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The Royal Drawing School

HRH The Prince of Wales announces the Royal Drawing School

On Tuesday 18th November 2014 The Prince's Drawing School became the Royal Drawing School. With the permission of Her Majesty the Queen, the Royal Drawing School announed its newly granted Royal status.

HRH The Prince of Wales marked the occasion of the name change with a visit to the School’s main campus in Shoreditch, East London, joined by a host of art world luminaries in a celebration of drawing. HRH met current students and alumni of the Royal Drawing School to announce the news in person and view an exhibition of drawings by the School’s alumni from the past 14 years.


HRH The Prince of Wales and the artist Catherine Goodman founded the School in 2000, with the help of a distinguished group of artists and art experts including Christopher Le Brun PRA, Humphrey Ocean RA, Timothy Hyman RA, John Lessore and Charles Saumarez Smith


The endorsement of a Royal name recognises the School’s academic and artistic excellence and its international importance as a specialist resource for people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities who wish to develop their observational drawing. It serves to reinforce the Royal Drawing School’s position as a respected and integral part of the art education landscape, addressing a permanent need for high-quality drawing teaching in the UK.


With this name change, the Royal Drawing School joins The Royal Academy (1768), the Royal College of Music (1882), the Royal College of Art (1896) the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (1920) and the Royal Ballet School (1956), as a member of the small circle of prestigious, world-renowned arts education institutions to bear the Royal title. It is the first such institution to be granted the name since the Royal Ballet School, which received its title in 1956 - the fourth year of the reign of HM Queen Elizabeth II.

Drawing is a natural language for human beings that brings ideas to life. The prestige of a Royal name acknowledges the importance of drawing as a crucial route to innovation across the creative disciplines and beyond, from fashion, fine art and animation to filmmaking, product design and engineering.


HRH The Prince of Wales said of the announcement:

‘When Catherine Goodman and I founded the School 14 years ago, we held the belief that such an institution could provide an important contribution to the teaching of art in the UK.  Though this much started out as an experiment, standing here today, I couldn’t be more delighted at what the Royal Drawing School has become: a resource of the highest quality, which ensures that observational drawing remains an evolving and vital force in the arts in perpetuity.’

Co-founder and Artistic Director of the Royal Drawing School, Catherine Goodman also remarks:


“I feel very proud that we have come this far since we began in 2000, because I’m more and more persuaded of the need for a Drawing School as a permanent part of the UK’s educational resources. There isn’t another one in Europe, and we are being sought out by students from all over the world.”


The Royal Drawing School is an independent educational charity raising the standard and profile of drawing through teaching and practice that now teaches over 1,000 students each week in its studios around London.


The Royal Drawing School runs an MA-level postgraduate scholarship programme, a fine art foundation course, fully-funded international artists' residencies, a young artists programme for 10-18 year-olds, and over 250 different drawing courses for the public each year. It currently has a teaching faculty of over 75 practising artists and is also committed to the ongoing training of future teachers of drawing.


The announcement adds to a momentous year for the School following the launch of Drawing School Central, a new 3,000 square foot studio space on Oxford Street, in July. This space – a charitable donation from the Weston family, owners of Selfridges – marked the Royal Drawing School’s fifth central London venue and offers a broad programme of drawing-based daytime, evening and weekend courses.