Central Saint Martins was formed from the merger in of two historical art and design colleges, St Martin’s School of Art and Central School of Arts & Crafts.
Founded in 1854, St Martin’s School of Art focused on fine art and fashion. The Central School of Arts & Crafts was founded in 1896 and focused on a wide range of design disciplines including theatre, industrial and graphic design.
Both colleges delivered innovative art and design education, from experiments in studio based teaching to the introduction of Basic Design in the 1950s and the birth of contextual art in the 1960s and 1970s.
In 1989 the two colleges merged to become Central Saint Martins, bringing together the internationally renowned traditions of its two parts into a new dynamic formation.
The merger of St. Martins and the Central School was only the first step in a programme of expansion and change. In 1999 Central Saint Martins was joined by Drama Centre London, introducing acting and directing to the art and design environment.
In 2002 Byam Shaw School of Art, founded in 1910 as a school for drawing and painting, also joined Central Saint Martins, bringing another dimension to fine art teaching in the College.
In 2012 the College moved into a highly ambitious and award winning building at King’s Cross, designed to encourage and support wider creative collaboration between students.