Founded in 2004 by HRH The Prince of Wales, The Prince’s Foundation School of Traditional Arts developed from the Visual Islamic and Traditional Arts (VITA) Programme established at The Royal College of Art in 1984 by Professor Keith Critchlow. Today, the School teaches students the techniques and methods of contemporary art inspired by living tradition.
Art Jameel and the School have been in partnership since 2008 and in 2009 they launched a joint programme (together with the Cultural Development Fund of Egypt) to teach the traditional arts in Cairo, Egypt. Today, that programme has become the Jameel House of Traditional Arts in Cairo.
Jameel House in Cairo teaches local contemporary artists and artisans in the traditional arts of Egypt, and is now putting the skills taught in the programme to practical use in the conservation and restoration of heritage sites in Islamic Cairo. Jameel House in Cairo also supports graduates seeking employment or to establish businesses in the traditional arts.
In 2015, the Prince’s Foundation School and Art Jameel launched a second institute in the Old Town (Al-Balad) of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: the Jameel House of Traditional Arts in Jeddah. As in Cairo, the Jeddah institute is focused on preserving the traditional arts and applying those skills to the conservation and restoration of traditional houses in Al-Balad.