Studio International

Published 12/03/2002

University of gloom

There is anguish at St Andrews University, Scotland, that Prince William is not over-enthusiastic about his time there. Perhaps art history needs to be made more inspiring. There are not many masterpieces in St Andrews (paintings we mean) and, as of old, to get first-hand, primary sourcing of great paintings will always be better than any amount of slide shows and learned instruction. For an individual who has grown up surrounded by great collections, the difference is likely to be all the more marked. This means small group trips on low-budget fares (Edinburgh airport offers these in plurality) to Amsterdam, Florence, Paris, St Petersburg, Vienna and Berlin) could be built in to the course curriculum. American students are coming to expect such options. These could be weekend options to be grabbed, given the notorious bleakness of the windy town. As for water sports, wetsuits can get you a long way across St Andrews Bay.