1st Edition

The Concept of the 'Master' in Art Education in Britain and Ireland, 1770 to the Present

Edited By

Matthew C. Potter

ISBN 9781138279025
Published November 17, 2016 by Routledge
312 Pages

USD $59.95

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Book Description

A novel investigation into art pedagogy and constructions of national identities in Britain and Ireland, this collection explores the student-master relationship in case studies ranging chronologically from 1770 to 2013, and geographically over the national art schools of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Essays explore the manner in which the Old Masters were deployed in education; fuelled the individual creativity of art teachers and students; were used as a rhetorical tool for promoting cultural projects in the core and periphery of the British Isles; and united as well as divided opinions in response to changing expectations in discourse on art and education. Case studies examined in this book include the sophisticated tradition of 'academic' inquiry of establishment figures, like Joshua Reynolds and Frederic Leighton, as well as examples of radical reform undertaken by key individuals in the history of art education, such as Edward Poynter and William Coldstream. The role of 'Modern Masters' (like William Orpen, Augustus John, Gwen John and Jeff Wall) is also discussed along with the need for students and teachers to master the realm of art theory in their studio-based learning environments, and the ultimate pedagogical repercussions of postmodern assaults on the academic bastions of the Old Masters.

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; Learning from the masters: an introduction, Matthew C. Potter; Naturalising tradition: why learning from the masters?, Iris Wien; A free market in mastery: re-imagining Rembrandt and Raphael from Hogarth to Millais, Paul Barlow; The John Frederick Lewis Collection at the Royal Scottish Academy: watercolour copies of old masters as teaching aids, Joanna Soden; British art students and German masters: W.B. Spence and the reform of German art academies, Saskia Pütz; Standing in Reynolds’ shadow: the academic discourses of Frederic Leighton and the legacy of the first President of the Royal Academy, Matthew C. Potter; Opening doors: the entry of women artists into British art schools, 1871-1930, Alice Strickland; Struggling with the Welsh masters, 1880-1914, Matthew C. Potter; Emulation and legacy: the master-pupil relationship between William Orpen and Seán Keating, Éimear O’Connor; Prototype and perception: art history and observation at the Slade in the 1950s, Emma Chambers; The pedagogy of capital: art history and art school knowledge, Malcolm Quinn; Study the masters? On the ambivalent status of art history within the contemporary art school, Katerina Reed-Tsocha; ’Without a master’: learning art through an open curriculum, Joanne Lee; Bibliography; Index.

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Matthew C. Potter is a Senior Lecturer in Art and Design History at Northumbria University, UK. His research interests include national identity in British art, and the history of art education.


"In reading this work, several of the chapters reminded me of what I had clearly forgotten about the history of art teaching, as well as that which, in a corresponding way, made me want to re-examine and extend my own knowledge and understanding of fine-art teaching." --  Howard Cannatella, Journal of Aesthetic Education