Skip to Content
50th anniversary
  • Celebrations begin to commemorate 50 years of the University of Dundee

    2017
  • The University of Dundee becomes a fully independent institution under the terms of the Royal Charter.

    1967
  • Ordinances issued in 1897 made University College form part of St Andrews. and establish a Faculty of Medicine.

    1897
  • The Deed formally creating University College Dundee was signed by founders Miss Mary Ann Baxter and her cousin Dr John Boyd Baxter.

    1881

Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design

  • date

    Fri, 19 May 2017

  • Running Time

    00:05:54

Discover the long history of Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design

Episode Transcript

The University of Dundee’s Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design has a rich and creative history spanning over 128 years.

Although attempts were made to establish an art school as far back as the 1850s, it was not until 1888 following the creation of the Dundee Technical Institute in 1888 that a full-time art school became a possibility.

The Institute was based in Small's Wynd, now part of the University of Dundee's main campus, and shared facilities with what was then University College, Dundee.

From the start, art classes were taught at the Institute only in the evenings by George Malcolm, but in 1892 Thomas Delgaty Dunn was appointed as the first full-time art master, and this is now regarded as the date of the College’s foundation.

A fund-raising campaign was launched in 1907 and in 1911 the Institute moved to new and much grander premises on Bell Street, where it re-opened as Dundee Technical College & School of Art. A further incentive to the development of the school had come in 1909 with the bequest of £60,000 by James Duncan of Jordanstone to establish an independent art school in the city. A lengthy legal battle ensued and it was not until the 1930s that an agreement was reached whereby the College of Art would be autonomously run on a separate site away from the Technical College. A site was chosen but due to delays largely caused by the war, construction did not begin until 1953. Classes began in 1955.

The College did not become entirely independent of the Institute of Technology (now the University of Abertay until 1975, when it was officially renamed Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art (though it had been known as such unofficially for many years The College remained independent until 1994, when it became part of the University of Dundee.

Duncan of Jordanstone is today led by the Dean, Professor Paul Harris and has a world renowned reputation for high-class teaching and research.

Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design has been ranked in the World's Top 1 percent by QS World University Rankings.  We've also recently been ranked No 1 in Scotland for student satisfaction by National Student Survey (NSS) 2016.

Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design has a proud tradition of producing graduates who go on to achieve greatness in their chosen fields. Turner Prize winner Susan Philipsz and nominees David Mach, Louise Wilson and Luke Fowler have all studied at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design. Other notable alumni include photographer Albert Watson, fashion designer Hayley Scanlan, film director David Mackenzie, video games pioneer Aaron Garbut and artist Jack Morrocco.

Recent graduates are often among those at the forefront of creativity and innovation. For example, for the last three years our students have won more awards at the New Designers exhibition than students from any other institution in the UK with five of our graduates winning awards at this year’s exhibition. Furthermore, fifteen of our recent graduates will also be taking part in Royal Scottish Academy (RSA) New Contemporaries exhibition 2016 which is regarded as the most prestigious showcase for young artists in Scotland.

The Research Excellence Framework which measures the quality of work conducted by the higher education sector, ranked Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design number one in Scotland and sixth in the UK for world-leading research. Our research received a 90 percent four star rating – the highest possible – for its research environment, marking it out as one of the most desirable places to work on research.

Our teaching staff are closely connected to their respective industries working with top companies across the globe, such as Microsoft and Deutsche Telekom. They are also active practitioners in their field, exhibiting their work alone or part of the national collections at the world’s leading museums and galleries, including the V&A, TATE and MoMA, New York.

Our learning partnerships reflect the esteem in which we are held globally, with collaborations in China, Korea, India, USA, Canada & Rwanda and Erasmus student exchange agreements with 21 European institutions.

Janice Aitken

Janic Aitken

Janice Aitken is a Senior Lecturer and artist who has worked in Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design since 2003. She currently teaches in Contemporary Art Practice and is Associate Dean for Quality and Academic Standards.

She graduated from DJCAD in 1984 having studied Fine Art, Drawing and Painting. Since then she has been engaged in exhibiting, facilitating community projects, public art, gallery engagement education and scientific visualisation. She regularly collaborates with colleagues from across the University of Dundee including CAHID, the School of Life Sciences and the School of Education and Social Work. Working in a variety of media including photography, painting, animation and digital film and interactive media, Aitken’s work has been exhibited in the National Gallery of Scotland, the Science Museum, London, the Bachaus, Eisenach, Germany as well as more local venues such as the McManus Galleries and the University of Dundee School of Life Sciences. She has also contributed to internationally broadcast TV documentaries ‘The King in the Car Park’ and Cleopatra, Portrait of a Killer’.

Aitken is a trustee of several organisations including the DOJ Centenary Trust, Dundee Women’s Aid, Tin Roof Artist’s Collective and is a Director of The Centre for Transformative Change: Educational and Life Transitions (TCELT).

In her role as Associate Dean, she is responsible for ensuring that the quality of taught provision in DJCAD is of the very highest standards and is reviewed regularly and effectively. She is also a member of the School Executive Group, University Senate and Court.

All podcasts

  • Celebrations begin to commemorate 50 years of the University of Dundee

    2017
  • The University of Dundee becomes a fully independent institution under the terms of the Royal Charter.

    1967
  • Ordinances issued in 1897 made University College form part of St Andrews. and establish a Faculty of Medicine.

    1897
  • The Deed formally creating University College Dundee was signed by founders Miss Mary Ann Baxter and her cousin Dr John Boyd Baxter.

    1881
Edit