Bartolomeu Dos Santos was the Slade’s Head of Printmaking from 1961 and a Professor of Fine Art from 1994 until his death in 2008.
This generous award has been endowed in perpetuity by a former student of Barto dos Santos, Max Werner. Max graduated from the Slade in 1985 and remained a close friend of Barto, as did many of Barto’s students. Max went on to teach printmaking at the Slade before setting up an etching workshop in London in 1990. He subsequently moved to Argentina to develop his artistic practice further, before moving to the USA where his studio is currently based. Max is a practicing artist and exhibits his work internationally.
Barto Dos Santos
Bartolomeu Cid dos Santos, born Lisbon 1931, arrived in the autumn of 1956 at the age of 25 to study for a single graduate year at the Slade. During that time the Slade Professor, Sir William Coldstream introduced him to Anthony Gross, Head of Printmaking, and to the world of print that was to change his life forever.
At the end of the year he was awarded the first prize for etching. ‘I did not know what the word etcher meant’, he later said. ‘But I soon found out, and with it the potentialities of aquatint with its deep, profound blacks and beautiful half tones that Goya understood so well’.
Barto, as he was always known, began teaching at the Slade shortly after, became Head of Printmaking in 1961 and Professor of Fine Art in 1994. In 1995 he was elected as a Fellow of University College London, and on retirement in 1996 Emeritus Professor of the University of London. He was also awarded the Order of Prince Henry by the President of Portugal in 1993 for services to Portuguese culture abroad.
After his retirement Barto continued to live and work between London and Portugal and during the summer vacations he would take up residency for a month in one of the Slade studios to tackle the ‘unfinished business’ of painting. During those summers he painted with the energy and commitment of a young man producing vast quantities of vibrant and lucid canvases.
Barto’s dedication to printmaking and the school has been profound and his influence, which helped shape the school, is still very much evident today. A single study year abroad at the Slade became a love affair that lasted for 52 years until his death in 2008.
Jo Volley, Senior Lecturer in Painting