ARTIST ROOMS is a major collection of modern and contemporary art acquired through the generosity of Anthony d’Offay in 2008 and now owned jointly by Tate and National Galleries of Scotland (NGS). The aim of the ARTIST ROOMS Research Partnership, led by the School of History of Art at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA), was to develop a framework for high quality and engaging research around the collection and associated activities.

The ARTIST ROOMS Research Partnership brought Tate and NGS together with ENGAGE and experts at the Universities of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Strathclyde and Newcastle. It was announced in 2011 and ran until 2016, with a legacy that includes two AHRC-funded PhD studentships at ECA.

The ARTIST ROOMS Research Partnership both generated and shared research. The programme combined art historical, educational and conservation research relating to the artists and works in ARTIST ROOMS. Through these strands, it looked at ARTIST ROOMS in independent and imaginative ways. In collaboration, academics and museum practitioners engaged both specialist and general audiences, with a special focus on intersecting research areas relating to young people.

Find out more on the ARTIST ROOMS Research Partnership minisite

ARTIST ROOMS researchers talk about the project
CAHSS web team

A new model for research in contemporary art - supporting new audiences and galleries across the UK

The Partnership’s diverse methods and outcomes ranged from Café des Artistes (public engagement events focusing on specific artists), conferences, film screenings, forums, journal articles and books to the creation of new learning and research online resources, new curatorial and interpretation strategies and technological innovations. There was a programme of internships and PhD studentships and an emphasis on promoting wider research networks within the UK and abroad.

Initially led by Professor Andrew Patrizio, and latterly by Professor Neil Cox, over the duration of the five-year partnership the team gave guest lectures and ran panels throughout the UK, and co-hosted various symposia with partners such as the National Galleries of Scotland and the Fruitmarket Gallery. These included August Sander and Weimar Germany (2011), Future Bourgeois (2014), and An Expanded Concept of Art: New Perspectives on Joseph Beuys (2016).

Autumn 2013 saw the launch of the ARTIST ROOMS Café des Artistes, a series of 18 public discussions focusing on individual artists in the collection, and hosted by venues across Edinburgh and beyond, including Tate Modern. These cafés ran in parallel with Clips, an inspired series of film screenings and public discussion, again focused on the ARTIST ROOMS collection. Major research and educational outputs related to these events included a MOOC on Andy Warhol (2014 and 2015), a Tate online In Focus project on Anselm Kiefer (2016), and over 180 online texts on works in the collection, among many others.

Photo of a group of students with Anthony d'Offay
Edinburgh College of Art
Anthony d'Offay with ARTIST ROOMS Research Partnership interns
Photo of a discussion
Edinburgh College of Art
Anselm Kiefer Café des Artistes at the Fruitmarket Gallery

Would you like to get involved in research at ECA?

We are always looking for research partners and participants. If you are interested in getting involved in research at Edinburgh College of Art, please contact our Research, Knowledge Exchange and Outreach (RKEO) Office by emailing ECA.rkeo@ed.ac.uk or telephoning +44 (0)131 650 2835.

We also offer a range of research-led postgraduate programmes. Find out more.



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