Edinburgh College of Art
Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) is an art school in Edinburgh, Scotland, providing tertiary education in art and design disciplines for over two thousand students. ECA is located in the Old Town of Edinburgh, overlooking the Grassmarket, and not far from the University of Edinburgh's George Square campus. The college was founded in 1760, and gained its present name and site in 1907. Formerly associated with Heriot-Watt University, it now has its degrees issued by the University of Edinburgh. The college formally merges with the University on 1st August 2011, continuing to exist under the name Edinburgh College of Art but as a school within the College of Humanities, ACE - Art, Culture and the Environment - encompassing not just the college but also several departments from the university, namely art history, architecture and music. .

ECA can trace its history back to 1760, when the Trustees Drawing Academy of Edinburgh was established by the Board of Trustees for Fisheries, Manufactures and Improvements in Scotland. This board had been set up by Act of Parliament in 1727 to encourage and promote the fisheries or such other manufactures and improvements in Scotland as may most conduce to the general good of the United Kingdom, and was also responsible for the construction of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. The aim of the academy was to train designers for the manufacturing industries. Drawing and the design of patterns for the textile industries were taught at the Academy's rooms at Picardy Place. From 1826 classes were held at the Royal Institution building, now the Royal Scottish Academy on The Mound. The Master of the School was always a fine artist, the first being French painter William Delacour. Subsequent masters included Alexander Runciman and David Allan. The Academy's focus gradually shifted from applied arts to encompass fine art, and the school gained a reputation for excellence in both painting and design. Scottish artists who were trained at the Academy include John Brown, Alexander Nasmyth and Andrew Wilson. In 1858 the Academy was affiliated to the Science and Art Department in London, known as the " South Kensington system", under which it became the Government School of Art for the city of Edinburgh. A School of Applied Art was also established under this system. The Drawing School became part of a system of schools managed on similar lines, and distinctive teaching practices were lost. In 1903 it amalgamated with the School of Applied Art. In 1907 the Scottish Education Department took over responsibility for the school, and it became Edinburgh College of Art. The College has always been an independent institution, and is now officially recognised by the Scottish Government as a Small Specialist Institution for the teaching of art, design and architecture. From 1968 to 2004, it was associated with Heriot-Watt University for degree awarding purposes. Today's students graduate from the College with degrees awarded by the University of Edinburgh. The two institutions are partners in an academic federation. In 2005 the College joined with Edinburgh Napier University to launch the Screen Academy Scotland, a new centre of excellence in film practice education.

The College Buildings
With the creation of Edinburgh College of Art in 1907, the institution moved to new premises on Lady Lawson Street. Formerly a cattle market, the site lies above the Grassmarket and opposite Edinburgh Castle. The red sandstone main building was designed in the Beaux-Arts style by John More Dick Peddie and George Washington Browne, and was completed in 1909. The main building was listed Category A in 1970. Inside, the Sculpture Court displays casts of the Elgin Marbles and other antique statuary, alongside changing displays of contemporary student's work. The Architecture Building was added to the east end of the college in 1961, designed by architect Ralph Cowan, who was a Professor of Architecture at the college. In 1977 the campus was completed in its present form with the addition of the Hunter Building. This L-shaped red sandstone block encloses the college courtyard, and fronts Lauriston Place to the south. In the 1990s the college took over a separate group of buildings in the Grassmarket, for use as a library and teaching space, and also took over the former Salvation Army building on West Port. The nine-storey Evolution House on West Port by Reiach and Hall Architects was completed 2003, adjacent to the main college building. Built as speculative offices, it now houses the administrative functions and the main library, as well as many new design studios. The College is now concentrated on a single site, and the Grassmarket (1st Year studies) and former Salvation Army buildings (Animation and Post-graduate Tapestry studios) are no longer used.

Notable alumni and academics

  • Sir Nicholas Grimshaw, architect, president of the Royal Academy
  • Robert Matthew, architect
  • Patrick Nuttgens, architect and academic
  • Sir Basil Spence, architect
  • Sir William Kininmonth, architect
  • Sir James Dunbar-Nasmith, conservation architect and former head of the Department of Architecture (1978-1988)
  • Rab and Denise Bennetts, architects, founders of Bennetts Associates

  • Dame Elizabeth Blackadder, artist
  • Paul Carter, artist
  • Stanley Cursiter, artist
  • Alan Davie, artist
  • Keith Farquhar, artist
  • William Geissler, artist
  • William George Gillies, artist
  • William Green, artist
  • Gwen Hardie, artist
  • William McLaren, artist
  • Wendy McMurdo, artist
  • David Michie, artist
  • John Maxwell, artist
  • Sir Robin Philipson, artist
  • Nina Pope and Karen Guthrie, aka Somewhere
  • Anne Redpath, artist
  • Zoe Walker, artist
  • Richard Wright, artist, winner of the 2009 Turner Prize

  • John Bellany, painter
  • William Crozier, painter
  • Molly Garnier, painter
  • William Gear, painter
  • Nicola Green, painter
  • Callum Innes, painter and Turner Prize nominee
  • Sir William MacTaggart, painter
  • Alexander Moffat, painter and lecturer
  • Christopher Wood, painter

  • Robert Callender, sculptor of seashore litter
  • Alexander Carrick, sculptor and academic
  • Christopher Hall, sculptor
  • Hew Lorimer, sculptor
  • Elizabeth Ogilvie, huge water installations
  • James Pittendrigh MacGillivray, sculptor
  • Sir Eduardo Paolozzi, sculptor and artist
  • Scott Sutherland, sculptor

  • Roy Williamson, member of The Corries, and author of Flower of Scotland
  • The Rezillos, 1970s new wave band, featuring Jo Callis who went on to The Human League
  • The Magnificents, Scottish rock band
  • Sandy Brown, Scottish Jazz clarinettist
  • Futuristic Retro Champions, Scottish ElectroPop band

  • John Arden, playwright
  • Alan Bold, poet
  • Ruthven Todd, poet, novelist

  • Adam Robson, rugby player, former head of the Scottish Rugby Union
  • David Harding, environmental artist and lecturer
  • Aileen Paterson writer and illustrator of children's books.
  • David Shaw Nicholls, designer & architect
  • Kerry Anne Mullaney, film director

Building Activity

  • Georgi Sokolov
    Georgi Sokolov updated a media
    about 6 years ago via OpenBuildings.com