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Art history in the art school: the critical historians of Camberwell

Author(s): Beth Williamson

Journal: Journal of Art Historiography
ISSN 2042-4752

Volume: 5;
Start page: 5;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: art pedagogy | art education | Michael Podro | philosophical aesthetics | psychoanalytic aesthetics | art historiography

Within the context of a wider study of British art education between 1960 and 2010, this paper takes as its starting point the introduction in 1960 of the Diploma in Art and Design or DipAD in art schools with its attendant requirements for art historical instruction and intellectual enrichment. Beginning with a survey of the Coldstream and Summerson developments in the 1960s, and with specific reference to the teaching of art history, it will consider Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts as a particular case study. The Art History Department at Camberwell was properly established in 1961 by Michael Podro, later to become an influential figure within the discipline of art history from his base at the Department of Art History and Theory at the University of Essex. Referencing Podro’s own thinking on art, this study asks how that might relate to the curriculum he introduced at Camberwell. Further, drawing on the work and careers of those who taught there subsequently, such as Alex Potts, it will also examine how the presence of such individuals might have affected how the curriculum developed over the years that followed.
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