1860 - ?

Reading School of Art was established in 1860 which was the founding school of the present University, the gallery is now named the John Madejski Art Gallery, which was built in 1893 as a typical Victorian art gallery and was affiliated with Oxford University. The University received its Royal Charter in 1926, entitling it to operate as an independent institution, conferring its own degrees and diplomas. Following a grant from local businessman and philanthropist John Madejski, Reading Art Gallery was extensively refurbished in 1999 and renamed after its benefactor. A museum and art gallery with examples of the work of notable artists such as Charles Tunnicliffe, Rowland Hilder and Allen Seaby are represented and the collection covers all the subject matter that children adored, comprising 700 boxes of original artwork, proofs and some documentation from the 1940's to the 1990's. Teachers and students who have exhibited in the gallery or who have work in the permanent collection include Terry Frost, Claude Rogers and Turner Prize nominees Mike Nelson, Cornelia Parker and Richard Wilson. Also represented are Elizabeth Blackadder, Henry Matthew Brock, Victoria Crowe, Joy Finzi, Eric Kennington, Frank Ormrod, John Piper, Walter Sickert, Stanley Spencer and sculptor John Tweed. In 1955 the Reading Technical College was opened which was renamed the Reading College of Technology in 1967 and the Reading College of Arts and Technology during the 1970’s. Following a merger with the Berkshire College of Art in Maidenhead, it became the Reading College and School of Arts & Design in 1997 and in 2004 it became part of Thames Valley University in 2004. The University of Reading is among the top 30 UK universities in world rankings, ranked 26th out of 103 UK universities featured in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2024, and is home to 23,000 students from over 160 countries.