Inside the Studio

Behind the Scenes

Being able to enter the inner sanctum of an artist's studio rates up there with attending a top exhibitions in my books but it is rare that we can have access to these private and revealing work spaces.

Studio Visits

I always recomend taking students on a studio visit whenever possible, maybe to see a local artist in your community, a parent artist, or a friend's studio. They need not be famous, as long as they are working artists!  It is just a wonderful experience for students to see the tools, the mess, and how the creative process is revealed through the studio space itself.

If the artist is willing to talk to your students a little bit about his work, even better. In this photo I took a group of students to my sculptor friend's studio and he showed them his collection of "junk" and how he assembles these fragments into delightful, composite sculptures.

What kind of Studio do you work in?

Are you a neat freak, your studio with everything in it's place, or are you more of a Francis Bacon type, a little on the messy side?...or somewhere in between perhaps.











Resources for teachers

I have compiled some useful resources, books and websites that you can use to gain "access" to artists studios, or you can at least see some great photos.

Mondoblogo This site has fantastic archival photos of artists in their studios, like the hilarious one of Andy Warhol on the left.

Artists in their Studios, Images from the Smithsonian Archives of American Art

"From the sumptuously furnished studios of the late 19th century to the austere workrooms of the present day, studio spaces have played a dynamic role in the history of American art-not simply reflecting aesthetic visions, but informing them.

This look at artists in their studios, through photographs and documents from the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art, offers a behind-the-scenes view into the life of American artists and their unique work spaces. There is also a companion book, Artists in Their Studios: Images from the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art.

Britain's Artists and their Studios

Thames and Hudson

Edited and with interviews by Hossein Amirsadeghi
Executive editor Maryam Homayoun Eisler

"Artists have always invested their personalities in their working environments. Although artists today have new modes of working enabled by new technologies, studios continue to open a window on the creative act. The immense interest in the opening of Francis Bacon’s London studio to the public and its transplanting to Ireland signalled the dawning significance of the studio in critical thinking about new art and culture.

The studio has become a creative centre for experimentation often extending beyond the bounds of a single space. It has also, for some, become a hiding place. Sanctuary: Britain’s Artists and their Studios looks behind the scenes at both artists’ lives and their workplaces, encouraging them to explore their methods and personalities.

Surveying 120 artists living and working in Britain today, from the most noteworthy to new, upcoming talent, Sanctuary offers a feast of specially commissioned photographs while following each artist through their working routines. Tony Cragg, Antony Gormley, Jenny Saville, Anish Kapoor, Mark Wallinger, Phyllida Barlow, Jane and Louise Wilson, Thomas Houseago, Tracey Emin, the Chapman Brothers and many others.

In addition to individual interviews with all the artists featured in the book, three essays explore the meanings, configurations and personalities of a huge range of studio settings and environments in contemporary British art."

All materials on this website are for the exclusive use of teachers and students at subscribing schools for the period of their subscription. Any unauthorised copying or posting of materials on other websites is an infringement of our copyright and could result in your account being blocked and legal action being taken against you.


To post comments you need to log in. If it is your first time you will need to subscribe.