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So much of what takes place in the life of an art school goes undocumented. Oral history offers a way to enrich our documentary records and paint a more nuanced picture of the connections between individuals, art practices and the wider circumstances and influences that drawn them together.

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Slade Office, 1977-1978
Slade Office, 1977-1978


During the initial phase of the Slade Archive Project, we learned that a number of oral history interviews had been recorded in the 1990s with former students and staff. The interviews were conducted by alumnus and former Slade Archivist Stephen Chaplin. In 2013, funds generously provided by the Andor Charitable Trust enabled us to digitise these recordings. This work has formed the basis on an ongoing oral history programme. Interview highlights have been published online on SoundCloud, including:

  • Margaret Bennett, secretary to William Coldstream 1963-1983.
  • Stanley Jones (b. 1933) Master printmaker of the Curwen Studio, Jones was a student at the Slade from 1954 to 1956 and later tutor in printmaking from 1958 to 1998. 
  • Olga Lehmann (1912-2001) Slade alumna and renowned artist, illustrator and theatre designer. Student at the Slade in the early 1930s under the tutelage of Henry Tonks and Randolph Schwabe, and specialised in theatrical design under Vladimir Polunin.
  • David Leverett (b. 1934) artist and former Slade tutor in the Print Department at the Slade.
  • Barto dos Santos (1931-2008) Slade student (1956-58), Slade tutor in Printmaking, and later Professor of Fine Art (1994-2008).
  • Ron Bowen, (1944 - 2018) Reader Emeritus at the Slade School of Fine Art, former painting tutor.
  • Stephen Chaplin (b.1934) artist, art historian, Slade alumnus (1952-55) and former Slade Archivist. Interview recorded in 2013 as part of the Slade Archive Project.

Full interviews and interview summaries are available by contacting Steve Wright, UCL Library Services,, subject to access restrictions. For information about the oral history programme or the Slade Archive Project contact: