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An Analysis of the Political Complexion of the 1835/6 Select Committee on Arts and Manufactures

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The 1835/6 Select Committee on Arts and Manufactures is generally acknowledged as being the key political event in the establishment of a system of public art and design education in Britain. The immediate outcome of its deliberations was the opening of the Normal School of Design in London in 1837 followed by the steady expansion of the system over the course of the nineteenth century, with art schools being opened in most major towns and cities throughout the country. The Minutes and Report from this Select Committee therefore represent the most important primary source for historians seeking rationales for the introduction of governmentally funded art and design education in Britain. Despite this, the workings of this Select Committee remains under-researched in a number of important directions. This article sets out to look at one of these - namely, the politicians who sat on the 1835/6 Select Committee on Arts and Manufactures.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Teaches on the MA Art and Education programme and is management coordinator for the Centre for Fine Art Research at the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, University of Central England.

Publication date: June 1, 2007

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