A "PRESTIGIOUS" art institution in York has been reopened for the new academic year.

York School of Art will be returning to York College's programme. Which means that from September, students on the relevant degree-level, adult and foundation courses will be able to do so under the School of Art institution.

Founded in 1842 as Britain’s second provincial art school after Manchester, York School of Art nurtured the talents of prominent Victorian artists such as Albert Moore (1841-1895), his brother Henry Moore (1831-1893) and Joseph Alfred Terry.

Initially known as York School of Design, and situated in the Freemasons’ Hall on Little Blake Street, now Duncombe Place, it moved to Minster Yard six years later and changed name in 1892, following another relocation to Exhibition Square.

William Etty, a respected artist from York who was a Life Student at The Royal Academy of Arts in London, was also a driving force behind the School’s establishment and would sometimes teach classes during those formative years.

York School of Art offers degree-level qualifications (Image: York College)

The school was damaged during a World War Two air raid half-a-century later and, in 1976, became part of York College at the post-16 education provider’s former Tadcaster Road site.

The merger of York College with York Sixth Form College followed in 1999 before the move to the current Sim Balk Lane premises 17 years ago.

The college said that the relaunch of the school of art is the "right time" to recognise their connection with the insitution.

The modern rendition of the York School of Art will incorporate 17 courses, including six BA (Hons) degree-level courses, eight adult education courses, an Access to Higher Education course and a Post Level three Diploma course.

Speaking on the decision to re-establish York School of Art, Principal and Chief Executive at York College, Ken Merry said: "We are very excited to be relaunching York School of Art.


"The School has a rich history and legacy and drawing classes were even offered when our founding institution - the York Mechanics’ Institute - was opened in 1827 with 60 people enrolling during that first year.

"We are, therefore, keen to reconnect York College & University Centre with its past in this respect and emphasise our continued commitment to art education."

Janet Dean, Chair of The Arts Society Ebor and a member of York College’s Governing Body, added: "As a passionate supporter of Arts Education, I see the relaunch of the York School of Art as a really positive initiative.

"I hope the relaunch of the York School of Art will spark the interest of young people and adults in exploring creative practice in the Arts, and I am sure this will contribute to a richer cultural experience across the communities we serve."