Birmingham, Society of Arts and School of Design
Founded by John Wilkes Unett who 'publicly brought forward the plan of the Society of Arts' in 1820.
In March 1843 the 'Society of Arts' was approached by the Government Council of the School of Art and Design, London, with the suggestion that it be made into an 'Art School'. The Council insisted that to receive their funding the Society would make 'the School of Design their sole object.' In return the Council would provide books, plaster casts and a grant of £150 per year. ['Minutes', 14 March 1843] This grant was increased to £250 from 1844. The Society agreed to these terms but added that there should be an 'Annual Exhibition of Sculpture, Painting, Models and Specimens of new inventions in works of Art connected with the Manufacturers of the Town and Neighbourhood.' ['Minutes' 25 April 1843]
Following the Society of Arts collaboration with the Government School of Design, and its primary focus being the running of an 'Art School', it was suggested in June 1843 that the Artists (Society of Artists) who were part of the 'Society of Arts' at this time, 'carry on their operations' and continue to hold exhibitions in the rooms of the 'Society of Arts' on payment of rent. ['Minutes' 18 June 1843] The artists then requested a permanent home in the rooms of the Society of Arts. However, this was declined and instead it was suggested they pay rent to use the building for exhibitions. ['Minutes' 6 July 1843]
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