School of Art
The School of Art
The School of Art promotes its art collection as a public resource. It offers primary research material for public reference and in its galleries a regular programme of public exhibitions from the Collection as well as providing a venue for prestigious touring exhibitions, works by invited artists, staff and students of the School of Art.
Today, probably more than ever before, the Collection is making an invaluable contribution to the teaching and research activities of the School. While many other departmental collections are no longer of relevance to teaching, this is not the case with art and art history which are necessarily bound up with these specialised forms of material culture.
The University Museum was founded in 1876; in time it outgrew its space and the material was devolved to individual departments who formed and developed their own collections. The Art and Crafts Museum was established in 1918 under the patronage of Gwendoline and Margaret Davies of Llandinam and has since been administered by the Department of Art.
The School of Art Gallery and Museum and the Ceramics Gallery, as we are renamed, are now both Registered Museums. Whilst neither have ever received provision from the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, each has greatly benefited from the financial support of CyMAL, MLAC/V&A Purchase Grant Fund, the National Art Collections Fund, Arts Council of Wales and both the Heritage and Arts Council Lottery Awarding Bodies.
All collections are available to the public in addition to being used for teaching and research. In the School’s galleries there are changing exhibitions from the Collection, touring shows and exhibitions by invited artists. All artefacts are accessible for study by appointment.
Housed in a magnificent Edwardian building overlooking Cardigan Bay, the School of Art is just a few minutes walk from Aberystwyth town centre and railway station. In 1994 we received the support of a Heritage Lottery Award which provided for a new Print Reference Room with proper facilities for storage and study in safe and environmentally controlled conditions.
Our superb collection of 20th century British ceramics from pioneer studio pottery to contemporary, together with Welsh slipware and porcelain, is housed and displayed in the Ceramics Gallery at Aberystwyth Arts Centre on the University campus. The School of Art houses other ceramic collections that are available for study by appointment, most notably 18th-century British Delft, Art Pottery, and Japanese ceramics that include Satsuma and Bizenware.
New Single and Joint Honours degree programmes in Museum and Gallery Studies have the art collections at their core. The schemes provide a historical, theoretical and practical introduction to museum work, considering issues arising from the collection and interpretation of objects in museums and galleries.
The aim is promote an understanding of the nature of museums and collections in society, their origins and subsequent development. There is a particular emphasis on the rationales behind the collection, curatorship and interpretation of fine and decorative arts.
School of Art, Aberystwyth University