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Additional Manuscripts, Catalogue Y

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Reference AMSY
Covering dates c1530-2003
Held by East Sussex Record Office
Extent 50 Sub-fonds
Conditions of access Records are open for consultation unless otherwise indicated


These documents are held at East Sussex Record Office

Related information: Ronald was a member of the Phoenix Group of Artists from 1969 until his death in 1981. For the records of the Phoenix Group of Artists, 1927-1994, including correspondence from Ronald and Margaret Horton, 1980-1981, and a leaflet produced for the retrospective exhibition of his life and work at Brighton Polytechnic in 1982, see AMS6503
For additional papers of Ronald Horton, see ACC 8112

Administrative history:
Ronald Horton, a lecturer and artist, was born in 1902 at 38 Jersey Street, Brighton, the youngest of Percy and Ellen Horton's three sons. Percy Horton worked as a bus conductor; this was followed by labouring work, including employment at Newhaven and Shoreham Harbours, interspersed with periods of unemployment
Ronald studied at Brighton Secondary School, followed by Brighton College of Art, from 1919 to 1923, and the Royal College of Art, from 1925 to 1929, where he studied under Sir William Rothenstein. Whilst in London he worked for the sculptor William Aumonier and the antiquarian booksellers Birrell and Garnett. Ronald assisted Rex Whistler on murals and stage sets between 1930 and 1936, and from 1932 exhibited at the Royal Academy, and with the New English Art Club. He lectured in evening classes at the Working Men's College, St Pancras, London, from 1929 to 1932, and at Hackney Technical Institute from 1932 to 1936
Horton met his wife, Margaret Thomson, during his time in London, and they married in 1932. Margaret was born in Ireland in 1903; the family moved around a great deal because her father, as a customs officer, had to change postings. She took her school certificate at Barrow-in-Furness Municipal Secondary School for Girls, won a scholarship to Somerville College, Oxford, where she studied English from 1922 to 1925, and qualified as a teacher at Queen's University, Belfast. She lectured in the Teacher Training Department of Queen's University until 1929. After their marriage the couple taught at Parmiter's School, Cambridge Heath, London; they were evacuated with the school to the Peak District during the war. Ronald moved to Brighton School of Arts and Crafts in 1944, and was head of the Teacher Training Department until 1966. Margaret tutored its literature group, and their partnership helped to make the course one of the most successful in the country. Ronald died in 1981, and Margaret in 1991

AMS6375/1 Personal papers and photographs; 1849-c1980
AMS6375/2 Reports, syllabi and lecture notes; 1939-1970
AMS6375/3 Visiting lecturers and performers; 1950-1962
AMS6375/4 Students and their work; 1944-1967
AMS6375/5 First Studies; 1960s
AMS6375/6 Special Studies; 1956-1965
AMS6375/7 Literature courses; c1950-1960s
AMS6375/8 Stage design courses; 1948-1951
AMS6375/9 Drama and speech courses; 1950s-1960s
AMS6375/10 Puppetry courses; 1953-1958
AMS6375/11 Teaching practice; 1946-1950s
AMS6375/12 Final Exhibitions; 1950s
AMS6375/13 Exhibitions of the work of children; 1947-1958
AMS6375/14 Exhibitions of the work of artists; 1952-1960
AMS6375/15 Extra-mural classes; 1945-1957
AMS6375/16 Special Juniors Classes; c1946-1960s
Ronald Horton's records consist of two groups: personal records, and papers and photographs resulting from his time as head of Teacher Training at Brighton College of Art
Ronald was the younger brother of Percy Horton (1897-1970), MA, RBA, ARCA, painter and Ruskin Master of Drawing, University of Oxford, 1949-1964. Ronald's personal papers contain information concerning Percy, as well as their mother Ellen Horton, and other brother, Harry; also Dick Pennifold and Royle A Richmond. Pennifold and Richmond were friends of Percy Horton, Richmond having attended the Brighton School of Art with Percy, and Pennifold being a member of the Brighton branch of the No-Conscription Fellowship. All three were conscientious objectors during the First World War
There are a small number of records relating to Ronald's time as a teacher at Parmiter's School, London, and Leek, Staffordshire
Ronald and Margaret were enthusiastic exponents of italic handwriting. Margaret taught italic handwriting at Brighton College of Art from 1950, and was closely involved in the Society for Italic Handwriting; she published articles in its Bulletin and provided samples of her work for exhibition. There is considerable correspondence with Alfred Fairbank, another keen supporter of the italic hand, who was a close friend and part-time lecturer in calligraphy at the Teacher Training Department of Brighton College of Art
Ronald was a socialist, and joined the Communist Party in 1920; he made several journeys to Eastern Europe, collecting artwork for use in his teaching. He produced many paintings, drawings and photographs, and was an avid collector of illustrated books, children's games, toys and model theatres. These interests are all demonstrated here
Records relating to the Teacher Training Department of Brighton College of Art and Crafts show the range of activities undertaken by student art teachers, including literature study, dramatic and musical productions, and exhibitions, besides artwork and teaching practice

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