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.



  • Private View

    18 March - 2 April 1965

Staff / Students

1965, Eduardo Paolozzi, studio photograph

In 1965, Eduardo Paolozzi, as well as having a major exhibition in the Hatton Gallery, was also a visiting tutor in the Fine Art Department. Like Richard Smith in 1963, he can be seen working across mediums, apparently giving hands on, practical instruction in the sculpture studio and involved in a discussion with painting lecturer Matt Rugg.

1965, Private View, poster

In 1964 Professor Rowntree had introduced a new student exhibition called ‘Private View’ in the Feb-April period. Replacing a regular ‘Work in Progress’ exhibition, the new innovation was that it would be selected by a different art world figure each year, in the opening year this had been the Department’s Art Historian, Ralph Holland. In 1965 the exhibition was selected by artist Terry Frost, who had been an artist-in-residence in the Fine Art Department in 1964 and may well have designed the poster himself.

1965, Private View, press review

The Terry Frost selected ‘Private View’ exhibition warranted reviews from three of the North East’s leading critics, for W.E.Johnson the exhibition had everything from ‘hard-edged chrevronmanship to post-Baconian Expressionism and onward.’ Scott Dobson thought ‘the work shown is of quite an amazing standard of accomplishment both on the technical and creative side’, so much so that he didn’t want to single out anyone for special mention.

1965, Summer Exhibition, poster

Through the 1960s the posters and catalogues for student exhibitions begin to look less like exercises from Pasmore’s ‘basic course’, with external influences from both pop and colour-field abstract art becoming evident.

1965, Summer Exhibition, catalogue

The cover catalogue for the 1965 Student Summer Exhibition utilises the same form found in the colour poster, but presented in a very different way.

In 1965 the external examiner was Claude Rogers and the John Bell Simpson student prize winner was Stephen Buckley.



Merz Barn Wall, 1947-48

Kurt Schwitters

Kurt Schwitters (1887-1948) – ‘Merz Barn Wall’ 1947-48.

NEWHG : S0028. Presented by Harry Pierce, with moving costs provided by the V&A Purchase Grant and the Rothley Trust, 1965.

In early 1959 while the Hatton hosted an exhibition of Schwitters’ work, Gowing reported to the Arts Council’s Arts Panel that a ‘building in Ambleside, now rapidly disintegrating, which housed a construction by Schwitters, should, he felt, be preserved.’  This set in train a complex chain of events that led to the Merz Barn Wall being permanently installed in the Gallery.

A letter to Harry Fairhurst, 1962

Kenneth Rowntree

As the date of this letter from Rowntree to Harry Fairhurst, Harry Pierce’s son-in-law, indicates, the University were showing interest in the Barn from 1962, Richard Hamilton having first persuaded Rowntree, who in turn convinced the University authorities to get involved. However, after the Tate Gallery declined the offer of a gift in June 1962 nearly three more years of discussions about the Merz Barn’s future followed, involving the University, Abbot Hall in Kendal, Marlborough Gallery in London, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art and the Barn’s owner, Harry Pierce.

Deed of Gift, 1965

Kurt Schwitters

Harry Pierce finally signed a formal Deed of Gift to the University on 26 March 1965 and Hamilton began coordinating a detailed survey of the Wall before it was moved at the end of September 1965.

Merz Barn Wall press cuttings, 1965

Kurt Schwitters

Moving the Merz Barn Wall garnered considerable local and national press coverage, of which these are two representative examples.

Harpy and Victim, 1960

Robert Medley

Robert Medley (1905-1994) – ‘Harpy and Victim’.

NEWHG : D.0041. Drawing on paper purchased from the artist, 1965.

University memo, 1965

Robert Medley

The purchase of this Robert Medley drawing from the exhibition at the Hatton, also coincided with his year-long tenure as Fellow in Painting in the Fine Art Department.

Ripon Cathedral, 1933

Charles Ginner

Charles Ginner (1878-1952) - 'Ripon Cathedral' 1933.

NEWHG : OP.0058. Oil on canvas purchased from Miller's Saleroom, Newcastle, 1965.

This painting was originally commissioned from Ginner by the London & North Eastern Railway (LNER) for a poster promoting rail travel to the ancient cathedral city of Ripon in Yorkshire (‘Its quicker by rail’). The painting turned up in a Newcastle auction room, apparently having once belonged to the local newspaper The Chronicle.

Untitled White Painting, 1960

Brett Whiteley

Brett Whiteley (1939-1992) - 'Untitled White Painting' 1960.

NEWHG : OP.0083. Oil on canvas presented by the Contemporary Art Society, 1965.

Contemporary Art Society Annual Report, 1961

Brett Whiteley

Like the Tate, the Contemporary Art Society acquired a Brett Whiteley painting from the Recent Australian Painting exhibition at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in 1961, which they then reproduced (upside down!) as the frontispiece for their 1961 Annual Report, it was few years later that it was eventually allocated to the Hatton. Whiteley spent time in Britain and Europe in the early 1960s before returning to Australia, where he became widely acclaimed for his figurative paintings.