Crawford College of Art and Design
Originally known as the Cork School of Art, the Crawford College of Art and Design was established in the eighteenth century and expanded several times in the early nineteenth century. However, it was the talented Irish genre and landscape painter James Brenan (RHA) - the headmaster of the school for 29 years, up to his departure for Dublin in 1889 to take over the Dublin Metropolitan School of Art - who established the reputation and artistic status of the school as one of the foremost fine art colleges in Ireland. In particular, it was Brenan's influence on the wealthy Cork brewer William Horatio Crawford that induced the latter to sponsor the magnificent extension to the school in 1884.
The 1884 extension to the Cork School of Art (renamed the Crawford Municipal School of Art) housed several beautiful new purpose-built art galleries and involved an almost complete renovation of the building. William Horatio's generosity led to the adoption by the school and gallery of his family name. The original architectural plans for new complex indicate it was intended as both a School of Art and Science (the wrought-iron gates at the entrance to the present Crawford Gallery still bear the inscriptions 'Art' and 'Science') but in the event the plans were scaled down and the complex was named the Crawford School of Art. (See also: BEST ART SCHOOLS)
As it was, the new extension doubled the capacity of the buildling, furnishing five large art studios on the first floor, and two enormous sculpture galleries, a room for drawing and figure drawing, and several art workshops on the ground floor. In short, it provided Cork with the finest art school in Ireland of the day. The new Crawford Art School and Gallery was opened in 1885 by the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII).
Today, the Crawford School of Art remains one of Ireland's top colleges of visual art, offering a variety of courses in painting, printmaking, sculpture, contemporary arts and design, including the history of art, although it no longer resides with the Gallery in Emmet Place. Since 1979 it has been located on the site of the former Technical School on Sharman Crawford Street, and has been renamed the Crawford College of Art and Design. In terms of its artistic reputation, it is regarded as second only to Dublin's National College of Art and Design (NCAD) as the most important third-level art college in the Republic of Ireland, and a gateway to a professional career in the visual arts in Ireland.
Crawford College of Art and Design, Cork