The Heatherley School of Fine Art is unique. Founded in 1845 it is the oldest independent art college in the country and has never lost its commitment to teaching the tradtitional techniques of figurative art. Drawing and observation from life is at the core of much of what we do here, whether it be sculpture, portrait painting or printmaking. We believe that by learning these fundamental skills our students have the best foundation on which to build and develop their own artistic vision.
Famous alumni of the school include Henry Moore, Franz Kline, Burne Jones, Rossetti, Millais, Lord Leighton, and Sickert as well as the first Principal of the Slade School of Art, Sir Edmund Poynter and the first Principal of the Royal College of Art, Walter Crane.
At the same time as the French Impressionists were breaking away from the time-honoured traditional methods of teaching in Paris, Heatherleys School Of Fine Art
was being conceived by James Matthews Leigh, an artist who had been to Paris and was so impressed by the French Atelier system and its usefulness in preparing students for their future careers as artists that he decided to transport it back to England. The group set about arranging drop in classes where practising artists would teach a group of students for a few days a week as a means of allowing students in England to benefit from the same methods. This system has remained central to the ethos of the school since its inception and the 'Open Studio
' continues to be a useful resource for artists who wish to improve their practice.
What's on offer
Heatherley's offers a wide range of part-time and full-time courses. Classes include drawing, oil painting, printmaking, watercolour, figurative sculpture, ceramics, still life and portraiture.