Photographs of Classes at Leicester School of Arts and Crafts

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Photographs of arts and crafts classes underway at the Leicester School of Arts and Crafts, 1924. Some of the photographs appear in the 1924 prospectus, and are repeated in the 1926 prospectus. Classes shown highlight the range of subjects taught at the College and include carpentry, plumbing, architecture, cabinet making, embroidery, silversmithing, drawing, painting, bookbinding, sign writing, typography, monotype, lithography and weaving.

At some time captions and dates have been written on the reverse of the photographs, however, these appear to be inaccurate as they do not take into account their use in the prospectuses.

Also four photographs showing weaving class, 1934. These photographs are stamped with the date and Leicester Evening Mail Proof numbers 5, 6, 7 and 8. Some were used in an article on October 9 1934 showcasing the Weaving Department of the Leicester College of Arts and Crafts. The whereabouts of photographs 1 to 4 from the series is unknown.

Administrative / Biographical History

A public meeting was held on 14th October 1869 attended by Leicester citizens disposed to encourage the foundation of a school of art. Following on from the success of that meeting, subscriptions were asked for which enabled the committee to secure premises in Pocklington’s Walk. Classes met there for the first time on 1st March 1870. From 1882 technical classes were also held with the aim of preparing skilled workers for local industry.

In 1897 the School was taken over by the Town Council of the County Borough of Leicester and renamed the Leicester Municipal Technical and Art School. A new building (now known as the Hawthorn Building) was constructed allowing the art and technical classes to be brought together for the first time. On the technical side classes included boot and shoe manufacture, engineering, plumbing, painting and building trades, and textiles; while on the art side design and modelling, life classes and anatomy, still life, geometry and perspective, architecture, book binding and embroidery were offered.

The School went through various changes of name. In 1919 it was restructured into two separate departments, called the City of Leicester School of Arts and Crafts and the City of Leicester Technical School. In 1925 this was changed to City of Leicester College of Arts and Crafts and City of Leicester College of Technology.

In 1969 the Colleges formally amalgamated to form the City of Leicester Polytechnic. In 1975 this merged with the Leicester College of Education and was known as the Leicester Polytechnic. In 1992 the institution was awarded university status and changed its name to De Montfort University.

Conditions Governing Access

Open and available for general access. External researchers are advised to make an appointment with the archivist.

Archivist's Note

Catalogued by Katharine Short, Archivist, August 2013.

Conditions Governing Use

Scans or photographs may be made for private research purposes only. Please note that the photographs stamped Leicester Evening Mail are copyright that institution or their successor.

Related Material

Similar photographs for the Leicester School of Technology were published in the equivalent 1924 prospectus for that institution, showing boot and shoe making workshops, hosiery making workshops, metal workshops, engineering laboratories, chemistry laboratories and physics laboratories.