The School of Art
The teaching of Art at Aberystwyth has a long and distinguished history that goes back to 1917 when it was one of only a few British universities that emerged from the Art and Crafts Movement. Our Grade II* listed building, which celebrated its centenary in 2007, has been adapted to meet the needs of today’s Fine Art and Art History education while retaining many of its original features. It is an elegant symbol of the School’s aim to connect the traditional and the contemporary. Allowing students to move with ease from one area of study to another and to remain in close contact with the staff, the proximity of our studios, workshops, teaching spaces, museum and galleries fosters a strong sense of community and co-operation.
Our undergraduate and postgraduate students make a significant and valued contribution to the academic community. All our staff members are active in Fine Art or Art Historical research; their experience as exhibiting artists, publishing art historians and practicing curators actively informs the teaching at Aberystwyth. In Art History, our research is focussed on the retrieval, preservation, reassessment and re-presentation of artists, practices and artefacts that have been lost, marginalized or overlooked. As the only institution in Wales offering undergraduate and research degrees in Art History, we are one of the main drivers of Welsh art research and are mindful of our special commitment to the visual culture and heritage of Wales. In Fine Art, our researchers are dedicated to the innovative use of traditional and contemporary skills in painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, installation, film and sound, pursued as a mode of art-historical inquiry and theorizing about art.
Originally a medieval walled-town, Aberystwyth nestles between countryside and sea, an area of mid-Wales renowned as an environmental haven and for its spectacular scenery. The vestiges of the Iron Age and thirteenth-century fortifications, together with an eclectic mixture of Victorian, Gothic, and Classical revival architecture, make up the rich historical flavour of the town. For over two centuries its combination of pastoral and picturesque, romantic and sublime landscape has inspired artists like Richard Wilson, J. M. W. Turner, John Sell Cotman, and John Piper. A visit is recommended. Those who come usually find that it is a great help in making up their minds about coming to study with us.