Yorkshire Sculpture Park and University of Huddersfield.

Ai Weiwei, Iron Tree, 2#34CYorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) hosts the National Arts Education Archive (NAEA) which is a major resource holding significant collections of material that reveal the conditions of art and design education, teaching and policy making in Britain in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The NAEA is a key focus of the University of Huddersfield’s partnership with YSP and The School of Art, Design and Architecture offered a scholarship for doctoral research around the NAEA in 2010. Presentation of this research at a number of conferences, seminars and research forums has helped to introduce a wider audience to the NAEA.

At a national policy level, the NAEA collection holds significance as a resource allowing for robust longitudinal evidence into the value of art and design education within the broader education policy context.

An example of one doctoral research scholarship is with Suzi Tibbetts, whose research project investigated the pedagogy of Tom Hudson and his vision for art education.  Her PhD. research offered a critical overview of the relationship between Hudson’s pedagogical theory and practice, as well as a review of the influences and contexts that shaped the development of his ideas.  Having played a significant role in the formation and progress of the Basic Design Movement, Hudson’s practice and ideas were considered and compared with the work of other protagonists, namely Harry Thubron, Victor Pasmore and Richard Hamilton.  Contemporary practices were also considered and observed in order to gain an understanding of current debates and the place of Hudson’s pedagogical views within these.

The study included a consideration of the archive as a theoretical framework for the artist educator’s research.  A substantial amount of primary material for this research was based within the National Arts Education Archive.  The research partnership demonstrated the value of NAEA and YSP as a resource with much to offer the art and design educationalist, student or researcher.

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