Anglia Ruskin University Celebrates 150 years in 2008

Published: 10 January 2008 at 10:33

Anniversary celebrations start with St Trinian’s old boy!

As cinemas throughout the UK show the latest film in the St Trinian’s saga, Anglia Ruskin University is rolling out a stunning exhibition of the work of the originator of the cartoons as it begins a year long programme of 150 year anniversary celebrations.

The first film, staring Alastair Sim and Joyce Grenfell, was made in 1954 and it chronicled the unruly adventures of the ‘school for young ladies’. Now being revisited by top names including Rupert Everett, Colin Firth, Russell Brand and Stephen Fry, it is bringing Ronald Searle, a former student of the Cambridge School of Art which now sits at the heart of Anglia Ruskin University, back into the media spotlight.

The exhibition Ronald Searle – A Celebration opens from 10 January - 13 February at the Ruskin Gallery on the University’s Cambridge campus -follows on from the launch of the film which premiered in December.  It will feature the legendary graphic artist’s St Trinian’s cartoons along with his famous political sketches and truly sobering wartime illustrations.

Ronald Searle has been described as the greatest graphic artist of our time. His distinctive brand of visual commentary and satire has been familiar to generations through seven decades of continuous output. 

Fellow illustrator and Anglia Ruskin University honorary Quentin Blake will be performing the official opening of the exhibition on 9 January during a Private View. He said:

“In the pages of magazines and books, on posters and on the screen, as reporter and satirist, comedian and wit, Ronald Searle has succeeded brilliantly and distinctively at pretty well everything that an illustrator might hope for; but perhaps he is most inspiring to us all as a consummate draughtsman. The head and eye and hand are coordinated as wonderfully as ever!”

Anglia Ruskin University has its origins in the Cambridge School of Art which was opened in 1858 by John Ruskin. The title Anglia Ruskin University was granted by the Privy Council in 2005 and reflects not only the University’s heritage but its contemporary values of social reform and our role in the political economy of education.  

Speaking about the start of the 2008 anniversary programme, Anglia Ruskin’s Vice Chancellor Professor Michael Thorne said:

“This first magnificent event in our 150 year celebration will set the standard for the programme of lectures, events and fun days to be rolled out during 2008.  We will be showcasing 150 years of education within Essex and Cambridgeshire which now sees us delivering higher education throughout the East of England.”

“During this special year, we will be investing in additional facilities and creating new learning environments while continuing to develop flexible learning for students everywhere. While we do this we aim to further raise our research profile and become more nationally and globally focused.”

Events to be staged over the next twelve months will feature the work of the University’s five distinctive faculties: the Ashcroft International Business School, the Faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences, the Faculty of Education, the Faculty of Health and Social Care and the Faculty of Science and Technology.

In addition to historic events, and music and arts performances there will be a series of high profile lectures delivered by people associated with the development of the University including Anglia Ruskin University’s Chancellor Lord Ashcroft; and Kate Barker, the newly elected Chair of Governors.