Book review: Utilitarianism and the Art School in Nineteenth-Century Britain, written by Malcolm Quinn

In: Historical Materialism
Dave Beech University of the Arts London

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Malcolm Quinn’s book, Utilitarianism and the Art School in Nineteenth-Century Britain, is an historical study of the birth pangs of the state-funded art school that interrogates the politics of art’s reproduction within the context of Victorian reformism in which the art school was proposed as a mechanism to improve the standards of taste of manufacturers and factory workers, as well as of artists, designers, art teachers and others. The review locates the political and cultural transition from the academy to the art school as the construction of a specifically bourgeois institution of art.

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