Reblogs · Review

Creative License

A wonderful review of our recent launch of ‘Creative License: From Leeds College of Art to Leeds Polytechnic, 1963–1973’, by James Charnley


James Charnley’s authoritative and long-awaited book on the history and development of art teaching in Leeds has just been published by Lutterworth Press, Cambridge.

Creative License Poster

Creative License – From Leeds College of Art to Leeds Polytechnic (2014, Lutterworth Press) is the first study of its kind to focus on the revolutionary approaches to art teaching that were born in Leeds (instigated by Harry Thubron at Leeds College of Art in the late 1950s) and developed throughout the 1960s and 70s into the radical, experimental and at times controversial art associated with the Fine Art department in the Polytechnic era.


Thubron’s Basic Course is credited with having invented the model of what we know as the modern art school, characterised as a place where ‘process, imagination and spontaneity were elevated over technique’. The traditional boundaries between painting and sculpture torn down, literally – the studio space opened up and students encouraged explore…

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