Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art



The Ruskin School of Art, known as the Ruskin, is an
art school An art school is an educational institution with a primary focus on the visual arts, including fine art – especially illustration, painting, photography, sculpture, and graphic design. Art schools can offer elementary, secondary, post-sec ...
at the
University of Oxford , mottoeng = The Lord is my light , established = , endowment = £6.1 billion (including colleges) (2019) , budget = £2.145 billion (2019–20) , chancellor ...
, England. It is part of Oxford's Humanities Division.


The Ruskin grew out the Oxford School of Art, which was founded in 1865 and later became
Oxford Brookes University Oxford Brookes University (formerly known as Oxford Polytechnic) is a public university in Oxford, England. It is a new university, having received university status through the Further and Higher Education Act 1992. The university was name ...
. It was headed by Alexander Macdonald and housed in the University Galleries (subsequently the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology).
Bodleian Library The Bodleian Library () is the main research library of the University of Oxford, and is one of the oldest libraries in Europe. It derives its name from its founder, Sir Thomas Bodley. With over 13 million printed items, it is the secon ...

Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art
In 1869
John Ruskin John Ruskin (8 February 1819 20 January 1900) was an English writer, philosopher, art critic and polymath of the Victorian era. He wrote on subjects as varied as geology, architecture, myth, ornithology, literature, education, botany and politi ...
was appointed Slade Professor of Fine Art at Oxford. Critical of the teaching methods at the Oxford School of Art, he set out to found the Ruskin School of Drawing in 1871 in the same, but restructured, premises. Macdonald was also retained as its head and became, therefore, the first ''Ruskin Master'' until his death in 1921. It was renamed to Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art in 1945, and to Ruskin School of Art in 2014. The Ruskin remained at the Ashmolean until 1975 when it moved to 74
High Street High Street is a common street name for the primary business street of a city, town, or village, especially in the United Kingdom and Commonwealth. It implies that it is the focal point for business, especially shopping. It is also a metonym ...
. An annexe at 128 Bullingdon Road was redeveloped in 2015, and the Ruskin now operates across both sites. The Slade School of Fine Art relocated to the Ruskin for the duration of the Second World War.


The School was originally founded to encourage artisanship and technical skills. It now provides undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in the production and study of visual art. The subject is taught as a living element of contemporary culture with a broad range of historical and theoretical references.

Ruskin Masters

The school was traditionally headed by an appointed ''Ruskin Master''. From 2002-2010, Richard Wentworth was the last to hold this position which, since then, remained vacant. Since 2017, the current Head of School is Professor Anthony Gardner. Previous Ruskin Masters were: * Stephen Farthing 1990–2000 * David Tindle 1985–1987 * Philip Morsberger 1971–1984 * Richard Naish 1964–1971 * Percy Horton 1949–1964 * Albert Rutherston 1929–1949 * Sydney Carline 1922–1929 * Alexander Macdonald 1871–1922



Further reading

* Robert Hewison, ''John Ruskin: the Argument of the Eye'',
Princeton University Press Princeton University Press is an independent publisher with close connections to Princeton University. Its mission is to disseminate scholarship within academia and society at large. The press was founded by Whitney Darrow, with the financial ...
1976, ''Chapter Seven: Action''
online version
at Victorian Web)

External links

Ruskin School of Art

University of Oxford Admissions
{{DEFAULTSORT:Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art Educational institutions established in 1871 1871 establishments in England Departments of the University of Oxford Art schools in England John Ruskin