To signal the Bicentenary of Dulwich Picture Gallery and its association with the College, an exhibition of eleven large text panels with fascinating reproductions can be found in the South Cloister (until the end of Michaelmas term only). This chronicles and commemorates the extraordinarily successful teaching of Art at the College, such as the fact that the very first teacher appointed to the New College by Canon Carver in 1858 was John Sparkes, who became ‘the most prominent teacher of art in the country’.
The exhibition also celebrates the history of the Picture Gallery, and the great achievements of the Dulwich Royal Academician painters: Stanhope Forbes of the Newlyn School, Henry La Thangue, Melton Fisher and Peter Greenham. Three final panels describe the work and career of an architect (C.F.A. Voysey) and the designers Sturge Moore and C. Walter Hodges. The text is by the retired Keeper of Archives and Head of English, also the College Historian, Dr Jan Piggott, and James Alexander (OA) of Jade Design who have given their services to the College; the cost of the panels was shared by the Alleyn Club and the College.
Upstairs in the Wodehouse Library a modest display in cabinets and on the walls shows documents relating to the Gallery, and more recent achievements of Art Department pupils (up to roughly the Millennium) in painting and graphics, in the history of art, typography, in architectural history and polemics. Also here the current Art Department has mounted a splendid flourish to show how it prospers in a range of media, including some wonderful sketch-books.