Catherine Goodman

Founding Artistic Director
  • Academic board member
  • Staff


Catherine Goodman is an artist and the Founding Artistic Director of the Royal Drawing School, which she established with HRH The Prince of Wales in 2000. She studied at Camberwell School of Arts & Crafts and the Royal Academy Schools, where she won the RA Gold Medal. In 2002 she won the National Portrait Gallery's BP Portrait Award First Prize. Recent solo exhibitions include: Catherine Goodman: Portraits from Life, National Portrait Gallery (2014); the last house in the world, Marlborough Fine Art (2016); EVE, Hauser & Wirth Somerset (2019) and the light gets in, Marlborough Gallery, New York (2019). Goodman’s paintings are held in numerous private and public collections including the National Portrait Gallery, the Fitzwilliam Museum Cambridge and the Royal Collection Trust. Goodman was appointed as a Trustee of The National Gallery in November 2019. She is represented by Marlborough Fine Art and currently lives and paints in London and Somerset.

Letter from the Founding Artistic Director

The Royal Drawing School started a postgraduate programme dedicated to drawing from life. It is unique in the spectrum of tertiary level art education in the UK. 

The Drawing Year is a course of study at postgraduate level which provides an opportunity for intensive research and practice in drawing from observation. It sees drawing both as an end in itself and in relation to other areas of practice. The School provides a supportive and lively environment for sustained exploration in drawing, in the belief that practice strengthens hand and eye, and concentration nourishes the imagination. 

Drawing can be direct, incisive, intimate, surprising, funny or confrontational. Using the most limited of means, drawing offers some of the most demanding opportunities for growth to a contemporary artist, both visually and intellectually, allowing a free transition between mediums. It is one of the simplest and yet the most endlessly complex of human activities, encompassing a wide scope of practice and interpretation. 
Drawing is taught as a way of understanding. Drawing Year students benefit from working amongst peers and from the contact with tutors and visiting lecturers, who represent a wide spectrum of artistic practice. They value the freedom of intellectual exchange and the atmosphere of shared commitment. 

Fundamental to the course is the assertion of the connection between looking and making images; a belief that conceptual innovation can be generated by an active engagement with the visual world that surrounds us. 

Drawing connects what we see with how we think. It is a crucial meditation between the world and our idea of it. More flexible than language, drawing has the power to express thought in a new way, to communicate with an economy of means.

Catherine Goodman