The Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art
The Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, known as The Ruskin, is an art school
Art school
Art school is a general term for any educational institution with a primary focus on the visual arts, especially illustration, painting, photography, sculpture, and graphic design. The term applies to institutions with elementary, secondary, post-secondary or undergraduate, or graduate or...

 and research institute
Research institute
A research institute is an establishment endowed for doing research. Research institutes may specialize in basic research or may be oriented to applied research...

 at the University of Oxford
University of Oxford
The University of Oxford is a university located in Oxford, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest surviving university in the world and the oldest in the English-speaking world. Although its exact date of foundation is unclear, there is evidence of teaching as far back as 1096...


Working collaboratively across two sites, the school provides undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications in the study and production of visual art. Contained within the school is also the Ruskin Laboratory, which primarily organises exhibitions and research projects, and coordinates interdisciplinary relations with other departments across the University. The subject is taught as a living element of contemporary culture with a broad range of historical and theoretical references.


The school can trace its origins to 1871, when John Ruskin
John Ruskin
John Ruskin was the leading English art critic of the Victorian era, also an art patron, draughtsman, watercolourist, a prominent social thinker and philanthropist. He wrote on subjects ranging from geology to architecture, myth to ornithology, literature to education, and botany to political...

 founded a school in the University Galleries (subsequently the Ashmolean Museum
Ashmolean Museum
The Ashmolean Museum on Beaumont Street, Oxford, England, is the world's first university museum...

) to encourage artisanship and technical skills. The Ruskin stayed in the Ashmolean till 1974, when it moved to 74 High Street
High Street, Oxford
The High Street in Oxford, England runs between Carfax, generally recognized as the centre of the city, and Magdalen Bridge to the east. Locally the street is often known as The High. It forms a gentle curve and is the subject of many prints, paintings, photographs, etc...

, its current headquarters. The school was originally entitled, "The Ruskin School of Drawing", with "and Fine Art" being added in 1945. The Slade School of Art relocated to the Ruskin for the Second World War.

The current Head of School is Dr Jason Gaiger.

The Ruskin Laboratory

The Laboratory is the research wing of the Ruskin and was founded in 1994. Visible output from the unit takes the form of exhibitions, public art projects, multiples, live and time-based art and publications in electronic and paper-based formats. The exhibitions and other projects occur in and out of Oxford and form the basis of symposia on a wide range of topics. Each year the Laboratory, currently run by Paul Bonaventura, awards the prestigious Helen Chadwick Fellowship. The Fellowship was established by the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art and the British School at Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 in order to assist artists in the making of new work. After visiting Rome for a one-month reconnaissance period, the Fellow devotes two months to research-related activities in Oxford before returning to Rome for three months of intensive studio-based production.

Notable alumni

  • Mark Alexander
    Mark Alexander (painter)
    Mark Alexander is a contemporary British artist.-Biography:Born in the small market town of Horsham, West Sussex, Alexander came to painting relatively late, receiving his BFA from Oxford University as a mature student in 1996, despite his lack of formal education or training.-Style and...

  • Tim Braden
  • Vashti Bunyan
    Vashti Bunyan
    Vashti Bunyan is an English singer-songwriter. In 1970, Bunyan released her first album, Just Another Diamond Day. The album sold very few copies, and Bunyan, discouraged, abandoned her musical career...

  • Jenny Mustapha
  • Tessa Farmer
    Tessa Farmer
    Tessa Farmer is an artist based in London. Her work, made from insect carcasses, plant roots and other found natural materials, comprises hanging installations depicting Boschian battles between insects and tiny winged skeletal humanoids.She received her BA in 2000 and her MA in 2003 from The...

  • John Gerrard
  • Michael Fried
  • Jim Allchin
  • Erin Laura Hughes
  • Oliver Herring
    Oliver Herring
    Oliver Herring is an experimental artist based in Brooklyn, New York. His works include knitting Mylar, participatory performances, styrofoam photo sculptures and video.-Biography:...

  • Sigrid Holmwood
    Sigrid Holmwood
    Sigrid Holmwood is a British/Swedish artist and works in London. She was educated at The Ruskin School of Fine Art and Drawing, University of Oxford and the Royal College of Art, London...

  • James Ireland
  • Kurt Jackson
    Kurt Jackson
    Kurt Jackson is an English painter whose large canvases reflect a concern with natural history, ecology and environmental issues. Born in Blandford, Dorset, he developed an early interest in natural history and landscape. He studied zoology at St...

  • Jasper Joffe
    Jasper Joffe
    Jasper Joffe is a British contemporary artist and novelist.-Life and work:Jasper Joffe was born in the United States in 1975 and moved to England when he was eight. He is the brother of artist Chantal Joffe. He studied Fine Art at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, Oxford...

  • R B Kitaj
  • William Latham
    William Latham
    William Latham is a British computer artist, most known as the creator of the Organic Art product as well as for creating album covers and artwork for the dance group The Shamen. Latham is the founder of the company Computer Artworks which released the Organic Art product through Time Warner...

  • Alexander McDonnell, 9th Earl of Antrim
  • Nathaniel Mellors
    Nathaniel Mellors
    Nathaniel Mellors is a British artist and musician.-Life and work:He studied at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, the University of Oxford and the Royal College of Art....

  • Elemore Morgan, Jr.
    Elemore Morgan, Jr.
    Elemore Morgan, Jr. was recognized among the South's landscape artists. His paintings of rice farms in Vermilion Parish have been widely exhibited from Paris to Los Angeles. Elemore Morgan Jr...

  • Hugh Nicholson
  • Juneau Projects
  • Ged Quinn
    Ged Quinn
    Ged Quinn is an English artist. He studied at the Ruskin in Oxford, the Slade School of Art in London, the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, and the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam....

  • Bunny Roger
    Bunny Roger
    Neil Munro Roger was an English couturier, war hero, and dandy.Roger was born to Sir Alexander Roger and Helen Stuart Clark, both from Scotland. He read History at Balliol College, Oxford, though only for a year; then studied drawing at The Ruskin...

  • Conrad Shawcross
    Conrad Shawcross
    Conrad Shawcross is a British artist, the son of the writers William Shawcross and Marina Warner. He specialises in wooden mechanical sculptures based on philosophical and scientific ideas.-Life and work:...

  • John Updike
    John Updike
    John Hoyer Updike was an American novelist, poet, short story writer, art critic, and literary critic....

  • Thomas Watson
  • Raymond Mason
  • Keith Wilson
    Keith Wilson
    Keith Wilson may refer to:*Keith Wilson , English writer, performance poet, musician and broadcaster*Keith Wilson , American mixed martial artist...

External links

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