release concerning the creation of London Institute, 1985; album of photographs of social events and work at the College, 1970s; correspondence, related papers and exhibition catalogues for the school gallery exhibitions, 1965-1973; papers relating to general studies open lectures, 1970-1972; photographs, articles and catalogues for degree shows, 1977-2001; portfolios of prints by students and staff of the Printmaking Department, [1965-1986]; papers relating to the London Institute, [1987]-1991, including course monitoring reports, 1990; annual reports, 1990-1992; student handbooks, 1991;

memoir of Anne Baer, nee Sedgwick, student at Chelsea Art School, 1933-1936; correspondence and papers relating to Frederick Brill's (Principal, Chelsea School of Art) book, Matisse (Paul Hamlyn, London, 1967), 1965-1967;

records of Hammersmith College of Art and Building, comprising Department of Art prospectus, 1973-1974; programme for the opening of the new Hammersmith School of Building and Arts and Crafts, 1930; 35mm slides and photographs of student work, 1960s; publicity leaflets, 1960s.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

The records are arranged chronologically by year.

Conditions governing access:

By written application to the Site Librarian, Manresa Road, London, SW3 6LS. Researchers from the London Institute may visit by appointment.

Conditions governing reproduction:

At the discretion of the librarian.

Finding aids:

The records are uncatalogued.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Created in the course of business.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Records of South-Western Polytechnic, Chelsea Polytechnic and Chelsea College of Science and Technology, 1888-1895, are held by King's College London Archives (reference: KCLCA C). There are also records of the Regent Street Polytechnic School of Art held by University of Westminster Archives.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Julie Tancell as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
July 2002

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