What is our history?
The NSEAD's origins can be traced to 1888, when a group of art school
principals recognised the need to raise the standard of art teaching and
improve the status of art teachers. They founded the Society of Art
Masters, which became the National Society of Art Masters early
in the last century. In 1899 HRH Edward Prince of Wales became Honorary
President of the Society and in 1901, as King Edward VII, he became the
SAM's patron. This link with the throne lapsed upon the death of King
George V in 1936.
With the development of art and crafts as
part of general education, and the appointment of men and women as full-time
specialist art teachers in schools, the membership was extended and, in
1944, the Society adopted the title National Society for Art Education.
Another strand of the Society's history concerns the Society for Education
through Art which grew out of a framework of an institute for exploring
new ideas in art and education, proposed by Henry Moore, Eric Gill, Sir
Herbert Read and Alexander Barclay Russell.
The SEA itself was formed in 1940 by the amalgamation of the
Art Teacher's Guild and the New Society of Art Teachers.
After two years of negotiations the SEA and the NSAE merged
their interests to become the National Society for Education in Art and Design
in 1984. In 1995 the Association of Centres for Art and Design Teacher Education
decided to merge with the Society and a Teacher Education Board was established
to serve the special interests of this group. The NSAE launched the Journal of Art &
Design Education (now the International Journal of Art & Design Education) in
1982 with Henry Moore as its founding patron. The Society established
The Athene Trust in 1996.
Professor Sir Christopher Frayling was appointed patron of the Society in May 2002. He was
joined by Sir John and Lady Frances Sorrell and by Sir Nicholas Serota in 2010 and by
Professor Magdalene Odundo OBE in 2011.
In early 2009 A4, formerly the Association of Advisers and Inspectors of Art and Design
took a decision to merge its interests with those of the NSEAD. The process of convergence was completed with
the full implementation of a revised constitution and rules on 1st January 2010. Among other changes this merger
led to the creation of an on-line special focus group for advisers, inspectors, consultants, advanced skills teachers
(ASTs) and others with a particular interest in school improvement issues.
For a more detailed history of the Society see Thistlewood, D (1988)
'The Early History of the NSEAD: The Society of Art Masters (1888-1909)
and the National Society of Art Masters (1909-1944)', Journal
of Art & Design Education, Volume 7, No.1., pp 37-64.