Artist Collective Graduate Summer School 2019

  • 13 August 2019

Last month saw the launch of the Graduate Summer School, an ambitious new collaboration between the Paul Mellon Centre, the Yale School of Art, the Yale Art History Department, and the Yale Center for British Art. For this inaugural iteration of the summer school, we were also delighted to be working in tandem with the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London to develop and co-host the programme.

Students in front of a painting in a gallery

Graduate Summer School students on a tour of the permanent collection at Tate Britain, led by Mark Hallett, Director of Studies at the Paul Mellon Centre, and Martin Myrone, Lead Curator of pre-1800 British Art at Tate Britain.

The Graduate Summer School provides a forum for stimulating discussion and debate on a theme – this year, forms of artistic collectivity – that is of interest to both art students and art history students, and of relevance to both historic and contemporary art. This theme is investigated through the prism of British artistic and architectural practice.

Papers on a table This July, we were excited to be joined by a brilliant cohort of art students and art history students, including seven PhD students from the Yale University Art History Department, whose research spanned a breadth of practices, periods and regions; eight MFA students from the Yale School of Art, from across the photography, painting, sculpture and design programmes; and four UK-based PhD students who are members of the PMC’s Doctoral Researchers Network.

The lively twelve-day programme took place between Monday 8 July and Friday 19 July 2019. During this time, the students encountered archival presentations of modernist periodicals with staff at the PMC; workshops at the ICA with Collective Creativity and the Otolith Group; a field trip to Oxford to see Pre-Raphaelite works in the university’s colleges and to visit the city’s museums; workshops at the Women’s Art Library and at Flat Time House in South London; curator-led tours of the Centre for Contemporary Art at Goldsmiths and the permanent collection at Tate Britain; and roundtable discussions with theorist Peter Osborne and art historian Lynda Nead.

Three students looking at a tack-board

Graduate Summer School students, Manon Gaudet, History of Art at Yale University, Georgia Haseldine, Queen Mary University, and Kyla Arsadjaja, Yale School of Art, making a three-dimensional tack-board during a study day on the Independent Group at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA).

On the final day of the programme, the students presented a practice-based, critical and creative response to the Graduate Summer School’s central theme of artistic collectivity. Throughout the day, they staged a series of interventions, installations and workshops, which took place at the PMC and in the surrounding streets.

Thank you to the convenors, the contributors and to the students themselves, who worked together tirelessly to make this first edition of the Graduate Summer School such a rich and stimulating event.

Students looking at archive boxes on a long table

Graduate Summer School students working with archival material at the Women’s Art Library at Goldsmiths University, led by Althea Greenan, Curator of the Women's Art Library, Catherine Grant, Associate Senior Lecturer in Visual Cultures and Senior Lecturer (Critical Studies) in Art, Department of Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths University, and Amy Tobin, Lecturer in the History of Art at Cambridge University and Curator at Kettle's Yard.