Hull School of Art


Hull School of Art

The Hull School of Art was founded in 1861 by a group of 'working men' as a response to a British government circular. The circular was issued by the British Government's Department of Science and Art. It urged local authorities and manufacturers throughout the country to take steps in order to improve the quality of British product design, which was considered to be under serious threat from the success of European imports.

In the beginning, classes were given in a suite of upstairs chambers at the Public Assembly Rooms (now the New Theatre). In 1878 the School of Art had moved to a Georgian town house on Albion Street. Later, in 1901, an Anlaby Road site was acquired from the North Eastern Railway Company, and an architectural competition advertised. The winning design for a new Hull Municipal School of Art was produced by the Bloomsbury firm of Lanchester, Stewart and Rickards and completion was announced in April 1905.

The quality of the building's design was widely applauded at the time. The Architectural Review describing it as expressing: '...the purpose for which it is built..." and presenting "....a quiet and dignified appearance...". The Board of Education congratulated the Council on: "...now possessing a School of Art in every way worthy of the City."

In 1930 the school at Anlaby Road became known as the Hull College of Arts and Crafts. In 1962, it was re-named the Regional College of Art and Design, and it began to offer a syllabus leading to the newly recognised Diploma in Art and Design (DipAD). In 1972 a new Art College building on Queens Gardens was commissioned, designed by the Architectural Partnership of Frederick Gibberd. This building received its first students in September 1974.

This was also the year in which honours degrees were offered in the subjects of Fine Art and Graphic Design for the first time. The amalgamation of the local authority's Higher Education provision commenced in 1976 with the foundation of Hull College of Higher Education. Polytechnic status was achieved in 1991, shortly before national legislation allowed for the formation of the new universities.

This institution, Humberside Polytechnic (later renamed to the University of Humberside), entered into an alliance with other higher educational institutions in Lincoln. The resulting University of Lincolnshire and Humberside came into being in 1996. The institution underwent another name change in 2001, when it became The University of Lincoln.

In 2002, senior management within The University of Lincoln decided to close down the BA Fine Art degree, whose painting studios were housed within the Anlaby Road building. It eventually became apparent that it had long ago been decided to move the university's centre of operations away from the city of Hull to Lincoln.

In 2006, the Anlaby Road Art School Building, longtime home of art education in Hull, entered an exciting new stage in its long and illustrious history, having expanded to incorporate a range of successful Performing Arts and Media courses to join its growing Art and Design portfolio, creating an institution offering an expanded and developing range of Higher Education programmes.


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