Since 1871 the Slade School of Fine Art has educated and trained generations of world-renowned artists, from Gwen and Augustus John, Stanley Spencer and Ben Nicholson around the turn of the 20th century and early 1900s, to William Coldstream, Richard Hamilton and Eduardo Paolozzi in the 1930s and 40s, through to Derek Jarman, Paula Rego, Euan Uglow and Craigie Aitchison in the 50s and 60s. More recent Turner Prize winning alumni include Martin Creed, Rachel Whiteread, Antony Gormley and Douglas Gordon.
The Slade has an extensive archive on site which includes objects, papers, photographs, class lists, student records and artefacts dating throughout its history at UCL. Together with materials held in UCL Special Collections and UCL Art Museum, the archive collection contains rich evidence of the time artists spent at the Slade. Much of this archive, however, is difficult to access, and the Archive Project is aimed at exploring ways of presenting this information to a wider audience.
UCL’s Centre for Digital Humanities has received a UCL Arts & Humanities Small Research Grant to work with the Slade to undertake a pilot project on the Slade Archive – to start mapping and activating this invaluable resource. Over the months to come we will explore ways in which this underused resource can be made more accessible and generate new knowledge – through new research, online resources, public events and publications. The project will trial various online platforms and tools to help unearth, track and bridge together the varied histories of the School, its former staff and students, and chart their impact in the art world – both nationally and internationally.