‘The textile student needs little Giotto, (or a little will go a long way)’ (Pevsner. Nov 1968). The 1970 Coldstream Report in response to the art school unrest of 1968

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Abstract

The radical reforms of British art schools following the 1960 report of the National Advisory Council of Art Education, popularly called the Coldstream Report, were not universally welcomed, many in art education felt disenfranchised by the changes. In 1968, a year of political unrest, in Paris and elsewhere, British art students became engaged in active protest about the new regime. This article will look at three of the art school ‘sit-ins’ of the period, Hornsey, Brighton and Guildford, and at the now forgotten Coldstream Report of 1970. This report was the culmination of the widest consultation on art education every undertaken in the UK. Days before it was published the government changed. The new Minister for Education, Margaret Thatcher, effectively ‘buried’ it. Coldstream and Pevsner, principle architects of the art school reforms, were unfairly vilified at the time, often by members of the system they sought to improve. This paper seeks to reassess their contribution to art education by looking at the extraordinary lengths they went to in 1969 and 1970 to listen to complaints and to explain and ameliorate the effects of the re-organisation of art school education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-187
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Design History
Volume32
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jan 2019

Keywords

  • Art education
  • Coldstream
  • design education
  • design policy-1960s

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