SLADE, FELIX (1790-1868)

Was born in Lambeth in August 1790 and was the son of a wealthy Surrey Landowner Robert Slade. Felix, a rich bachelor, was a passionate collector and purchased many books, engravings and glass objects with which he adorned his home in Walcot Place (Kennington Road). When he died on 29th July 1868 leaving the bulk of his art collection to the British Museum, and endowed art professorships (known as Slade Professorships) at Oxford, Cambridge, and University College, London (UCL), which also benefited from bequest of six art scholarships. The Oxford and Cambridge professors only have to give lectures to a general audience but UCL set up the Slade School of Fine Art to teach the practical aspects of painting, sculpture, and the graphic arts.

The Slade School was opened in 1871 with Sir Edward Poynter as the first professor who established the Slade tradition of emphasis on figure drawing. The Slade soon became the most important art school in the country. Its students have included Augustus and Gwen John, Wyndham Lewis, Paul Nash, Ben Nicholson, Stanley Spencer, and so on.

The Slade School of Art - UCL