WEST DEAN ESTATE
 
 
Looking at West Dean College

West Dean College of Arts and Conservation is situated in the 6,350-acre (25.7 km2) West Dean Estate, of West Dean near Chichester. The Estate was formerly the home of the poet and patron of the arts Edward James. He was an avid admirer of the Surrealist movement, and formed one of the largest collections of their works during his lifetime. He inherited West Dean House and the estate after the death of his father, William Dodge James.

In 1939 Edward wrote to Aldous Huxley, expressing his fear that after the war, certain arts, particularly the techniques of the craftsmen, would be lost. As a solution, James suggested that his Estate be set up as an educational community where the techniques of craftsmanship could be preserved and taught, whilst restoring old work and creating new art works. In 1964 James conveyed this Estate including West Dean House to the Edward James Foundation; in 1971 the Foundation established West Dean College as a centre for the study of conservation, arts, crafts, writing, gardening and music, providing both full-time and short courses. The Sussex Barn Gallery, Tapestry Studio and West Dean Gardens are also located on the Estate
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