The Metropolitan School of Art began as an academy esta – blished in 1746 by the Royal Dublin Society, for the promotion of drawing and painting. During the first hundred years of the School’s existence, instruction was free of charge; and the four departments of figure drawing, landscape and ornament, architec – ture, and modeling, provided courses useful to sculptors, embro – iderers, weavers, printers, silversmith and workers in other crafts.
In the ninteenth century, the School was successively under the control of the Royal Dublin Society, the Board of trade, the Department of Science and Art, and the Department of Agroculture and Technical Instruction for Ireland. Following it’s transfer to the last-named body, classes were established in the principal artistic crafts, including metalwork and ene – melling, mosaic, embroidery and woodcarving. The School also aquired a high reputation for it’s part in the development of stained glass and for the felicitous influence which, under the guidance of Sir William Orpen, it exerted on painting in Ire – land. In 1924, control was assumed by the Department of Educa – tion; an extension and development of the School, was establi – shed.
The National College of Art is the principal institution of the sistem of Art Education in Ireland as administered by the Departmentt of Education. It’s general purpose is to pro – mote the advancement of Art, to advocate and maintain the high – est artistic values in national culture, and to combine artis – tic design with practical skill in the interests of industry. There are three schools; the School of Design, the School of Painting and the School of Sculpture, with a Preliminary School, which includes an Upper and a Lower Division. In ths way, the College provides for the study of the Fine Arts and of the De – corative Arts and Crafts, and for the training of Art teachers eligible for employment in post-primary schools. The College has working arrangements with University ColIege Dublin and with the Bolton Street School of Technology. It olso maintains liaison with the National Library, the National Museum, and the National Gellery of Ireland.
Outside Dublin, whole-time day course and part-time evening courses are provided ay the Crawford School of Art, Cork, and the Schools of Art in Limerick and Waterford.
To foster the study of the History of Art, Miss Sarah Pur – ser and Sir John Purser Griffith established, in 1934,two equal funds, one to be administered by Trinity College, and the other by University College Dublin, the income from which provides Travelling Scoolarships. and prizes to be competed for every year, alrtenately in each University. Extra-mural courses are given at University College Dublin, which College also provides courses leading to a degree in the History of European Paint – ing taken with another subject. Lectures are also provided, mainly for post-primary students, in the National Gallery.