Saint Martin's School of Art

Saint Martin's School of Art

The Saint Martin's School of Art building, in Charing Cross Road
Type academy of art and design
Active 1854 (1854)–1989 (1989)
Location London, United Kingdom
51°30′51″N 0°07′48″W / 51.5142°N 0.1299°W / 51.5142; -0.1299Coordinates: 51°30′51″N 0°07′48″W / 51.5142°N 0.1299°W / 51.5142; -0.1299
Campus 107–109 Charing Cross Road

Saint Martin's School of Art was an art college in London, England. It offered foundation and degree level courses. It was established in 1854, initially under the aegis of the church of St Martin-in-the-Fields. Saint Martin's became part of the London Institute in 1986,[1] and in 1989 merged with the Central School of Art and Design to form Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design.[2]


Saint Martin's School of Art was established in 1854 by Henry Mackenzie, vicar of the church of St Martin-in-the-Fields. It became independent from the church in 1859.[3]

The school was at first housed on the top floor of St Martin's Northern School in Shelton Street (then called Castle Street), to the north of Long Acre.[4]

The Gilbert-Garret Competition for Sketching Clubs was founded at Saint Martin's in 1870, when John Parker was headmaster. It was named after Sir John Gilbert, the first president of the school.[5]

From 1952 to 1979 Frank Martin was head of the sculpture department of Saint Martin's. He brought in young sculptors such as Anthony Caro, Robert Clatworthy, Elizabeth Frink and Eduardo Paolozzi to teach, and also employed as part-time teachers recent graduates of the department, including David Annesley, Michael Bolus, Phillip King, Tim Scott, Bill Tucker and Isaac Witkin.[2][6][7] Caro's influence was particularly strong, and the group around him came to be known as the New Generation of British sculptors. The sculpture department became, in the words of Tim Scott: "the most famous in the art world".[7]

The first public performance of the Sex Pistols took place at the school on 6 November 1975; they were the support band for a group called Bazooka Joe.[8]


See also: List of alumni of Saint Martin's School of Art and Category:Alumni of Saint Martin's School of Art

Notable alumni of Saint Martin's School of Art include:


  1. [s.n.] (August 2012). University of the Arts London (formerly The London Institute) A Brief History University of the Arts London. Accessed August 2013.
  2. 1 2 3 4 Malcolm Le Grice (2011). History Lessons. Frieze Issue 142, October 2011. Accessed July 2013.
  3. Overview: St Martin's School of Art. Oxford Reference. Accessed July 2013.
  4. GB 2753 St Martin's School of Art. AIM25: Archives in London and the M25 area. Accessed July 2013.
  5. [s.n.] (1904-1905). Art School Exhibitions. Arts and Crafts: a monthly practical magazine for the studio, the workshop & the home. 1–2. UIN: BLL01002839292. (unpaginated online text). Accessed August 2013.
  6. Robin Greenwood (2007). St. Martin's Sculptors. Poussin Gallery. Accessed August 2013.
  7. 1 2 Bruce McLean (2 March 2004). Frank Martin: Visionary teacher who inspired a generation of great British sculptors (obituary). The Guardian. Accessed August 2013.
  8. Rob Sharp (2008). Central Saint Martins: The art and soul of Britain. The Independent, Saturday 19 April 2008. Accessed July 2013.
  9. Daryl Easlea (2010). Sade Diamond Life Review: The record that graced a million coffee tables still fascinates. BBC Review. Accessed April 2014.
  10. Jonathan Jones (30 September 2011). Saint Martins emerges blinking in bright new home. But is it art?: King's Cross premises a far cry from Soho 'hell', but some students fear college will have lost its charm. The Guardian. Accessed August 2013.
  11. Tim Adams (27 January 2008). Record painter. The Observer. Accessed November 2014.
  12. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Tamsin Blanchard (2011). Central Saint Martins fashion college bids farewell to Charing Cross Road. The Daily Telegraph, 24 June 2011. Accessed July 2013.
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