Joshua Compston pictured in a Courtauld Institute of Art Lecture Room at Somerset House

Following the move to Somerset House ; student numbers dramatically increased; from 240 in the late 1980s to over 400 by the mid-1990s. But the new location didn’t immediately appeal to everyone.

“Faced with seminar rooms of such bareness, that the eye and mind revolted…I decided, by hook or by crook, to find some contemporary art to destroy all the vestiges of such nudity, and by this act restore to its rightful position art in everyday surroundings”.

This was the vision of Courtauld student and East Wing founder Joshua Compston. The first 'East Wing' show opened in November 1991 and exhibited the likes of Gilbert and George, Howard Hodgkin, and Damien Hirst. 

Compston provided a lasting legacy for students of The Courtauld Institute of Art, and the biennial East Wing exhibition continues to this day.

East Wing

      Deborah Swallow

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