By Aimee Crickmore, MA ConservationCamberwell College of Arts

image: view of the Tate Britain; reproduced from The Telegraph, 2017

On 22 June 2017, a group of Postgraduate Students from across colleges and disciplines, visited The Print and Drawing Rooms at Tate Britain  led by Aimee Crickmore – MA Conservation student at Camberwell College of Arts and this year’s Postgraduate Community Student Ambassador for Camberwell.  Here, Aimee reports back o the visit. 

As an institution, the Tate Britain is synonymous with British Art; housing over 70,000 works, the catalogue boasts world reknowned works dating back to 1500 and has expanded from its initial remit to incorporate art from across Western Europe, extending to modern and contemporary artworks from Africa, Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and South Asia.

The Print and Drawing Rooms are based on the Tate Britain site in Chelsea, within level two of the Clore gallery. Opening hours are 10:30-16:30, Monday through Friday. Utilising this resource, members of the public are able to request specific works from within the collection of works of art on paper.

image: the Print and Drawing Rooms; reproduced from the Tate Britain website, 2017

During the recent event hosted at the Print and Drawing Rooms, we had the opportunity to view a variety of works including those by Turner and Blake, in addition to some material the attendees had requested themselves. The fantastic utility of this service is that many of these works are ‘incomplete’ or ‘in progress’ works, which are not frequently displayed – by searching the Tate catalogue and noting which works are ‘view by appointment’ students and members of the public can request material that can be used to aid their own research.

Christine, a member of the print and drawing rooms staff, gave a tour of the facilities and provided helpful information surrounding the works, their manufacture and history. She was happy to answer any questions that we had and explained how the nature of the collection places its accessibility to the public as a high priority!

image: The Burning of the Houses of Parliament’, J.M.W. Turner, c.1834-5 (Available by Appointment)

In order to access the material, it is preferable to arrange an appointment in advance, as scheduling and demand can influence availability; when viewing the material it is important to note that photography is not allowed, and any group will be required to register with a proof of identity – however, as an individual this need only be done once.

image: ‘The Head of a Ghost of a Flea’, William Blake, c.1819 (Available by Appointment)

Interest in the event itself came from a wide-range of disciplines across campuses, each with differing responses to the material and how it could influence their own practice; the opportunity to engage with works within an institutional context on such an intimate level provided a real insight into processes and empathy with the artist, which makes visiting the print and drawing rooms immensely rewarding!

More about Tate’s Print and Drawing Rooms:

The Tate is an iconic institution renowned worldwide, with four major sites which house a collection of national importance dating back to the 16th century containing works from artists across the globe.

The Print and Drawing Rooms at Tate Britain houses a multi-media collection across a variety formats which range from sketchbooks to contemporary print drawings. Aiming to accommodate access for pleasure or academic interest, the collection housed within the rooms is a valuable and thought-provoking resource which engages with the evolving history of art and materiality of media.

Want to book your own visit to the archive? learn how on The Print and Drawing Rooms website

Postgraduate Community Student Ambassadors:

Here at UAL we have a Postgraduate Community programme active across all of our six colleges.

Postgraduate Community provides access to cross-college and cross-disciplinary opportunities, events and networking for postgraduate taught and research students at University of the Arts London.

A team of Postgraduate Community Student Ambassadors are employed to assist with the Postgraduate Community social media channels, reporting on postgraduate events for the blog, helping to deliver and plan events and act as ambassadors and point of contact for the PG Community at each college.