Fine Art Building, School of Arts and Cultures, University of Newcastle
Fine Art, School of Arts and Cultures, University of Newcastle is one of the longest established centres for Fine Art education in the UK. The Fine Art Building was constructed between 1911 and 1913 to accommodate what was to be designated the Edward VII School of Art and Design. The funds for its construction were gifted by John Bell Simpson for the specific purpose of endowing the City of Newcastle with a permanent Art School. The inscription on the face of the building and the Royal Coat of Arms commemorate Bell Simpson’s gift and his wish that the School should be associated with Edward VII. A Royal Charter was granted to the School to mark its new status.
The building was designed to meet all the physical requirements of a school of art. It is renowned for the quality of its studios that display the ideal characteristics of painting studios: large spaces with high ceilings and windows giving excellent daylight. The use and layout of the studios have not been significantly altered, the design remains well suited to its present functions. The studios are widely recognised as being amongst the best painting studios in any UK art school, and as an important and historic example of this type of accommodation. The quality of the studios has been exploited by a succession of Britain’s most distinguished artists. Works of art created in the studios are held in the collections of the most important museums of twentieth century art.
In the 1960s the Fine Art Building was extended to provide studios for sculpture, design and print as well as a Lecture Theatre and accommodation for the Foundation Course. The new build provided an integrated Fine Art resource with studio and workshop accommodation for most areas of creative and Art Historical activity.
This text courtesy of Andrew Burton, Head of Resources, School of Arts and Cultures and Peter Davis, Head of School of Arts and Cultures
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