BLACKHEATH SCHOOL OF ART

1881 - ?

Blackheath Conservatoire of Music was established at 41 Bennett Park in 1881 by William Webster (1856-1910), son of wealthy building contractor William Webster. In 1896 it moved to new premises with the established Blackheath School of Art, its official title was the Blackheath, Lee and Lewisham Government School of Art. The school’s first principal John Howard Hale enrolled noted teachers of the day who included Harold Nelson, Robert Austin, Alfred de Sauty and James Woodford. The school had three hundred pupils attending a variety of fine art and crafts courses that included sculpture, ceramics, wood carving, sculpture, and graphics. The school was closed during the First World War and the building was used by the Army Pay Corps while the school relocated to Lee Terrace where they remained until 1921.The School of Art flourished until the outbreak of the Second World War, when in September of 1940 it was taken over by the Army and remained in government hands as office accommodation. In 1941 the school finally ceased to exist as a free-standing art school and effectively merged with Goldsmiths’ College. Blackheath Art School reopened as a non-governmental business in 1983 but proved financially unsustainable.