Higher Education

The Gallery works regularly with University groups through partnership projects, talks and group visits.

Group Visits

University tutors are welcome to book a group visit to the Gallery led by our team of specialist historians and artists. Explore the Collection by specialist subject or select from a range of tours including a highlights tour, the Tudors and photography.

Directed group visits are free for UK and EU Universities. A charge is made for international Universities beyond this region.

For further information and to see the range of tours on offer see Group Visits

University Projects

The Gallery works on a select number of participation projects with Universities each year. Through a process of creative collaboration and dialogue, the aim is to establish a discourse across art, education and cultural sectors, and create an environment for the exchange of ideas, knowledge and experience. Each project is developed collaboratively, is experimental in nature and includes a range of outputs such as creative research, photography, live events, moving image and digital media.

University of Birmingham project - George Catlin: American Indian Portraits 

This project between the Gallery and the University of Birmingham explored the curatorial approach and considerations surrounding the development of the Gallery’s exhibition George Catlin: American Indian Portraits (7 March – 23 June 2013).

Catlin’s work, one of the most important series of portraits of Native Americans people, on loan to the Gallery from the Smithsonian Institution was last exhibited in the UK in the 1840s. A group of 15 history undergraduates and their tutor Sadiah Qureshi engaged critically with key curatorial, design and interpretive decisions. Working in groups they developed their own research projects which were shared with audiences through digital content and exhibition talks.

The films can be seen on Geogre Catlin: American Indian Portraits

Student Sophie Edwards blogged about her experience of taking part

University of East London project - Road to 2012:
Facing East

The Gallery worked collaboratively with a select group of 15 visual art and photography undergraduates at the University of East London and their tutors Faisal Abdu’Allah and Ralph Hall on a photography project inspired by the Road to 2012, the Gallery’s 3-year project about London’s preparation for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

A structured 10-week photography course immersed the students in dialogue, visual literacy and approaches to portrait photography with weekly master-classes led by the projects commissioned photographers including Brian Griffin, Bettina von Zwehl, Emma Hardy, Jillian Edelstein, Anderson & Low and Nadav Kander.

This photography and mentoring course ran concurrently with the students responding to a photographic brief that asked them to document a local community in east London and develop a series of portraits of people and place exploring the community’s response to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games taking place in their neighbourhood.  Each week they shared and discussed their work collectively with the group and the photographers.

An exhibition of their work was curated at Four Corners in Bethnal Green during the Games and the students conducted exhibition talks at the Gallery. Responding to the success of the project, the Chancellor of the University established two scholarship schemes for students.

Goldsmiths College, University of London – Road to 2012: ReAnimate

The Gallery worked with sound artist Martyn Ware, Goldsmiths lecturer and film-maker Julian Henriques and Road to 2012 commissioned photographer Brian Griffin on a digital participation project with students at Goldsmiths.

A live project brief was set for Goldsmiths students to be experimental and reflect on what the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games meant to a neighbourhood in east London and create that story in a multi-media format.

The Gallery worked closely with the selected students to enable them to achieve their projects to time and budget. In addition to an online platform, the projects were also showcased in the Gallery at ReAnimate – a late night event at the Gallery curated in partnership with Martyn Ware.

An immersive, audio-visual film Under Your Skin is a portrait of east London athletes which explores three very different but complementary moments during their training - preparation, participation and rest. The film was a collaboration between a film-maker and a sound artist. The film was premiered at the Gallery and was selected by BT to be screened around the country on the Live Sites. The film was selected for the London International Documentary Film Festival 2012, screened at the Roundhouse and more recently it was selected for inclusion in the exhibition Time is Love 6, an annual moving-image screening curated by Kisito Assangni in cities in Europe, the US and Iran.

COUNTO12 is a clock and a screensaver created with over 500 photographs of people living and working in the Olympic host-boroughs.

Both digital projects can be seen at Road to 2012 and ReAnimate Late Shift Extra events pages.