Leeds College of Art celebrates 170 years

DAYS GONE BY: Leeds College of Art Rag Day June 30, 1946. PIC: Margaret Bostwick

DAYS GONE BY: Leeds College of Art Rag Day June 30, 1946. PIC: Margaret Bostwick

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The city art school attended by Damien Hirst and Barbara Hepworth is marking its 170th anniversary this year.

Leeds College of Art, whose notable past students also include Henry Moore, is celebrating the milestone with a year of exhibitions, events and community activities.

The institution is showcasing work from former students and artists from across the UK in free exhibitions.

The work of sculptor Kabir Hussain, who studied at the college from 1979 to 1980, has launched the programme with ‘Flatlands.’

Simone Wonnacott, Leeds College of Art principal, said: “We are extremely proud of our significant history and heritage as a leading specialist art school. Our 170th anniversary is an exciting year - as we look to the future with plans for growth, it is important for us to celebrate our talented students, past and present, and our dedicated staff. We hope that the public will join us at our exhibitions and events throughout the year.”

Founded in 1846 as the Leeds Government School of Art and Design, Leeds College of Art has contributed significantly to the development of art education in Britain and across the world. In later years Damien Hirst, Marcus Harvey, Eric Bainbridge, Clio Barnard and Georgina Starr all studied at the art school, known then as the Jacob Kramer College.

Paintings of industrial Yorkshire landscapes will feature in an exhibition of works by Edna Lumb, who studied at the college from 1948 to 1953, opening on February 12. A photography show of work by Ralph Wallis, including images of The Headrow in the 1950s, will open on March 25.

An exhibition of work by Garry Barker, a narrative artist and tutor at the college since 1974 who has taught the likes of Damien Hirst, opens on April 15. An alumni group show opens on March 16 featuring work by Eric Bainbridge, Deborah Bowness and Janet Rawlins.

Stewart Jefferson.

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