UCL News


​​​​​​​Slade School of Fine Art celebrates 150th anniversary

13 September 2021

From Stanley Spencer and Chila Kumari Burman to Rachel Whiteread and Michael Armitage, UCL's Slade School of Fine Art has educated and trained generations of world-renowned artists since 1871.  

Heritage black and white image of three people working in the Slade print shop

This autumn, the Slade will celebrate 150 years of fine art teaching and research with a varied programme of events that reflect on the past, showcase the present, and look ahead to the future.  

 To mark the start of a year of celebrations, Slade is hosting an online event on Monday 4 October that will see the launch of the Slade One Fund, aimed at ensuring fair and equal access to, and participation in, art education. 

There will also be an exclusive preview of the trailer for the Slade 150 documentary film, which will track key moments from the art school’s history, highlighting transformations, firsts, and definitive moments along the way. Through interviews, archives, artworks, and filmography, the documentary will shed light on the Slade’s present through the prism of the past, and look to the future, exploring its role at the vanguard of art research and education. 

Celebrations will continue with a Slade 150 symposium series and public exhibitions in the UCL Octagon Gallery and the UCL Art Museum, where visitors will be able to see a specially produced time map of the names of all those who have studied or worked at the Slade since 1871 in a collaboration with UCL Culture called Testing Ground. 

Print Pals: Then and Now is a limited-edition publication to mark the anniversary borne out of a collaboration between Slade and the National College of the Arts (NCA) in Pakistan at the height of the pandemic. It will be produced and printed in both London and Lahore and be available as an open access PDF available to download.  

The anniversary will culminate in a landmark evenin the summer of 2022. All the activities, along with the launch of the Slade One Fund, aim to provoke critical conversations around access, inclusion and the future of art education.  

Slade’s Director, Professor Kieren Reed, said: 

‘It is by reflecting on our multiple histories and learning from how these have informed the present that we can chart our course for the future. We hope that our 150th celebrations will involve the entire Slade community in this milestone year. This is also an opportunity to include the public and the whole arts sector, as well as students past, present and future, in the next chapter of Slade’s story.’ 

Slade School of Fine Art at UCL was founded in 1871, following a bequest to the university from the lawyer and collector Felix SladeIt, has been a leader in fine art education ever since, fostering innovative, interdisciplinary artistic and art research cultures, and welcoming students from all over the world. 

By offering female students education on the same terms as men, the Slade set the stage for UCL to lead Britain in opening up university degrees to women. It has continued to innovate and influence throughout its history, transforming art education, research and practice nationally and internationally.  

Follow #Slade150 on social media to keep up to date with all the Slade 150 anniversary year events and find out how to attend the launch event. You can also register on the Slade 150 website to receive updates via email



  • Stanley Jones teaching plate lithography on an offset press in the 1960s. Credit: Slade Archive

Media contact

Jane Bolger

T: +44 (0)20 3108 9040