National Arts Education Archive

The National Arts Education Archive (NAEA) was established in 1985 to provide a documentary trace of the development of arts education in the UK and internationally from mid-19th century to the present day. The archive has an extensive library of arts education containing documents, artworks and artefacts unique in historical value. With expert staff knowledgeable in the arts available to advise, the archive offers a body of knowledge grounded in well-established theories and conceptual schemes giving intellectual coherence to voices from the past. It has national accreditation status by The National Archives.

The archive has excellent facilities and resources for creative learning and research activities including a small gallery for displays and presentations, a large reading room for study, seminar and classroom activities. Student placements for undergraduate and post-graduate students and volunteering opportunities are on offer. With one of the largest collections of children's art and art education material in the country and staff available to help, the archive is well resourced for researching and inspiring creative activities.

Finding the NAEA

The NAEA is a short walk from the Learning Centre at YSP. The Information Desk in the main Visitor Centre can provide directions. Please note, major construction is underway around the area surrounding the Archive.

Access to NAEA is available by appointment on Tuesdays each week. Email or phone 01924 830690.

To look through the material and understand the competing initiatives and investigations by artists and teachers in that period is to recharge one’s batteries

- Artist and NAEA supporter Bob and Roberta Smith

Past Exhibitions at the National Arts Education Archive

  1. The Vision and Legacy of Sir Alec Clegg

    Celebrating the life and work of Sir Alec Clegg, this is the third major exhibition exploring Clegg's legacy that has been held by the National Arts Education Archive (NAEA) since its inception in 1985.
  2. Mary Martin Thomas: A Classical Art Education 1927–30

    This exhibition – via Thomas' work and other documentary evidence – provided an insight into the nature of art training at the time and the way in which one particular student responded to that training.  
  3. Marking Time: A Century of Drawing in Art Education

    This exhibition at Batley Art Gallery presented work drawn from the collections of the National Arts Education Archive, based at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. It reflected the nature of teaching and learning through drawing from the late 19th century through the 20th century.
  4. Art, Games and Play: Don Pavey and other Collections

    Calling upon a range of visual materials and other items held in the National Arts Exhibition Archive (NAEA), this exhibition celebrates the close relationship between art, games and play. 
  5. Philip Rawson Collection Yorkshire Sculpture Park 3

    Philip Rawson: Sculptor-Educator

    The Philip Rawson Collection, held by NAEA (National Arts Education Archive), consists of several thousand items. 
  6. Children's Images of Peace, War and Genocide

    Children’s Images of Peace, War and Genocide is a touring exhibition presented as part of the National Arts Education Archive’s (NAEA) membership in the International Research and Archive Network for Children and Youth Drawings.
  7. A pen and ink drawing of a row of terraced houses

    Eileen Adams: Agent of Change

    Agent of Change showed how revolutionary initiatives have prompted change in art, design and environmental education.
  8. The Vision and Legacy of Sir Alec Clegg

    Celebrating the life and work of Sir Alec Clegg, this is the third major exhibition exploring Clegg's legacy that has been held by the National Arts Education Archive (NAEA) since its inception in 1985.
  9. A series of glass projector slides

    Treasures Revealed: From the National Arts Education Archive

    In celebration of YSP's 40th anniversary in 2017, artists, supporters and volunteers chose 40 inspirational objects, collections and ideas from the National Arts Education Archive (NAEA).
  10. Herbert Read & Alec Clegg – A Revolution Realised. Photo Jon Harrison

    Herbert Read & Alec Clegg: A Revolution Realised

    This exhibition offered an insight into the life, ideas and work of two of the most influential educators of the 20th century. The photographs, paintings and publications gave evidence of the impact that Read and Clegg had on teaching, learning and provision for the arts in education.
  11. Tom Hudson: Transitions

    This exhibition looked at the radical interaction of art and education in the 1960s, focusing on the work of Tom Hudson, a key figure in the Basic Design movement, which revolutionised art education across Britain in the 1950s and 1960s.
  12. Scratching the Surface

    The selection of drawings in this exhibition was made from the larger Marking Time: A Century of Drawing in Art Education exhibition, that was held at Batley Art Gallery in 2012, and offered another opportunity to consider how drawing informs and shapes teaching and learning.
  13. Transformations: Cloth and Clay

    Across the late 20th century, craft in the classroom has had a volatile history. This area of cultural and curriculum space has been much contested.
  14. Bob and Roberta Smith: Art For All

    Bob and Roberta Smith responded to YSP’s National Arts Education Archive in a project celebrating the archive’s 30th anniversary.