CULTURAL GIANTS

Art History Link-Up

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The current government, with its often avowed preference for STEM subjects (Science Technology Engineering Maths), readied itself to drop Art History as an A-level from 2018. It was to disappear entirely as a subject.

This case study isn't the place to drill too deeply into the background, but here is the death-knell, and here the prejudice that brought it about. Simon Schama can stand for all the figures who stood up to protest, when he declared making art history vanish - to make the understanding and appreciation of art vanish - as "a big dull axe wielded by cultural pygmies".

Archaeology A-level is also walking the plank.

Such a subject as art, which runs through every human society, from top to bottom, from beginning to end, and maps every hope, every political and social idea, is surely one of the core subjects to engage with. One student of art history put it perfectly when he said that the subject is "the study of humanity".

Or as Baroness Brinton argued in Parliament: "There is one important letter missing from STEM; it is "A" for arts. Without a core place for arts and creative subjects, our country cannot steam ahead into the future. It must also be at the heart of our education system."

We have strong links in the world of art, and we were asked to help brand one of the many art history lobby and action groups that sprung up.

Rose Aidin - backed by supporters like the Wallace Collection, the V&A, and The Rothschild Foundation - established a teaching programme that would keep the study of art alive, and allow students to study A-level outside of a school that might not offer it, or boost a course with gallery visits.

We designed the logo.

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And photographed some of the study groups.

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arthistorylinkup.org

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