Polytechnic School of Art, Regent Street
Other names: Polytechnic Institute (from 1888)
Foundation date: 1882
Dissolution date: 1964
Function: Art school
Policy: Art and design classes in modelling, drawing and designing for carver, cabinet making, drawing and designing, elementary and advanced etching, chasing and repousse work, and engraving and monogram carving are listed in the 1888-1889 prospectus. Modelling and wood carving classes were offered in the day and in the evening. The day 'art wood carving' class was for women only. The day modelling class was a life class (sex is not specified).
Evening modelling classes are described in the 1888-1889 prospectus as follows:
'Special attention is given to modelling in clay, wax, and plaster, including modelling, moulding, and casting of the seperate parts of the figure and hands, feet, and parts of the face; the uses of mouldings, panels, pilasters, and capitals - the different styles and periods of each; the different styles of ornament of each period as applied in the industrial arts for carvers, designers, and workers in gold, silver, pottery, iron, steel, and brass'.
In addition to the art and design classes the Institute offered 'practical trade classes' which are described as offering 'apprentices and young workmen a thoroughly practical and sympathetic course of training in their various handicrafts, and also to afford practical instruction to apprentices and others in special branches of their trades'. Various evening classes were offered icluding cabinet making and wood carving.
Students who passed a 'specified course of instruction' over three years in the evening school could apply to extend their studies and take the 'Polytechnic Industrial Diploma'. Students could only take the course which was arranged for the profession for which they were currently engaged in. Courses were provided for metal plate workers, bricklayers, mechanical engineers, carriage builders, carpenters and joiners, cabinet makers, decorators and house painters, plumers, electrical engineers, watch and clock makers, and silversmiths and goldsmiths. The silversmith and golsmiths classes included modelling work.
There are no avaliable prospectuses from the session 1889-1900 to 1900-1901. 'Practical trade Classes' and 'Technical Classes' continue to be listed in the prospectuses from 1901 onwards. 'Practical and elementary wood work' classses are listed as technical classes. Evening classes in modelling were taught in the 'School of Art' and a modelling from life class was taught on a Saturday. However, wood carving and stone carving are no longer listed under the School of Art.
The 1902-1903 prospectus notes that classes in modelling in clay (ornament, antique and life) and modelling design (ornament and figure), formed part of the 'Advanced Section' of the school. The description of the syllabus remained unchanged until 1909-1910 when instruction in 'various branches of Craft work' was added to the 'advanced section' of the school. Modelling from life classes continued to be held on Saturday afternoons and additionally on Wednesday evenings.
From 1931-1932 onwards classes are listed in the prospectuses under 'sculpture' rather than 'modelling' as they had been previously.
Rules: Students were eligable to apply for a number of scholarships offered by the London County Council.
History or description: The School of Art was originally part of the Young Mens' Christian Institute Polytechnic. The Polytechnic's 1888-1889 prospectus explains how the Institute it was set up independently by Quintin Hogg at a cost of £60,000 and additional funding had been recieved from 'the charity commissioners' and friends. The school held over 200 classes per week in 1888-1889 for men and women.
The 1888-1889 prospectus includes an article re-printed from The Times, 23 April, 1888, which explains the pre-history of the Institute. It notes that originally Quintin Hogg set up a school for boys in Drurry Lane which became an Instiute in 1873 and was based in Endell Street, but shortly after openening moved to Long Acre. In 1882 the Polytechnice Institute in Regent Street was offered for sale and purchased by Hogg, and the old premises continued to be used for educational and social activities. Science and art classes at the Polytechnic were held in conjunction with the 'Department at South Kensington', and industrial classes were independent, but 'more or less informally related to the City and Guilds of London Institute of Technical Instuction and also to the London Trades' Council'. The prospectus notes that the practical trade classes are the 'special feature' of the Institute.
In 1964 the School of Art at Regent Street Polytechnic merged with that of Chelsea Polytechnic to form Chelsea School of Art.
Address 307, 309, 311 Regent Street London | View on map
No prospectuses are avaliable from 1889-1890 to 1900-1901. This is the address given for the School of Art from the session 1901-1902 onwards.
School located at Endell Street London | View on map
The Institute first opened here in 1882, but was 'shortly afterwards transfered to Long Acre' (see 'The Polytechnic Young Men's Christian Institute, Syllabus and Prospectus' (1888-1889), p. 13). No further dates are given, however, the school moved to Regent Street in 1888.
School located at Long Acre London | View on map
1883 (Circa) - 1887
The Institute first opened in Endell Street in 1882, but was 'shortly afterwards transfered to Long Acre' (see 'The Polytechnic Young Men's Christian Institute, Syllabus and Prospectus' (1888-1889), p. 13). No further dates are given, however, the school moved to Regent Street in 1888.
Institutional and Business Connections
Collaborated with Royal Academy of Arts
It is noted in the 1901-1902 prospectus that six students exhibited work at the Royal Academy in that year, and that two students were admitted to the Royal Academy Schools.
Formed out of West London School of Art
The West London School of Art merged with the Polytechnic when it was established in 1882.
Principals included William Permeanus Cornish
1882 (Presumed) - 1895
See the 'Book of Prize Winners' (1897-c.1956) which lists the school's head masters from 1882-1958. Note that there are no avliable prospectuses until 1888. Listed as one of three 'Art Masters' in 1888-1889.
Principals included Quintin Hogg
Principals included G. Percival Gaskell
1895 (Presumed) - July 1931
Listed as Head Master in the 'Book of Prizes' (1897-c.1956) from 1895-1930. There are no prospectuses are avaliable from 1889-1890 to 1900-1901. Gaskell is listed as Head Master of the School of Art in the 1901-1902 prospectus. He is last listed in 1930-1931.
Principals included Harry George Theaker
September 1931 - July 1938
Listed as Head Master of the Art School from 1931-1932 onwards. Last listed in 1937-1938.
Principals included Harold Brownsword
September 1938 - July 1950
Listed as Head Master of the Art School.
Principals included Harold Brownsword
1938 (Presumed) - 1950 (Presumed)
According to Elliott (2004), p. 110 fn.1
Principals included P.F. Millard
Millard is still listed as Head Master in the 1951-1952 prospectus, the last year sampled for this database.
Students included Helen Victoria Mackay
Listed as a silver medal winner for modelling in 1922: see 'Book of Prize Winners', 1897-c.1956.
Students included Hilda B. Ainscough
See the list of students for modelling the head from life and modelling deisgn in 1922, in 'Book of Prize Winners', (1897-c.1956), unpaged.
Students included Josephine Alys de Vasconcellos
1922 (Presumed) - 1924 (Presumed)
See the list of students for modelling the head from life, and modelling deisgn in 1922, 1923 and 1924, in 'Book of Prize Winners', (1897-c.1956), unpaged.
Students included H. Burton
See the list of students for modelling the head from life in 1922, in 'Book of Prize Winners', (1897-c.1956), unpaged.
Students included M. Moyer
1923 (Presumed) - 1924 (Presumed)
See the list of students for modelling the head from life in 1923, in 'Book of Prize Winners', (1897-c.1956), unpaged.
Teachers included H.L. Ramsay
Listed as one of three 'Art Masters' in 1888-1889.
Teachers included J. Shepherd
Listed as one of three 'Art Masters' in 1888-1889.
Teachers of modeling included William Wright
Teachers of modeling included Frederick Thomas Callcott
1901 (Presumed) - July 1911 (Presumed)
Listed as 'F. Callcott'. No prospectuses are avaliable from 1889-1890 to 1900-1901. Callcott is listed as teacher of modelling in the 1901-1902 prospectus. Callcott is not listed in the 1912-1913 prospectus.
Teachers of modeling included James Alexander Stevenson
September 1912 (Presumed) - July 1914 (Presumed)
Not listed in 1910-1911. Listed as a teacher of modelling from 1912-1913 onwards. Stevenson is not listed in the 1916-1917 prospectus and there is no avaliable prospectus for the sessions 1914-1915 and 1915-1916.
Teachers of modeling included Harold Brownsword
September 1916 (Presumed) - July 1938 (Presumed)
'H. Brownsword' is listed as a teacher of modelling from 1916-1917 onwards. Note that there are no prospectuses for the years 1914-1915 and 1915-1916; Brownsword is not listed in the 1913-1914 prospectus. Note that from 1931-1932 onwards Brownsword is additionally listed as administrative assistant to the Head Master of the school. From 1938-1939 onwards Brownsword is listed as Head Master of the school. It is probable that he continued to teach sculpture classes, however, he is not listed under teachers.
Teachers of modeling included John Huskinson
September 1916 (Presumed) - July 1919
Listed as a teacher of modelling from 1916-1917 onwards. Note that there are no prospectuses for the years 1914-1915 and 1915-1916; Huskinson is not listed in the 1913-1914 prospectus. He is last listed in 1918-1919.
Teachers of modeling included Charlotte Ellen Gibson
September 1927 - July 1944
Listed as Miss C. E. Gibson in the prospectuses and as assistant teacher from 1927-1928 to 1930-1931. From 1921-1932 onwards Gibson is listed as a teacher of sculpture.
Teachers of modeling included James T.A. Osborne
1932 - 1952 (Circa)
Listed as a teacher of sculpture and wood engraving, landscape and still life painting. Osborne is still listed in the 1951-1952 prospectus, the final year sampled for this database.
Teachers of modeling included Geoffrey Hampton Deeley
September 1938 - 1952
Note that in the 1941-1942 prospectus Deeley is listed on the teaching staff, but also as 'serving with H. M. Forces'. He is not listed from 1942-1943 to 1945-1946. Deeley is listed again as a teacher of sculpture in the 1946-1947 prospectus. He is still listed in the 1951-1952 prospectus, the final year sampled by this database.
Teachers of modeling included M. Crossley
Crossley is still listed in the 1951-1952 prospectus, the final year sampled for this database.
Teachers of modeling included Douglas Wain-Hobson
Listed as a teacher of sculpture in the 1951-1952 prospectus, the final year sampled for this database.
Teachers of woodcarving included L.P. Schauermann
Listed as teacher of wood carving and stone carving in the School of Practical and Technical Arts, and of 'Practical Trade Classes' in wood carving, in the 1888-1889 prospectus.
Citing this record
'Polytechnic School of Art, Regent Street', Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851-1951, University of Glasgow History of Art and HATII, online database 2011 [http://sculpture.gla.ac.uk/view/organization.php?id=msib4_1252314822, accessed 19 Jan 2017]