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Newcastle, Blackett St, No. 41, Northern Academy of Fine Arts




Training School

Arts School

Early Modern


Documentary Evidence

Built in 1828 by Grainger from subscriptions from the Northumberland Institution for the Fine Arts and from the Corporation of Newcastle. It was built as a direct result of the increasing fame of local artists T.M. Richardson (landscape painter born in Newcastle in 1784) and Parker (portrait and animal painter from Davenport). The two artists had shared premises at 3 Brunswick Place. The Academy opened on 11th June 1828 with an initial exhibition of 315 watercolours, 11 pencil drawings and dozens of busts and models. The star attractions were models of St. Paul's Cathedral, London and St. Peter's, Rome loaned from the museum at Ravensworth Castle. In September 1832 the Academy changed hands and became known as "The Newcastle upon Tyne Institution for the General Promotion of Fine Arts". On 6th April 1840 the Newcastle upon Tyne Polytechnic Exhibition was held. The exhibition filled the entire Academy and the properties either side, and a gallery was built over High Friar Street. The exhibits included machinery and apparatus (Mechanics Institute of Newcastle and Gateshead) and a concentration of objects of value, interest and rarity from all across the world (some loaned by John Hancock, the naturalist), plus a collection of Old Masters and a display of costumes from many nations. It ran for five months attracting a quarter of a million visitors. The Academy was later leased to Mr. Charles Brough, an auctioneer. It was later purchased by Messrs. Davison & Sons, auctioneers. In 1946 it became the Central Dance Studios. Finally demolished circa 1963.




L. Wilkes and G. Dodds, 1964, Tyneside Classical - The Newcastle of Grainger, Dobson and Clayton; Middlebrook, 1950, Newcastle upon Tyne: Its Growth and Achievements

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