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Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) Series
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Albert Medal

A general meeting of the Society was specially convened on 21st March 1862 to discuss suitable memorials to Prince Albert, President of the Society for eighteen years (1843-1861). At this meeting the Council put forward their resolution 'that a gold medal, to be called the Albert medal, be provided by the Society, to be awarded by the Council not oftener than once a year, for distinguished merit in promoting Arts, Manufactures or Commerce'. (A commemorative bust was also decided upon at this meeting).\n\nLeonard Wyon produced the design of the Medal showing the head of Albert in later life on the obverse. Other artists were commissioned for designs from which the reverse might be selected, such designs to be illustrative of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. The first award was made in 1864 to Sir Rowland Hill for his reforms to the postal system, the benefits of which extended over the civilised world.\n\n'The list of recipients forms a record of the greatest of those who have laboured to benefit mankind, and whose service lends lustre to the reputation of the sagacious and benevolent Prince in whose memory it was founded'.\n\nWinners of the Albert Medal are offered Honorary Fellowship of the RSA.\n\nIncludes files and working papers on the selection of candidates, arrangements for ceremonies and general administration, as well as photographs of medal presentation ceremonies

Apprenticeship Training Scheme

The Society held a conference on apprenticeship on 9 July 1958 and as a result of that conference became aware of the difficulties of small engineering firms in finding facilities for training apprentices and of the efforts which the Engineering Industries Association was making to solve this problem by its Group Apprentice Training Scheme. The society considered launching an appeal for funds in order to extend this Scheme on a national basis.

Art Education Committee

The Art Education Committee which was appointed in November 1941 to consider the place and purpose of art and design in the post-war system of education. The RSA's main concern was that while skilful manufacture had developed in every direction thre was a lack of display of artistic sense in industrial life and manufactures. The Society suggested that to hold a rightful place in the world's industry a high standard of art and design as well as craftmanship had to be achieved. This would not be possible unless the education system balanced its stress on developing intellectual powers with that of awakening of the senses.\n\nThe Committee held a series of interviews with the headmasters of art schools, industrialists and manufacturers the conculsions of which were compiled in a report of 28 May 1943 and forwarded to the President of the Board of Education. Oswald P. Milne was the Chairman of this Committee.

Art for Architecture

The Art for Architecture scheme, managed by the RSA, was a collaborative initiative with the Department of National Heritage. It was established with core funding from the Department of the Environment and restricted only to England initial. In 1992, the scheme was extended to Scottish applicants due to Scottish Office funding and similarly to Welsh applicants in 1993 due to Welsh Office funding. The scheme also had a number of private sponsors. Its objective was to enhance the urban environment by encouraging cross disciplinary approaches to building and landscape projects by appointing and providing funds for artists to work as part of a design team from the earliest stages of a development. Michael Wrotesley, DOE, conceived the idea, which stemmed from RSA Student Design Awards. The scheme has been operating since 1990.\n\nDirectly related to the Scheme was the Jerwood Art for Architecture Award. The Award is a financial reward, sponsored by The Jerwood Foundation, to recognise the project which on completion represents both excellence in artistic quality and design and best practice in collaboration. It was presented to the artist and architect, landscape engineer, who are working together. The Jerwood Award was introduced in 1994.\n\nRecords include administrative correspondence, printed items and publicity material, and photographs.

Better Environment Awards for Industry/European Better Environment Awards for Industry (BEAFI/EBEAFI)

From their beginning in 1986, the RSA's Better Environment Awards for Industry (BEAFI) maintained close links with the European Better Environment Awards for Industry (EBEAFI) run by the EU which was held every two years. The RSA put forward some of the entrants to the BEAFI as candidates for the European scheme. \n\nIn 1992 the Government announced that there would be a new environmental award, The Queen's Award for Environmental Achievement. The RSA responded with new plans for its 'Better Environment Awards for Industry (BEAFI) which had been running since 1986. There were to be two categories of Award: the first recognising Management initiatives bringing environmental benefits in Britain, the second for the export of appropriate technologies which bring environmental benefit to developing countries. The awards continued as a scheme for British companies. The RSA continued to put forward candidates for the European Better Environment Awards for Industry and in addition winners of the Queen's Awards were invited to apply for selection as candidates for the European competition.\n\nDeveloped from the PATAS (Pollution Abatement Technology Awards) these awards came about largely at the instigation of the European Commission who were setting up an EEC-wide scheme. \n\nSee 'The RSA and the Environment,' edited by Timothy Cantell, 1993\n\nRecords include minutes of committees and general meetings, correspondence and working papers and photographs

Bicentenary Medal

Instituted in 1954 as a permanent commemoration of the Society's Bicentenary. Bicentenary Medal is awarded to a person, who, in a manner other than an industrial designer, has exerted exceptional influence in promoting art and design in British industry. The recipient may or may not be a designer, the medal recognises the influence which extends beyond the winner's own design work.\n\nThe Design Advisory Group select a suitable recipient for ratification by the Council's Executive Committee on behalf of the full RSA Council.

British Art in Industry Exhibition

The Exhibition was held in the galleries of the Royal Academy and was organised jointly by the RSA and the Royal Academy. The objects of the exhibition were to 'impress upon the public the importance of good design in articles of everyday use; to show that British manufacturers, in co-operation with British artists, are capable of producing in all branches of industry, articles which combine artistic form with utility and sound workmanship; to encourage British artists to give to industry the benefit of their talent and training so that the objects with which we are surrounded in our daily lives may have an appearance which is not only attractive but is based on genuinely artistic principles'. The exhibition was held under Royal Patronage and with the active participation of HRH the Prince of Wales as President of the General Committee\n\nRecords comprise photographs and copy photographs of items displayed at the Exhibition

Campaign for Learning

The Campaign for Learning was an initiative, co-ordinated by the RSA in collaboration with the National Institute for Adult Continuing Education, the TEC National Council, the Open University and a range of other sponsors. Its aim was to encourage individuals to think more positively about learning and to take greater responsibility for their own personal development. The Campaign was chaired by Sir Christopher Ball\nRecords comprise printed reports and publicity material

Chairmen of Council and Council membership

The Council was established in 1846 with first its Chairmen, Edward Speer and George Bailey. The Council assumed full responsibility for the management of the Society. Chairmen of Council generally serve a two-year term of office. \nRecords include correspondence of Charles Wentworth Dilke and Lyon Playfair as well as general late 20th century correspondence and papers. earlier material can be found within AD.MA/100.

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