Isle of Man Stamps & Coins Present – The Douglas School of Art

Another recent stamp issue by the Isle of Man Post Office focuses upon a number of principal artist/lecturers who inspired successive generations of painters at the Douglas School of Art.

Although this year marks the centenary of the school as a publically-funded, educational establishment, its history extends into the nineteenth century. Pupils of the school made their mark world-wide, but recognised their debt towards those who inspired them and fostered their creativity.

The school produced some prominent names in the world of art, including Archibald Knox, Norman Sayle and John Miller Nicholson – all of whom also worked as lecturers at the Douglas School of Art.

Artist and former student, tutor and Foundation Course Leader (1987 – 2016), Ian Coulson, said “I’m so excited to be involved in the design of my first stamp.  As a teenage art student I was in awe of David Gentleman’s stamp designs for the UK Post Office. I’m really happy to be joining the several of my very talented students who have already seen their work published by the Isle of Man Post Office.”

The Douglas School of Art (DSA) was established during the 1880s, its purpose: ‘to promote the growth of industrial art, to supply training for those adopting art as a profession and to foster public taste in arts and crafts’.

Over the years, the Art School flourished and evolved in to what is now University College Isle of Man (UCM), which these days offers a far more expansive range of courses which encompass and reach beyond the original creative arts focus. Incorporating and developing many other subject disciplines over its 140 years, UCM still maintains its founding ethos of nurturing future careers and supporting the local community, with a vision to ‘deliver learning that is world-changing and drives our nation’s future’.

The Art, Design & Media programme area at UCM has been carrying on the tradition of providing students with the opportunity to explore their interest in the creative arts. The Henry Loch Art Studios, named to honour Lieutenant Governor Henry Loch who was instrumental in the establishment of the DSA, has been recently refurbished, proving further the continued value placed on the creative arts at the University College.

Whilst the philosophy of the DSA is still relevant today, the range of creative courses on offer has grown to extend beyond the traditional art techniques of drawing, painting, printmaking and ceramics, to include visual communications, music and media in order to meet the demands of the digital age. To support this, the art studios have been designed to enable students to explore and experiment with diverse materials, processes and technologies.

All the tutors are practitioners in their specialist areas, and are therefore best placed to impart their knowledge and experience to students. Those who have studied here have progressed into exciting and meaningful careers across the globe, some have even come back as tutors themselves, thus carrying on the tradition of inspiring, challenging and empowering many more generations of creative practitioners in the creative industries and beyond.Maxine Cannon, General Manager Isle of Man Stamps & Coins, said:” This beautiful and versatile collection is the product of a fruitful and successful collaboration between many involved and we are very grateful to be able to support Manx culture through the promotion of locals artwork and local artists.”

The ‘Douglas Art School’ collection is available as Set and Sheet Set, Sheetlet, Presentation Pack and as First Day Cover. As an additional product this collection is available as a self-adhesive booklet of 10 stamps.. For further information, please see

Valerie Caine

April 2020