This article responds to the challenge offered by Mervyn Romans in The International Journal of Art and Design Education 23: 3 (2004) to the argument that economic necessity was the motive for the establishment of the first publicly funded art school in Britain by the Select Committee on Arts and Manufactures of 1835/6. Romans questions the idea of the economic necessity of the art school offered by Quentin Bell, Stuart Macdonald and others, because of a lack of hard economic evidence for their position. I argue that in this instance, economic necessity should be defined according to the terms of a political economic science of the state, which offered ‘scientific’ reasons for the economic benefits of political change. I will analyse this political economic discourse with reference to the examination of Martin Archer Shee, then President of the Royal Academy, at the Select Committee on Arts and Manufactures in 1836. I conclude by suggesting that the establishment of the first publicly funded art school in Britain in 1837, as it was distinguished from the Royal Academy, can be understood as part of a political economic experiment that was realized only when Henry Cole took charge of the School of Design as ‘The Department of Practical Art’ in 1852. This experiment depended on risking the models of professionalism in art that existed at that time, in order to advance new combinations of politics, economics and public pedagogy under capital, in ways that are no longer readily recognizable.
|Type of Research:||Article|
|Additional Information (Publicly available):|
This research has been developed from funded sabbatical research undertaken at University of the Arts London in autumn 2009, and a seminar ‘The Idea of the Art School in Early Nineteenth-Century Britain’ that I organized at Tate Britain on 8 June 2010, which included papers from myself, Professor Philip Schofield, Professor Richard Whatmore, Dr Martin Myrone and Professor Sir Christopher Frayling, as well as an article ‘The Disambiguation of the Royal Academy of Arts’ which has appeared in History of European Ideas 37(1) 2011 pp. 53-62, and lectures ‘The Chamber of Horrors: Art Education and Mass Culture’ at University of Cambridge Faculty of Education on 28 February 2009 and ‘Reading Reynolds With Bentham: the Idea of the Art School in Early Nineteenth-Century Britain’ at the Bentham Project Seminars, Bentham Project, University College London 2 March 2011. My research on the legacy of utilitarianism began with a symposium I organised on J.S. Mill at Tate Britain in 2006, entitled ‘On Liberty and Art’.
|Keywords/subjects not otherwise listed:||Political economy, art education, pedagogy, capitalism|
|Your affiliations with UAL:||Colleges > Wimbledon College of Art|
|Copyright Holders:||© 2011 The Author. iJADE © 2011 NSEAD/Blackwell Publishing Ltd|
|Projects or Series:||Research Outputs Review (April 2010 - April 2011)|
|Deposited By:||Prerna Bhatt|
|Deposited On:||10 Feb 2012 10:11|
|Last Modified:||10 Feb 2012 10:11|