Norman Foster becomes President of the Royal Fine Art Commission Trust  

0888_fp607233Lord Foster of Thames Bank O.M. has been appointed President of the Royal Fine Art Commission Trust, with effect from 15 January 2018.

Announcing the appointment, the charity’s Chairman, Lord Palumbo, said:

“We are delighted that Norman Foster has agreed to serve as our President. Britain’s most eminent architect, renowned across the world as a master of his profession, he combines huge accomplishments with a laser-sharp strategic vision of how our cities should develop. We look forward to working with him to help ensure that the good design is seen across the country, especially in the context of the Northern Powerhouse, as something that both creates and enhances economic growth”.

Lord Foster took the opportunity of the Royal Fine Art Commission Trust’s annual lecture in Manchester just over a year ago to argue that the cities of the north could once again drive growth and innovation in Britain, but were being hampered by short-sighted planning strategies. “It is ironic”, he said, “that one of our prime exports – design and engineering skills – continues to fuel investment and growth globally, while being restricted by indecision and short-termism in the UK.” He challenged decision-makers to rediscover the traditions of intelligent design, innovation and civic pride that had provided a blueprint for growth in the rest of the world.

Lord Foster’s predecessor as President of the Royal Fine Art Commission Trust, The Rt. Hon. Lord Carrington K.G., G.C.M.G., C.H., M.C., has been appointed the charity’s first Patron.

The architect Sir Terry Farrell and Dr. Maria Balshaw C.B.E., Director of the Tate Galleries, have been appointed to the Royal Fine Art Commission Trust’s Advisory Board for three-year terms beginning on 1 January 2018.


Photographs of Lord Foster delivering the Royal Fine Art Commission Trust’s annual lecture can be downloaded at at


Architectural Drawing Summer School

Bushra Mohamed of Kingston School of Art, part of Kingston University, takes students through items from the drawings archive at Drawing Matter Trust, based at Shatwell Farm, Somerset.  

Our 2017 Architectural Drawing Summer School, held in Somerset in association with Kingston School of Art and Drawing Matter Trust, gave a talented group of 17 year olds from across the country an intensive, hands-on introduction to the art of drawing.

Taught by Professor Andrew Clancy, Bushra Mohamed and Nana Biamah-Ofosu from Kingston and Niall Hobhouse from Drawing Matter Trust, the course (funded by the Royal Fine Art Commission Trust) was offered free to students between the first and second year of A Levels and nominated by their schools. Sixteen students – about 60% girls and coming from a mix of comprehensive and grammar schools and sixth-form colleges – were selected on merit from over fifty applications.

Students were accommodated in Vicars’ Close, Wells, the only intact mediaeval street surviving in England, from where they enjoyed privileged access to Wells Cathedral and other historic buildings.

Photographs from the summer school are available to view here. All photos © Ed Dowding.