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What do art and design students draw at the V&A, and why?

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There is concern in the education sector about art students’ relatively poor drawing skills on entry to higher education. This is ascribed to the prevalence of digital media combined with a decline in the formal teaching of drawing. At the same time sketching continues to be one of the main ways in which students engage with museum collections. In this article I discuss the historical and contemporary context for students drawing in museums, and present the results of a qualitative study of art and design Foundation students who made drawings when they came on an organized visit to the Victoria and Albert Museum. The range of objects the students chose to sketch is examined, as is the nature of the drawing experience, and the relationship between museum sketch and college work. I propose a typology of museum sketching behaviour and its relationship to student projects.
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Keywords: Foundation students; drawing; galleries; museums; object-based learning; sketching; visual research

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Victoria and Albert Museum

Publication date: 2012-11-01

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