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Title: Tradition, evolution, opportunism : the role of the Royal Scottish Academy in art education, 1826-1910
Author: Soden, Joanna
ISNI:       0000 0004 2667 6113
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2006
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The aim of this thesis is to explore and analyse the role of the Royal Scottish Academy in teaching and supporting aspirant professional artists in Scotland between 1829 and 1910. It will examine the background and legacy of art training and art institutions in the run-up to the academy’s creation, not only in Scotland but in Britain as a whole and worldwide.  This introduces a highly complicated network of organisations and personalities that sometimes operated in partnership and sometimes in opposition, and this will be a recurring theme in the thesis. Two chapters will investigate the phases of practical teaching undertaken by the academy and identify its achievements and limitations. Other chapters will explore alternative means whereby the academy sought to facilitate art training, for example in the presentation of the best of contemporary art and in assisting artists to study from old masters, a long-established academic tradition. The use of casts was also central to academic training and the RSA’s attempts to facilitate this will be explored alongside the development of a reference collection of books, prints and photographs.  The academy’s role in assisting foreign travel for study and its attitudes to European art and art teaching will also be explored. In 1902 a governmental investigation served as a catalyst for change.  As a central player the RSA was actively involved in this examination, the result of which was the creation of Edinburgh College of Art. This started a shift in the academy’s function from one of a participator in teaching to one of a facilitator, a role that has been maintained throughout the twentieth century.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Royal Scottish Academy ; Art education