With Kenneth Rowntree suceeding Gowing as Professor and following Pasmore’s departure in 1961, this decade saw the increasing influence of Richard Hamilton in teaching, more emphasis on British 20th century acquisitions and younger contemporary artists’ exhibitions.

While Evetts, McCheyne, Holland and Hodgson remained on the staff, others such as Geoffrey Dudley, Eric Dobson, Derwent Wise and later Ian Stephenson took prominent roles.



  • Student Summer Exhibition

    27 June - 7 July 1962

Staff / Students

1962, Leslie Lawley’s ‘A Basic Course in Art’

Lawley particularly acknowledges the impact and stimulus of the 1957 Scarborough Summer School led by Victor & Wendy Pasmore, Harry Thubron and Tom Hudson. Sir Herbert Read’s Foreword notes that where a ‘basic course’ has been put into a practice is has achieved ‘astonishing results’. Warning against possible stylistic dogmatism, he concludes ‘What the student learns in a basic course is a new language, a language of forms. It is nobody’s business to teach him what to say in this new language’.

1962, Student Summer Exhibition, catalogue

The 1962 student Summer Exhibition catalogue with annotated front page.

In 1962 the external examiners were Robert Clatworthy and William Scott.

1962, Student Summer Exhibition, press review

Scott Dobson’s reviews were nearly always very supportive of the students and he picks out several here to mention by name, while also praising the whole show as ‘indicative of thoughtful effort and sound guidance.’

1962, studio photograph

Working in three dimensions was a central part of the ‘basic course’, which placed great emphasis on spatial relations. On the left Matt Rugg, who on graduating had been taken on as a Studio Demonstrator, can be seen leading a session in the sculpture studio.

(Photographs courtesy of the National Art Education Archive, Yorkshire Sculpture Park)

1962, degree show, photograph

Derek Morris admires works in fellow student Rita Donagh’s final show.

(image courtesy of Mary Webb).

1962, staff photograph

Art Historian Ralph Holland leads Professor Kenneth Rowntree and tutor Eric Dobson up the steps from The Quadrangle to the entrance of the King Edward VII building.

(Photograph by Ralph Selby, courtesy of Mary Webb).

1962, ‘Child Art’, exhibition catalogue

Many of the artist-teachers who first conceived ‘Basic Design’ were very interested in ‘Child Art’, believing it to be produced with fewer preconceptions and greater freedom of expression than that of adults. It is interesting to note that the Advisory Committee for the touring Sunday Pictorial National exhibition of Children’s art, which toured to the Laing Art Gallery in 1962, included Herbert Read, Eduardo Paolozzi and Victor Pasmore, and the preliminary selection committee included Tom Hudson, one of the originators of the ‘basic course’.

1962, Leslie Lawley’s ‘A Basic Course in Art’ cover

Leslie Lawley’s book was one of the first widely available books to describe ‘a ‘basic course’ in art’, though he focused more on the teaching of school children than students.



Study of a Nude, 1920

Mark Gertler

Mark Gertler (1891-1939) - 'Study of a Nude'.

NEWHG : D.0033. Charcoal drawing on paper purchased from Sotheby's, 1962.

Sotheby’s invoice, 1962

Mark Gertler

Invoice for the Mark Gertler drawing purchased from Sotheby’s. This acquisition would mark the start of a year of focused purchasing by Rowntree, of particularly 20th Century British drawings, which was mirrored in the exhibitions programme, with two significant displays of drawings taking place that year.

Study of a Nude, 1909

Walter Sickert

Walter Sickert (1860-1942) – ‘Study of a Nude’ 1909.

NEWHG : D.0013. Purchased from Sotheby's, 1962.

Sickert made a number of very similar studies to this one, with both a threatening male figure (eg. ‘Study for L’Affaire de Camden Town’ in the Whitworth Art Gallery), relating to a contemporary murder in Camden Town, and another with an apparently friendly female figure (eg. ‘The Conversation’ in the Royal College of Art Collection).

Standing Female Nudes, 1920

William Roberts

William Roberts (1895-1980), 'Standing Female Nudes' 1920.

NEWHG : D.0028 & NEWHG : D.0029. Pencil and watercolour drawing purchased from Sotheby's, 1962.

Sotheby’s invoice, 1962

William Roberts

Invoice from Sotheby’s, showing that the two William Roberts studies were bought at the same time as the Sickert nude (which cost considerably more).

Zwemmer Gallery invoice, 1962

Wyndham Lewis

Invoice from Zwemmer Gallery showing that the Lewis drawing was purchased for £35.

Portrait of Lady Perdita Jolliffe, 1938

Wyndham Lewis

Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957) - 'Portrait of Lady Perdita Jolliffe' 1938.

NEWHG : D.0031. Pencil and watercolour drawing on paper purchased from the Zwemmer Gallery, 1962.

Lady Perdita Jolliffe (1910–1996) was the daughter of Herbert Asquith, the Liberal Prime Minister (1908-16), in 1931 she married William Jolliffe, the 4th Baron Hylton.

Drawing for Sculpture, 1961

Eduardo Paolozzi

Eduardo Paolozzi (1924-2005) - 'Drawing for Sculpture' 1961.

NEWHG : D.0023. Ink drawing on paper, purchased from the artist, 1962.

Cover note to Paolozzi, 1962

Eduardo Paolozzi

Cover note from the University Finance Officer to Paolozzi, enclosing payment for the drawing via a cheque for £15. 15s 0. (equivalent to around £300 in 2016).

Study for Portrait VI, 1956-57

Francis Bacon

Francis Bacon - 'Study for Portrait VI' 1956-57.

NEWHG : OP.0054. Oil on canvas presented by the Contemporary Art Society, 1962.

Letter to the Contemporary Arts Society, 1961

Kenneth Rowntree

Having viewed the display of potential acquisitions at the Contemporary Art Society’s annual exhibition, Rowntree placed the Bacon at the top of his priority list to be submitted to Pauline Vogelpoel and the Committee, making his case in the context of the development of the Collection. Given the probable competition for the Bacon, Rowntree’s application can be seen as a great success, unfortunately however the potential Ben Nicholson mentioned came to nothing.