Why did it have an art school?
1865 – 1939
Greater cultural awareness was prompted nationally by the Great Exhibition at Crystal palace in 1851. A museum and Library in a town came to be seen as a standard of the intelligence and public spirit manifested in that town. The Great Exhibition also highlighted the need to improve standards in Art and Design education.
1865 – The Bridport School of Art was established and worked alongside the Institute becoming the lead organisation.
1883 – The upstairs room was divided to provide permanent studios for the Art school with additional rooms for classes and lectures added to the back of the building. Francis Newbery became assistant master before becoming Director of Glasgow School of Art.
1922 – 39 – Until the outbreak of war in 1939, the building provided accommodation for a Men’s club.