‘Great’ Women throughout History

Women’s History Month Archive Events

In March UCA Archives and Special Collections celebrated Women’s History Month by hosting different events and promoting themed material as part of our #UCAWHM social media campaign.

As part of our celebrations marking Women’s History Month, we held a pop-up event on 18th March to showcase animation archive material featuring prominent female historical figures such as Queen Mary I, Queen Elizabeth I, Queen Victoria and Margaret Thatcher.

Women's History Month Display

Great Women Throughout History Pop-Up Display

Material from the animation Millennium – The Musical included artwork from a musical sequence about the Tudor dynasty. In the sequence, Queen Mary I is depicted as ‘Bloody Mary’ with crowds watching in horror at the sight of flames burning Protestants. The portrayal of her character is shown in the image above. The artists have designed Mary with an unpleasant, almost conniving facial expression, with the scene consisting of Mary chuckling as she rubs her hands together. In contrast, Queen Elizabeth I has an upbeat section, celebrating the reign of ‘Good Queen Bess’ as ‘the Virgin Queen’. In the artwork displayed next to the image of Mary, Elizabeth is smiling as she playfully winks at the viewer in the scene. These contrasting images present an interesting comparison of the two rulers, and are one example of how they have come to be portrayed throughout the years following their rule.

We also looked at material from the Oscar award-winning animation Great, which features caricatures of Queen Victoria. The other figure we focused on was Margaret Thatcher, whose character is portrayed in the animated series Margaret Thatcher: Where am I Now? The Steve Bell animation takes a satirical look at the life and work of Britain’s first female Prime Minister.

Our Flickr account with images used in our advertising talk

Our Flickr account featuring images used in our advertising talk

On 19th March we also held a talk featuring material from our other collections, such as the Tessa Boffin archive and the West Surrey College of Art and Design archive. ‘Men Act, Women Appear: Women in Art and Advertising’ discussed the gender portrayal of woman in advertising, with reference to college prospectuses and course guides.

We advertised these events via our social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter using #UCAWHM as our hash-tag of choice. Throughout the whole of March we posted quotes and images from our collections, which were also available for viewing on our Flickr account. Finally, we pulled together the results of our campaign into a story, using Storify.

Our media campaign with #UCAWHM

Our extensive media campaign with #UCAWHM

 We hope that through our efforts we have contributed towards the celebration of Women’s History Month and highlighted women whose lives have played a prominent part in society.

The archive material featured is available to search on the UCA Archives and Special Collections Online Catalogue.

All images are for educational purposes only. Artwork copyright Bob Godfrey. Millennium – The Musical copyright Channel Four Television Corporation.
Contact UCA Archives and Special Collections for more information at archives@ucreative.ac.uk

Hannah Ratford, Archive Cataloguer

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Explore Your Archive: Women in the Arts

Follow the whole story on storify

Our archives tell the story of the role the Art Schools played in women education.

David Haste, Artist, and ex staff member of the Kent Institute of the Art and Design, and soon to be author of the ‘Art Schools of Kent’ provides general contextual information related to women in Art Schools:

‘Art Schools were first established as Design Schools in the 1840s…they were an immediate attraction to middle class women, particularly so when it was still commonly believed that art was a luxury in education permissible for girls, but quite unnecessary for boys’ – David Haste

‘The Art Schools were important in teaching training. Elementary school teachers were predominantly female and they attended art schools to obtain a proliferation of certificates by which their salary was judged. Towards the end of the 19th century art school were teaching a range of crafts and these like much else carried gender identities. “Masculine craft skills” [were] technical drawing, print furniture etc…”feminine craft skills” [were] needle crafts…embroidery, tapestry, dress/costume design ’-David Haste

Here we focus on Epsom and Ewell Technical Institute and School of Art

19th century
Courses included in the 1896 and 1897 prospectuses were: Shorthand, Drawing, Carpentry, Home Nursing, Cookery and French. Late 19th century, Cookery

1920s
Due to lack of Secondary School provision, the Surrey County Council proposed that the Technical Institute should be used temporarily as a secondary school for girls providing accommodation for 160 pupils from September 1921.
Images of women at work in the art school on both the 1921, and 1925 prospectuses suggest the popularity of Art Schools for women.
The timetables were Art Classes, Millinery, English, Cookery, Shorthand (theory and speed), French, Typewriting and Office Routine

Women's Art Class, 1919-1920

1925-1926 prospectus

1930s
In classes in the 1932 prospectuses ‘the Cookery and Dressmaking classes are recommended to those interested in Domestic Subjects’, while ‘for boys and young men there are carefully arranged classes that should prove of great value. Their attention is also drawn to the instruction given in Interior Decoration, Architectural Design, Geometry and Perspective in the Art School’.
While Cookery and Domestic classes are not specifically designated for women here, Industrial Classes are specifically highlighted for males
The 1937 prospectus offers courses in Life Wood, General Engraving and Art , Illustration, Elementary Drawing and General Life Subjects, Shop Window Display, Dress Design, Crafts and General Art Subjects. There are no specific classes for males and females

1932-33 prospectus

1950s
Domestic and Cookery classes have no mention here. The 1953 prospectus offers National Diploma in Design, Dress Subjects, Graphic and Advertising Design, Painting, Sculpture and Pottery, and Industrial Crafts
There are no specific classes for males and females, although teachers within Dress and Design are all female. There are, however, also women teaching on the Industrial Crafts course

1960s
There are no specific classes for males and females. Classes are Drawing, Painting and Sculpture, Design and Crafts, Dress Design, and Graphic Design

Long Live the Art School! Exhibition at Surrey History Centre, 19th August-21st September 2013

The Surrey History Centre is hosting a free display in their foyer, from the archives of the University for the Creative Arts to celebrate the history of tertiary art education in Surrey, from the late nineteenth century to the 1970s. This will be between the 20th August-21st September 2013

There will also be a free talk on Women, and art and technical education in Surrey, 1890-1920 on the 14th September 2-3pm at the Surrey History Centre. This is by Doctor Stephen Knott Founder Postdoctoral Fellow in Modern Craft at the Crafts Study Centre, University for the Creative Arts, Farnham, who has conducted research on the late nineteenth and early twentieth century history of craft and technical education

The link can be found here https://www.surreycc.gov.uk/events/woking/long-live-the-art-school!

Looking at the Epsom School of Art and the Technical Institute, Guildford School of Art and Farnham School of Art, the display will look at academic classes and the development in Art Schools and Technical Institutes, (including women in the arts, and the link between industry, science and art) War time art education, and Art Schools and activism.

View images from the Art Schools on our History Pin site http://www.historypin.com/channels/view/21466076#|photos/list/ and on our online image page http://community.ucreative.ac.uk/article/37669/Online-images-and-Exhibitions

More information about the history of our academic classes can be viewed on our Explore Your Archive storify page, an initiative from The National Archives http://storify.com/LibraryUCA/explore-your-archive-at-uca

 

Opening of the Epsom School of Art and Technical Institute, by Lord Rosebery, 1896

Opening of the Epsom School of Art and Technical Institute, by Lord Rosebery, 1896

Guildford School of Art, 1958 cover of magazine Field and Farm, by School of Printing Students

Guildford School of Art, 1958 cover of magazine Field and Farm, by School of Printing Students

Guildford School of Art and Epsom and Ewell Technical Institute Catalogues Online

The Guildford School of Art Archive and the Epsom and Ewell Technical Institute and School of Art Archive have been catalogued and available on http://community.ucreative.ac.uk/article/38026/Guildford-School-of-Art and http://community.ucreative.ac.uk/article/38025/Epsom-Technical-Institute-and-School-of-Art

The Guildford School of Art catalogue contains material regarding the student protest over the quality of art teaching, prospectuses relating to book binding, printing and photography, and press cuttings

Further uses can be seen in the Subject Guide Student Activity and Protest on http://community.ucreative.ac.uk/article/37662/Student-Activity-and-Protests

Guildford School of Art Printing Prospectus 1957-8

The Epsom and Ewell Technical Institute and School of Art catalogue  contains foundation correspondence, finance, and building plans for the formation of the institute, Governors’ Minutes, and academic minutes, visitors’ books, and prospectuses.

Uses can be seen in the subject guides including History of the University http://community.ucreative.ac.uk/article/37664/History-of-the-University-for-the-Creative-Arts, Women in Education (prospectuses) http://community.ucreative.ac.uk/article/37661/Women-in-Education and War Time Education http://community.ucreative.ac.uk/article/37659/War-Time-Education , among others

Contact Rebekah Taylor on rtaylor8@ucreative.ac.uk for further information