UCL project uncovering hidden gems in Slade Archive
8 March 2013
A new project between the Slade School of Fine Art and UCL Centre for Digital Humanities is exploring and mapping hidden gems from the Slade Archive.
The project will trial various online platforms and tools to help unearth, track and bridge together the varied histories of the School, its former staff and students, and chart their significant impact in the art world – both nationally and internationally.
Including objects and artefacts dating throughout the Slade’s history at UCL, the archive collection contains rich evidence of the time artists, such as Richard Hamilton and Rachel Whiteread, spent there.
Together with materials held in UCL Special Collections and UCL Art Museum, the extensive on-site archive also contains papers, photographs, class lists, audio-tapes and signing-in books.
“At UCL we have this amazing archive containing wonderful materials and objects from the Slade over the past 142 years, however much of this archive is difficult to access,” said Dr Melissa Terras (UCL Centre for Digital Humanities). “As a result, the idea behind the archive project is to explore ways of presenting this information to a wider audience, and highlighting the amazing things we have hidden away at UCL.”
Since 1871 the Slade School of Fine Art has educated and trained generations of world-renowned artists, from Gwen and Augustus John, Stanley Spencer and Ben Nicholson around the turn of the 20th century and early 1900s, to William Coldstream, Richard Hamilton and Eduardo Paolozzi in the 1930s and 40s, through to Derek Jarman, Paula Rego, Euan Uglow and Craigie Aitchison in the 50s and 60s.
More recent Turner Prize winning alumni include Martin Creed, Rachel Whiteread, Antony Gormley and Douglas Gordon. There are also many artists that come to the Slade to study from abroad and many have returned to make important contributions in their own countries including, for example, Israel, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sudan.
“Over the months to come we will be exploring a range of ways in which this rich and diverse resource can be made more accessible and generate new knowledge,” said Professor Susan Collins (UCL Slade School of Fine Art). “The archive is in a sense a moving target. It is still developing and accruing material on a daily basis. So part of the project is also looking at ways of capturing contributions and evidence from the present for future use.”
“We’ve been very fortunate to receive a UCL Arts & Humanities Small Research Grant to work with the Slade to undertake a pilot project on the Slade Archive, so over the next few months we’re looking forward to mapping and activating this invaluable resource,” added Dr Terras.
For more information contact Liz Bruchet, Slade Archive project research assistant: slade.enquiries(at)ucl.ac.uk