Are these school names interchangeable?

  1. Art school named after Serov
  2. Serov art school
  3. Serov’s art school

I don’t think they are, Irene.

Please could you explain the difference between the three options?

  1. Art school named after Serov = Serov (memorial) art school
  2. Serov’s art school = Art school owned (and run) by Serov.

(But I find St. John’s college, St. Stephen’s school etc. Maybe, they are exceptions.)

I’d also like to hear from others.

Thank you, Anglophile. Please could anyone help with St. John’s college and St. Stephen’s school. Are they really exceptions? According to the rule, it would be correct St. John college, St. Stephen school.

But I have seen them written in the possessive form in many places. I can’t say why.
(Native users of English may be able to clarify it)

Exceptions to what? They aren’t exceptions - just standard forms.

St John’s college. The college of (belonging to) St John = the college which was named after/dedicated to the memory of St John.
St Stephen’s School. The school of (belonging to) St Stephen - the school which was named after/is dedicated to the memory of St Stephen.

I don’t think you can say ‘belonging to St John’, but ‘named after’ or ‘dedicated to’ is acceptable. Then, as Irene points out, why can’t it be ‘St. John College’? It doesn’t sound rhythmic and sonorous, though.

There may be some etymological reason for the possessive use (with the apostrophe and ‘s’) to be standard.

In this case ‘belonging to’ signifies ‘named after/dedicated to’.