Should The Ruskin really be described as ‘traditional’?

I saw, in your Beth Derbyshire profile, a passing mention of the Ruskin School of Drawing & Fine Art (DW 12 January). The Ruskin was described by the single word, ‘traditional’.

I saw, in your Beth Derbyshire profile, a passing mention of the Ruskin School of Drawing & Fine Art (DW 12 January). The Ruskin was described by the single word, ‘traditional’.


Ruskin students would, I am sure, enjoy a vigorous discussion with you about the use of this adjective.


The interests and opportunities of Oxford’s art students span a range of preoccupations that are unquestionably contemporary.


The Ruskin encourages students to develop methods and approaches to express their concerns in any medium.


Whether or not ‘traditional’ was ever a useful adjective (except for pubs, rituals and agriculture), I was amused to discover that its etymology is related to ‘treacherous’. Slippery, these words.


Richard Wentworth, c/o The Ruskin School of Drawing & Fine Art, Oxford OX1 4BG

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