RCA Society

Peter Byrom - Crisis of Governance

I write as a member of the RCA Society and also, for reasons which will become clear later, as a Senior Fellow RCA. In response to the invitation from the Society to participate in “LOCKED”, I have used the lengthy period of inaction forced upon all of us by Lockdown, to revisit the record of my five years as Pro Provost and Chairman of the College Council, when I was tasked with the resolution of what the national press entitled a “Crisis of Governance” at the RCA. 

Royal College of Art staff & students at the Albert Memorial 1972. (click the photo to download the book)

“The RCA Society is pleased to present Peter Byrom’s publication which describes the turbulent years of the 1980s and the Thatcher Government’s policies around funding Higher Education and their impact on the Royal College of Art. A collection of Byrom’s papers are held in the RCA’s ‘Special Archives’.” Download the book. (file size 2.2MB, A4, 68 pages)

Gillie and Peter Byrom OBE at the Investiture Ceremony (1987), Buckingham Palace.


1980s - Art Education cuts

I found Peter Byrom’s book of recollections very enlighting and I appreciated his struggle to achieve saving the RCA’s art education funding during the turbulent 1980s when we watched all the UKs national assets privatised and sold off to international companies. At that time our universities were under jeopardy. Art & Design education, which can only thrive through the freedom of thinking and doing, was specifically under threat.
By the way I'm just out of the 1972 group photo... But I recognise quite a few faces - some are RCA Society members!


Add new comment