In 1857, Chancellor Eliot wanted a school of art for Washington University. The O’Fallon Polytechnic Institute had made a modest beginning with its small School of Design. When O’Fallon was sold, this program became part of the University’s Polytechnic Department, and was renamed the “School of Art and Design” in 1871. In November 1874, the University hired drawing instructor Halsey C. Ives, who later became a full professor and added painting, sculpture, and decorative arts to the curriculum. In 1878, the only son of Wayman Crow, Wayman Crow, Jr., died, so he decided to give the University a new museum in his son’s honor, the St. Louis Museum of Fine Arts, dedicated in May 1881 at the corner of 19th and Locust. With this new building, the University agreed to create an independent School of Fine Arts. In 1909, The School moved to the new campus into the building that had been the British Pavilion during the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition, this was a temporary building made out of wood frame and plaster. Its long gallery was an accurate reproduction of the Orangery in Kensington Gardens in England. In 1926, the School of Fine Arts received a new building, Bixby Hall, on the Hilltop Campus.
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If you wish to publish or license Special Collections materials, please contact Special Collections to inquire about copyright status at (314) 935-5495 or firstname.lastname@example.org. (Publish means quotation in whole or in part in seminar or term papers, theses or dissertations, journal articles, monographs, books, digital forms, photographs, images, dramatic presentations, transcriptions, or any other form prepared for a limited or general public.)
This material was donated to the University Archives.
Oversize 1903 group photographs and accompanying document donated by Edward Gill, School of Dental Medicine, circa 1986.
For related materials see the Gallery of Art Administrative Files, held by University Archives. Also - Maud edited by Richard Lee Strout (NY: McMillan, Co, 1939) for published diary entries of Isabella Maud Rittenhouse Mayne – a student at the School of Fine Arts in 1886-1887. (PS3525 A982 Z64)
Preferred Citation: [Item description]. From the [collection title, series, box, folder]. University Archives, Washington University in St. Louis.
Finding Aid Revisions: This finding aid was entered into Archon by Bianca Lopez in June 2012. Updated by Sarah Schnuriger in July 2016. Updated by Sarah Schnuriger in January 2020.
Scope and Contents: This collection contains historical materials from the School of Art, including correspondence, faculty minutes, programs, bulletins, promotional materials, publications, scrapbooks, photos, ledgers, and student artwork.