Camberwell College of Arts

Coordinates: 51°28′27″N 0°04′49″W / 51.4742°N 0.0804°W / 51.4742; -0.0804
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Camberwell College of Arts
AffiliationsUniversity of the Arts London

Camberwell College of Arts is a public tertiary art school in Camberwell, in London, England. It is one of the six constituent colleges of the University of the Arts London.[1] It offers further and higher education programmes, including postgraduate and PhD awards. The college has retained single degree options within Fine Art, offering specialist Bachelor of Arts courses in painting, sculpture, photography and drawing. It also runs graduate and postgraduate courses in art conservation and fine art as well as design courses such as graphic design, illustration and 3D design. It has been ranked as the top British art school by The Times.[2]

It was established as the Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts in 1898, and adopted its present name in 1989.[3]


The history of the College is closely linked with that of the South London Gallery, with which the College shares its site.[4] The manager of the South London Working Men's College in 1868, William Rossiter, purchased the freehold of Portland House on which the College now stands in 1889. The resulting Gallery opened in 1891, followed by the Technical Institute in 1898.

The architect was Maurice Bingham Adams.[5] Originally, the school offered classes in specific trades. By 1920, a Fine Art Department had been created.

During the Second World War, Victor Pasmore was appointed head of the painting department.[6] Many well-known artists, including Frank Auerbach,[7] Lawrence Gowing and Edward Ardizzone taught at Camberwell during this period. In 1973, the School expanded into a modern purpose-built block next to the existing premises. Both of them are now Listed Buildings.

In the 1980s, Wendy Smith became the head of Fine Art and employed Noel Forster, John Hilliard, Cornelia Parker, Phyllida Barlow, Gavin Jantjes and Ian McKeever. Tony Messenger and Eileen Hogan took charge of the graphics department, Eileen Hogan established and ran The Camberwell Press, and Eric Ayers presided over the typography school.

Camberwell temporarily lost its Fine Art courses but by 2004 the department had been fully restored to the College.


Camberwell is part of the University of the Arts London and its Research Network (RNUAL), which also includes Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, Chelsea College of Art and Design, London College of Communication and London College of Fashion.


Camberwell and its sister colleges Chelsea College of Art and Design and Wimbledon College of Art makes up CCW, a three college model that allows sharing of resources between colleges. CCW combined their foundation courses from the academic year starting in September 2011, and bases them at the Wilson Road campus in Camberwell.[8]

Peckham Platform[edit]

Peckham Platform is a public gallery dedicated to location-specific artwork made locally. Originally known as Peckham Space and part of Camberwell, in 2013 it became an independent charity.

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable academics[edit]


  1. ^ "TLS - Times Literary Supplement". TLS. Retrieved 24 May 2022.
  2. ^ Top ten British art schools Archived 16 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Julie Tancell (2002). Camberwell College of Arts. AIM25: Archives in London and the M25 area. Accessed September 2021.
  4. ^ "History of SLG". Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 9 November 2023.
  5. ^ Archived 12 August 2020 at the Wayback Machine Murice Bingham Adams
  6. ^ Victor Pasmore biography Archived 24 October 2019 at the Wayback Machine,
  7. ^ Tom Phillips biography Archived 19 February 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "CCW Progression centre course information". Archived from the original on 25 May 2007. Retrieved 28 June 2011.
  9. ^ Georgina Von Etzdorf
  10. ^ Catherine Goodman Archived 28 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ Tom Hammick.
  12. ^ Andrzej Jackowski Archived 16 September 2011 at the Wayback Machine, UK.
  13. ^ Keith Roberts (2018) John Kiki: Fifty Years in the Figurative Fold 192pp. Selwyn Taylor Limited. ISBN 978-1-5272-1986-1
  14. ^ "Yolanda Sonnabend (1935-)". NPG. Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  15. ^ "Rebecca Salter". Royal Academy of Arts. Retrieved 17 May 2023.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

51°28′27″N 0°04′49″W / 51.4742°N 0.0804°W / 51.4742; -0.0804