From Foundation to Future Artists

The origin of the foundation course dates back to the late 1950s. William Coldstream, Herbert Read and Harry Thubron are considered the ‘fathers’ of the foundation course. As an artist himself, Coldstream had a life long interest in art education. He taught at Camberwell School of Art from 1945 to 1949, and then later became the principal, and professor of Fine Art at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, where he had the most impact, striving to make the school a stage for artistic excellence. Coldstream’s influence was not only reflected in his teaching at the Slade but also through his innovative ideas for art education. He served as chairman on the National Advisory Council for Art Education in 1958, and contributed revolutionary solutions to the development of the British art education system. For example, the Coldstream Report published in 1960, outlines the requirements for a new Diploma in Art and Design (Dip.A.D.). This led to the establishment of the foundation course in art institutes, followed by three years of studio practice and complimentary studies, leading to a Dip.A.D.

基礎課程的歷史要追溯到二十世紀五十年代末。威廉·寇德斯吉姆(William Coldstream),荷爾博特·雷德(Herbert Read)和哈里·特博倫(Harry Thubron)被認為是基礎課程之父。寇德斯吉姆不僅僅是一位偉大的戰地藝術家,他對於基礎課程的設立以及英國藝術教育的啓蒙與發展有著深遠的影響。從1945年到1949年,寇德斯吉姆曾任教於坎伯威爾藝術學院(Camberwell School of Art),之後他成為了倫敦大學學院斯萊德藝術學院(Slade School of Fine Art, University College London)的教授和校長。在斯萊德藝術學院任教期間,寇德斯吉姆對於戰後斯萊德藝術學院在英國藝術教育界的崛起作出了眾多決定性的決策。寇德斯吉姆的影響並不僅僅拘泥於教學,他對於藝術教育本身的思考也是超前並且深遠的。1958年,在他擔任國家藝術教育顧問(National Advisory Council for Art Education)主席一職期間,由他撰寫并于1960年發表的“寇德斯吉姆報告”總結歸納了藝術設計學位的入學條件。由此對於藝術設計學位的確立變成了基礎課程誕生的直接原因--Dip.A.D.(Diploma in Art and Design)= 基礎課程+三年藝術理論及實踐。


William Coldstream’s colleagues Herbert Read and Harry Thubron went on to develop the foundation course system in more detail. The aim for the foundation course was to teach the students, what were considered to be, the basic skills that underpin all art disciplines, including design and architecture. Influenced by the German Bauhaus School of Art, Read reflected how, ‘this resulted in projects designed to develop techniques in using colour, articulating two and three-dimensional space, defining form and experimenting with diverse materials.’ One original feature of the foundation course method was that it did not teach any specific technique of art or design practice. A student with the aim to pursue further study in painting, for example, would not learn the basic techniques related to painting but instead core ideas and skills that are perceived to be common to all art practices.