This long decade marks the tenure of Lawrence Gowing as Professor of Fine Art and the establishment of new and vigourous programmes of exhibtions, acquisitions and teaching.

By 1954 Victor Pasmore and Richard Hamilton were established as members of staff, joining longer-serving staff such as Leonard Evetts, Murray McCheyne, Louisa Hodgson and art historian Ralph Holland.



  • Exhibition of Etchings by Rembrandt from the Viscount Downe Collection

  • Summer Exhibition, Fine Art Students

    23 June - 2 July 1955

Staff / Students

1955, Student Summer Exhibition, poster

It is not clear whether at the time this poster for the 1955 Summer Exhibition was designed to so consciously contrast the old with the new, but certainly in retrospect, it would appear after the first full year of the new ‘basic course’ a sharp contrast was being made between the ‘Euston Road’ type realism of Gowing and de Grey and radical abstraction of Pasmore.

In 1955 the external examiners were William Coldstream and Wyndham Godden.

Alumni, Kate Stephenson, Elspeth Reynolds and Rosemary Saunders talk about their experience of the Basic Course.

1955, The Northerner magazine

The Northerner was a campus wide, student led magazine, this cover was designed by Ian Stephenson, then in his year as a Hatton scholar, towards the end of his degree.

1955, Charlton Memorial Lecture

During the 1950s the annual Charlton Lecture, rather than being a broad survey of a particular topic, was generally focused on a single work of art. In 1955, five years after the publication of his ‘The Story of Art’, Ernst Gombrich delivered a lecture on Raphael’s Madonna della Sedia from the Palazzo Pitti collection in Florence.



The Case History, 1952

Claude Rogers

Claude Rogers (1907-1979) - 'The Case History' 1952.

NEWHG : OP.0009. Oil on canvas, purchased from the artist, 1955.

Gowing selected this painting and three additional drawings to purchase from Rogers’ exhibition at the Hatton in 1955. The subject is from a series (for example ‘The Patient Opposite’ in the Tate collection) Rogers completed after a period of convalescing in St Mary's Hospital, Paddington. Rogers regularly served as one the annual external examiners to the Fine Art Department between 1954-66.

The Descent From the Cross, 1620


Domenichino (1581-1641) - 'The Descent From the Cross’ (after the altarpiece fresco by Daniele da Volterra), c.1620.

NEWHG : OP.0048. Oil on canvas purchased from P.&D. Colnaghi, 1955.

Letter from Roderic Thesiger, 1955

Lawrence Gowing

Gowing again used his connection with Roderic Thesiger, though this time through Colnaghi’s rather than directly with him, to purchase this painting which had hung in Broadlands since Viscount Palmerston had bought it around 1780. Considerable doubt has been cast on the attribution of this painting to Domenichino, as with over 40 known copies still in existence, da Volterra’s original in the la Trinità dei Monti was one of the most copied images in Rome.

Portrait of a Young Man, 1675

Jakob-Ferdinand Voet

Jakob-Ferdinand Voet (1639-c.1700) - 'Portrait of a Young Man', c.1675.

NEWHG : OP.0070. Oil on canvas purchased from Sotheby’s, 1955.

Sotheby’s catalogue, 1954

Jakob-Ferdinand Voet

As can be seen from the page from the original Sotheby’s sale catalogue, the painting was originally acquired as ‘The Earl of Montrose’ by the French portraitist Hyacinthe Rigaud. It is not clear exactly how or when, but Ralph Holland recorded that Oliver Millar (Surveyor of the Queen’s Pictures 1972-88) reattributed the painting to Voet.