The Prince’s School has, for a number of years now, pioneered practical post-graduate degrees (at Masters and Doctoral level) in the traditional arts of the great civilizations of the world. The School emphasises the importance of integrating the theoretical study of the traditional arts with their practical application.
One of the School’s main objectives is to encourage an awareness of the holistic nature of the traditional artist, whose inspiration derives from the highest sources and whose skill and dedication creates masterpieces which we can all recognise as part of our world heritage.
By learning and practising traditional arts as living skills that can be applied in contemporary design, students at the Prince’s School create beautiful objects – ceramic tiles and bowls; stained glass and wood marquetry; oil paintings, icons, miniatures and frescoes; carving, furniture and buildings. There is beauty in the students’ steady, disciplined practice of crafts and skills that are deeply-rooted in the inspirational principles common to all traditional cultures. The School rekindles students’ awareness that form, pattern and colour in traditional arts are not simply aesthetically pleasing nor merely tools for design, but that embody a profound beauty; the beauty of the permanent that shines through in the world of the transient. In their intense research, learning and practice of the traditional arts, students can experience the beauty of the order of nature – a spiritual, sacred beauty, connecting the whole of creation.
The work of the Prince’s School follows the rhythmic pattern of virtuous, connecting circles. These can be felt in the open, generous exchange between students and teachers and across cultures; they can be seen in the use of age-old techniques and materials to make new things; they move through the School’s respectful custodianship of precious artistic traditions to its alumni who, in turn, hand them on to future generations.
Here, whatever the course of study, education is traditional, in that it follows the master-apprentice model. Teachers are deeply knowledgeable and highly skilled, thanks to years of long, rigorous practice and to their own learning from masters. They bring profound theoretical and practical understanding to their teaching. Alongside these teachers, students at the Prince’s School experience education in the true sense of the original Latin word educare – as a leading on, a drawing out, not just of knowledge and talent, but of the whole person. Here you will find everyone practising and valuing education in its best and proper sense.
The School’s holistic ethos holds that learning entirely means living entirely too – in oneself, with the environment and in community. The kind of originality nurtured and respected at the Prince’s School goes beyond focusing on producing exceptional artwork by particular individuals. Here, originality means ‘from the origin’, returning to first principles as well as cultural and artistic roots, nurturing them and bringing forth new shoots. It is this understanding of originality which enables the students at the School to create contemporary arts through living traditions.