Cambridge School of Art Archive Exhibition

Published: 15 September 2010 at 10:30

Informal collection of ‘insightful’ archive drawings, paintings and prints from the past go on show

Wednesday 29 September – Saturday 9 October

Monday- Friday 9-5, Saturday 9 October 10-3 at the Ruskin Gallery

Over the years a collection of work produced by former students and staff of Cambridge School of Art at Anglia Ruskin University has informally accumulated.

A new exhibition puts on public display a selection of these works for the first time. They include drawings, paintings and prints by twentieth century artists such as Edward Bawden, Walter Hoyle, John Bolam, Paul Hogarth and Chloe Cheese as well as many works by students.

Life Study (Anonymous) from the 1950s; and Edward Bawden’s Cattle Market, Braintree, published by Contemporary Lithographs Ltd 1937 are just two of the pieces that will be on display.

Cambridge School of Art has a long tradition of drawing as the cornerstone of its art education dating back to the school’s foundation in 1858 by John Ruskin, the namesake of the modern day Anglia Ruskin University. In his inaugural address Ruskin argued the importance of teaching students to see above all else; even above word and thought

"Sight. Not a slight thing to teach, this: perhaps, on the whole, the most important thing to be taught in the whole range of teaching."

"To be taught to read – what is the use of that, if you know not ether what you read is false or true? To be taught to write or speak – but what is the use of speaking, if you have nothing to say? To be taught to think –nay, what is the use of being able to think, if you have nothing to think of? But to be taught to see is to gain word and thought at once, and both true."

John Ruskin, Inaugural Address, October 29th, 1858

This philosophy informs learning and teaching at Cambridge School of Art; being taught to see means being taught to draw – not a question of striving for something beautiful, creditable or saleable, but of allowing blunders and mishaps to remain unconcealed in an attempt to understand the visual world and this ethos is reflected in this collection of works.