UCL News


Stars of the UCL Slade at the Royal Academy

2 February 2006

Drawings from the UCL Slade's Fine Art Student Prize Collections are taking centre stage at the Watercolours & Drawings Fair, held at the Royal Academy from 2 to 5 February 2006.

Art Collections

This annual art fair offers a wide selection of watercolours and drawings for sale, which can be taken away on the day. 50 specialist art dealers offer over 5,000 pictures for sale, from £250 to £100,000. The dealers present art from both traditional and more contemporary collectors, including works by Rowlandson, Allingham, Burne-Jones, Fedden and Hockney.

The paintings from the UCL Slade are the only part of the collection not on sale, and they form a special focus of the event. The drawings are all from the first 60 years of the UCL Slade's existence, reflect its focus on the study from the life model. In 1871 the first Professor, Edward Poynter, encouraged his students to make rapid linear sketches from the life model. This contrasted sharply with other art institutions, where they studied "from the antique".

As a result of this approach to teaching art through life drawing, the Slade attracted talented students who went on to be some of the most important artists in 20th century Britain, including Augustus John, Dora Carrington, Walter Sickert, Gwen John and Stanley Spencer. The exhibition at the Watercolours & Drawings Fair showcases their early work.

UCL Collections Manager, Helen Robinson commented: "We are delighted to be invited to be part of this year's Watercolours and Drawing Fair, as it gives us the opportunity to present to a new audience the exciting breadth and quality of these early works by artists hitherto celebrated within much larger collections and much later in their professional careers."