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London is one of the most creative cities in the world. Famous people who have studied at art institutes in London include artists Tracey Emin and Henry Moore, editors Caryn Franklin and Jefferson Hack, and fashion designers Mary Quant and Dame Vivienne Westwood. These are the London art schools to keep in mind if you have a love for painting or a fascination with sculpture.

The Royal College of Arts

With 18 major thematic areas spread over four schools and numerous centers, this famous postgraduate university specializes in innovation in art and design. Its historic campus in Kensington, near Hyde Park and the Royal Albert Hall (where its graduation ceremonies take place), is its best-known feature, though it also has prominent locations in Battersea and White City. Notable graduates are artists David Hockney and Tracey Emin, as well as design pioneers James Dyson and Thomas Heatherwick.

Schools of the Royal Academy

The private schools of the Royal Academy are part of the Royal Academy of Arts, which was founded in 1768 and focuses on carefully selected students. ShaperoModern says it offers a free three-year postgraduate program with additional scholarships to generate new work for just 17 students each year. Unsurprisingly, the school offers very large studios within the Royal Academy and invites its own Royal Academicians and school graduates to contribute to an excellent teaching and debate program.

Slade School of Fine Arts

Felix Slade founded this innovative institution in the late 1800s to bring arts education up to par with other humanities courses while providing equal access for men and women. Since then, the school has trained some of Britain’s most illustrious painters, including modernists like Sir Stanley Spencer, Dora Carrington and Ben Nicholson. Contemporary artists such as Bruce McLean and Phyllida Barlow have taught some of the school’s programs in recent years, helping to educate a new generation of artists.


The Young British Artists (YBA) – the UK’s most radical arts group in recent memory – were probably incubated at this south London college. Many major members who graduated in the late 1980s, including Damien Hirst, Sarah Lucas, and Sam Taylor-Johnson, have already auctioned works through Christie’s to generate money for the Assemble’s Goldsmiths Center for collaboration. Contemporary Art, winner of the Turner Prize.

Chelsea College of Art and Design

Chelsea College of Arts, named after the old Manresa Road campus, is currently housed in a former military hospital in Pimlico, just across from Tate Britain. The school started out teaching professional vocations, but has now expanded to include fine arts, curatorial, and graphic design courses. Elisabeth Frink and Edward Burra are notable graduates, while famous sculptor Henry Moore, whose No.1 two-piece reclining figure was purchased by the institution in the 1950s and is still on display, taught here.

Wimbledon School of the Arts

This South West London film, theater and television school focuses on the arts of film, theater and television. Wimbledon is known for its specialist seminars and on-site theater, and its suburban location allows it to provide studios larger than its metropolitan rivals. Many notable modern artists have come from the school, including Yinka Shonibare, Peter Doig, and Tony Cragg.

Camberwell College of the Arts

Camberwell College of Arts, along with its neighbor, the South London Gallery, is creating a creative center on Peckham Road. Painting, illustration, graphic design, sculpture, and photography are part of established undergraduate courses, along with a substantial master’s program. It battled space issues for several years before a slew of new structures, including larger studios, on-site student accommodation, a dedicated art gallery and amphitheater, were erected.

London City and Guild School of Art

This independent Kennington-based nonprofit has a strong emphasis on intensive programming, with students encouraged to devote five days a week to on-site learning. By the mid-1800s, the school had strong ties to British industry, including pottery magnate Henry Doulton, who allowed students to work in its studios. He was also involved in post-war regeneration, creating repair and sculpture courses to help restore buildings and monuments in the city that had been devastated by the Blitz. The Postgraduate Diploma in Historical Sculpture is now the only program in the country to offer such a degree of education.

London College of Communication

This institution is located in a tower on the Elephant and Castle Circle, which is not the most scenic part of London. Inside, however, it’s a different story. The Stanley Kubrick Archives are housed within the institution, which also fosters a creative atmosphere through a range of art classes. It was originally known as the London College of Printing (due to its large screen printing and binding facilities), but the current name more accurately represents its media courses in design, photography, journalism, and advertising. Dazed Magazine (formerly Dazed and Confused) was started here by Jefferson Hack and Rankin, with more recent alumni including creative photographer Juno Calypso.

Saint-Martin Center

Alumni of the world-renowned university include some of the best-known names in the art and fashion world, so students at Central Saint Martins are in good company. Fashion designers Stella McCartney, Alexander McQueen and Giles Deacon trained here, as were Turner Prize-winning artist Laure Prouvost, set designer Es Devlin and Turner Prize-winning artist Laure Prouvost. Students can specialize in everything from knits and womenswear to fashion journalism as part of the highly respected Fashion Program. If you don’t want to commit to a full degree, the institution offers a number of popular short-term and summer courses.

Kingston University i

Dr Helen Charman of the V&A Museum described the studios and workshops of the Kingston School of Art at Kingston University as “an extremely remarkable and inspiring world-class design center brimming with creative energy and technical verve.” . The institution, which is spread over three campuses, offers a diverse range of creative courses in architecture, art, design, music, dance and theater. The waterfront campus of Knights Park, near downtown Kingston upon Thames, is particularly charming; it was renovated for £ 12million in 2012. The Stanley Picker Gallery and the Dorich House Museum are both operated by the institution, providing students with significant hands-on exposure to the arts.

Visit one of these schools and you can learn the art to become a well-known artist.

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