It was reported in Lake’s Falmouth Packet, Cornwall Advertiser and Visitors’ List on Saturday 30th August 1902 that:
“The formal opening this week of the new Art School recalls to mind that in Falmouth the art movement, like that of the technical, has only had an enduring career of success in latter years. Classes commenced as far back as 1870 under the aegis of the Polytechnic Society (RCPS) made considerable progress, so much so, in fact, that they bid fair to take the premier position in the County. Ten years later, however, prospects had altered for the worse, and by 1886, owing to the withdrawal and loss of some of the valuable teaching staff, the students and income had so declined that only classes in art and building construction were carried on, and even these were subsequently abandoned. It was the formation of a Technical Instruction Committee for the district which in 1891 gave a fresh impetus to science and art instruction in Falmouth, and at the request, and with the assistance of this committee the Polytechnic classes were restarted.
At the official opening of the School’s original premises in Arwenack Avenue in August 1902, Sir William Preece noted that the School “was destined to make its mark on the education of Cornwall.” How prescient this remark proved to be.
In 1902, Falmouth School of Art was a wholly private venture and offered classes such as Freehand Drawing, Model Drawing, Painting from Still Life, Drawing from the Antique, Drawing in Light & Shade, and Memory Drawing of Plant Form. Students were charged between four and ten shillings per session for the privilege, and were offered the opportunity to enter for Board of Education exams.
Principals for the various departments have included: Stanley WRIGHT, Jack CHALKER, Michael FINN, John BARNICOAT, Tom CROSS, Ian CARRICK (acting), and Professor Alan LIVINGSTON. Visiting lecturers have included: Peter LANYON and Terry FROST, Dame Barbara HEPWORTH, Bernard LEACH, and Patrick HERON.
In 1987 Falmouth School of Art and Cornwall College’s Faculty of Art & Design would merge to become Falmouth School of Art & Design. In the 1990s Falmouth School of Art & Design became Falmouth College of Arts. The University of Exeter’s operations in Cornwall transferred to Tremough in 2004. On 6 April 2008, University College Falmouth merged with Dartington College of Arts.