Wren Themed Wood & Stone Carving Competition

Posted on: January 10th, 2023 by wrenEditor

Our wood and stone carving studios will be open to visitors, who are encouraged to cast their vote in the ever-popular two-day student carving competition, this year themed around Sir Christopher Wren in honour of the tercentenary of his death. As well as watching the historic craft skills of wood and stone carving in action, visitors can have a go at stone carving themselves.  These activities and a host of others related to our specialisms are also part of the Art School’s London Craft Week 2023 programming.  To find out more click HERE

For over 165 years City & Guilds of London Art School has played a vital role in passing on specialist craft skills and inspiring new generations of artists and makers to restore and conserve precious built and cultural heritage for all to see and enjoy.

The Carving department originated in the post-war effort to train professionals for the restoration of war-torn London. Today the courses – validated in 2019 as BA (Hons) Carving and MA Carving – are unique at this level in the UK and further afield and prepare students to work as professionals within the disciplines of woodcarving & gilding or architectural stone carving, able to replicate ornament and reinstate elements of figurative sculpture as well as create new works. By teaching a unique blend of skills, they play a crucial role in keeping alive and securing the future of specialist craftsmanship central to the preservation of historic monuments.

Photography exhibition: London’s Fire Service and The City during the Second World War

Posted on: December 15th, 2022 by wrenEditor

The London Fire Brigade Museum will be commemorating the role of the fire service to protect The City during the Blitz.

One of the worst nights of 1940 was 29 December when the City of London was bombed and set ablaze to such an extent that it is referred to as the Second Great Fire of London. One hundred and sixty-three people were killed, including 12 firefighters, and 509 were injured. Thirteen Wren churches were destroyed, but St Paul’s Cathedral remained standing.

This pop-up exhibition will use images of the work of the firefighter artists and the Brigade’s extensive photography archive to illustrate how the fire service protected The City during the Blitz, especially on the night of 29 December 1940.

Touring exhibition from September 2023 – December 2023

Wren300: ‘A City Full of People’

Posted on: November 9th, 2022 by wrenEditor

Volunteer researchers are sought to carry out historical research for an exciting new project as part of the celebrations to mark the tercentenary of Sir Christopher Wren’s death in 2023. Wren300: ‘A City Full of People’ will investigate the lives of people who lived and worked in the City of London while it was being rebuilt after the Great Fire of 1666.

The team of Wren300 researchers, trained and supported by a social historian, will undertake archival research into a selection of parishes within the Square Mile during the period c.1666 to 1726. The researchers will make use of local archives and online resources to identify some of the people involved in the rebuilding of Wren’s City churches and to gather information about the trades and occupations employed in the work. They will investigate the lives of those who were baptised, married and buried within these churches during this disrupted period in the City’s history. There will also be an opportunity to examine questions of contested heritage and the City’s involvement in the expansion of Britain’s colonial interests.

A full training programme in using and understanding a range of archival sources will be provided, including visits to Wren churches and local and specialist archives. The project will result in the researchers retelling the stories of the people they have investigated in a way that is accessible for modern audiences, either as written narratives or recorded interviews. Their findings will be shared in an exhibition which the researchers will help to curate.

The research phase will run from December 2022 to April 2023. The exhibition will be held at the four of the City churches in June 2023 and shared online as a lasting legacy of the project. This project forms part of the Wren300 Square Mile Churches programme which is being undertaken by the London Diocesan Fund and partly funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Wren300 Exhibition

Posted on: October 19th, 2022 by wrenEditor

An exhibition from the Trinity Archives will tell the story of Wren’s relationship with College President Ralph Bathurst, and his role in the restoration of Trinity’s fortunes through the impact of his magnificent buildings.

Visitors will be able to explore the evolution of Wren’s free-standing Garden Quad building as it exists today. Materials on display will include an original ‘unbuilt’ Wren design; a bantering 1665 letter from Wren grumbling about where his building was to stand, and some of the original workmen’s equipment discovered beneath the floor during the 2017 Chapel restoration.