Students of 1890–1900
Robert Procter 1892–99
Leonard Booth 1894–1901
Sydney L. Thompson 1895–97, 1900
Raymond McIntyre 1894–1906
Eliza Culliford 1891
Roland Westropp 1893–1897
Charles Bickerton 1893–1897

Charles Kidson is appointed to the staff (1891–1906) to teach painting and drawing (freehand, geometric and perspective), and develops 'a vibrant art craft and sculpture department'. A key figure in bringing the British Arts and Crafts Movement to Canterbury, between 1884 and 1888 Kidson had attended night classes at the Municipal School of Art in Birmingham, the then undisputed centre for metal trades and training. (Ann Calhoun, Simplicity and Splendour, p.30.)


Notable Dutch painter Petrus van der Velden, who had arrived in Christchurch two years previously, seeks employment at the School, but his offer is declined. From 1893–95, however, he is Judge in Painting and Drawing.


Three additional classrooms are allocated to the School. One of these, the Life Room, 'is considered to be the largest and best appointed in the colony'. (Prospectus, 1900)

Ernest W. Chapman leaves the staff. Samuel Hurst Seager begins his long association with the School as a lecturer in Architecture and Decorative Design (1893–1918). Edith Munnings, who had been one of the School's first students, is appointed to staff, and is the first female lecturer (1893–1896).


From 1894 Petrus van der Velden offers private classes in his newly-built studio. Among his pupils are several of the School of Arts' most successful students of the time, including Sydney Lough Thompson, Leonard H. Booth, Raymond McIntyre, Charles Bickerton and Robert Procter. By 1897 Van der Velden is teaching 10 students.

Under Hurst Seager, the School's prospectus offers a course of lectures in the 'Principles and Practice of Decorative Design', promising to equip students to be able to produce 'later original designs based on New Zealand flora and fauna'. (Ann Calhoun, Simplicity and Splendour, p.21.)


Canterbury College School of Art becomes affiliated to the Department of Art and Science at the Royal College of Art, the renamed South Kensington School in London, enabling students to sit examinations and compete for awards. Throughout the 1890s, most British and colonial art, design and technical schools adopt the South Kensington examination and assessment system.

'By the end of the nineteenth century, the South Kensington schools favoured a distinctive, easily taught system of teaching design based on the analysis of plant and animal forms – nature as the true source of design. Students, with drawing instruction as a starting point, were taught a definitive system of flat design preparation, a sure-fire system of decorative-effects creation.' (Ann Calhoun, Simplicity and Splendour, p.21.)


The Appendix to the Journal of the House of Representatives reports that: 'Owing to the necessity having arisen for economy, alterations have had to be made, including the raising materially of the fees in both morning and evening classes. The school has thus been severely handicapped and the numbers necessarily have been somewhat less than in the previous year.'

A new course in Ornamental Lettering and Painting was introduced.


Five-year course in sign-writing, house-painting and decorating is established. The following year, the prospectus noted: 'Over 75 per cent of the students are young tradesmen engaged in some industry, where a knowledge of art will be of value. Its influence for good on the whole community, by the general improvement in taste, and on many branches of industry has been most marked.' (Prospectus, 1900).