Category Archives: UArts History

Items of interest related to UArts history and archives.

UArts 140th #tbt Posts!

Have you checked out the University Libraries’ series of #tbt posts in honor of the University’s 140th anniversary?

You should!

Search Instagram for the hashtag #UArtsArchivesTBT, or visit:  https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/uartsarchivestbt

This is an ongoing series, so be sure to follow and check the UArts Libraries Instagram account regularly.

And boy, does this series have everything!

Students chilling on the steps of Hamilton Hall? Check.

Students sitting on the steps of Dorrance Hamilton Hall

Historic Philly shots? Check.

333 South Broad Street

Student makers making? Check.

Dance students practicing with labanotation score

Faculty engagingCheck.

Ben Eisenstat advises a student in an illustration class

Art installationsCheck.

Art installation at Hamilton Hall copy

A graduation photo from 1893!?!?! Check.

PMSIA class of 1893

Now, when you find yourself asking: where do they get all these wonderful photos?!?

Well the UArts Archives of course! All of the #tbt photos posted to Instagram -and many, many more- are available via the UArts Digital Collections page, accessible right through the good ol’ library homepage: library.uarts.edu.

The UArts Digital Collections contain not only photos from the UArts Archives, but also student work, campus event photos and videos, and other special digital collections!

Come celebrate 140home years of UArts history with us! 

Student Work in the School Catalogs: Metalwork of Frederic Charles Clayter

This is the second of a series of UArts Libraries blog posts we’ll write about student artwork in the school catalogs. Some students will be well-known and others less so, but the work will always be interesting.

Copper and German silver jewel casket with green stone enrichments. Designed and executed by Frederic Charles Clayter, a pupil of the school. PMSIA catalog 1913-14
Copper and German silver jewel casket with green stone enrichments. Designed and executed by Frederic Charles Clayter, a pupil of the school. PMSIA catalog 1913-14

Frederic Charles Clayter (1890-1978) attended the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art (PMSIA, now UArts College of Art, Media & Design) from 1911-12 through 1913-14, studying metalwork, a program begun in 1903.  Shortly after leaving PMSIA, Clayter began a long career as a faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh (1916-1921) and at Carnegie Mellon University (1921-1956)  in industrial design. Industrial design at that time often included crafts such as metalwork and ceramics. In an article from the Journal of Design History**, many former students had fond memories of Professor Clayter.

Silver chalice, set with amethysts. Designed and executed by Frederic Charles Clayter, a student of the school. PMSIA catalog 1915-16.
Silver chalice, set with amethysts. Designed and executed by Frederic Charles Clayter, a student of the school. PMSIA catalog 1915-16.

Considered a master goldsmith, Clayter had continued his studies in metalwork in England for a year and was a first fellow and governor of the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation. He was the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts Artist of the Year in 1953, and earned commissions to create trophies and awards over the years. He continued his work in jewelry design in addition to his work as a faculty member and was an active member of the Pittsburgh art scene.

Police to Get Costly Trophy [by Frederic C. Clayter]. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Thu, 28 Dec 1939, p. 10, column 2.
Police to Get Costly Trophy [by Frederic C. Clayter]. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Thu, 28 Dec 1939, p. 10, column 2.
** Lesko, Jim. “Industrial Design at Carnegie Institute of Technology, 1934-1967.” Journal of Design History 10.3 (1997): 269-92. http://0-www.jstor.org.catalog.library.uarts.edu/stable/1316296

Library Staff Recommendation: The UArts Connection

Library Staff Recommendation: The UArts Connection

The institutions that went into making the University of the Arts date back to the 19th century and are deeply connected to the history of Philadelphia. These books are on display in the UArts Greenfield Library and may be checked out immediately.

Ater, Renée.
Remaking Race and History: The Sculpture of Meta Warrick Fuller.
RemakingRaceGreenfield Open Stacks 730.924 F959a
UArts connection: Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller (1877-1968) graduated in 1898 from the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art (PMSIA, now UArts College of Art, Media & Design). She stayed for an additional year of study, and returned to the school in 1903-04 to take the pottery classes being offered for the first time. Fuller’s most famous sculpture, “Ethiopia Awakening”, is considered a symbol of the Harlem Renaissance.

Biddle, Daniel R.
Tasting Freedom: Octavius Catto and the Battle for Equality in Civil War America.
tastingfreedomGreenfield Open Stacks 323.0924 C297b
Philadelphian Octavius V. Catto (1839-1871) was a civil rights activist, an educator, and a noted athlete. With his fiancee, Caroline Le Count, he protested the segregation of Philadelphia’s mass transit system of the time, horse-drawn streetcars. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYAc6wCUR8k. UArts connection: UArts Professor Helen Shannon is serving on an art jury for a Catto memorial statue to be erected at City Hall.

Crafting a Legacy: Contemporary American Crafts in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
CraftingALegacy
Greenfield Open Stacks 745.50973 P53c
UArts connection: See the introduction, “A Legacy of Crafts”, p. 14-21, by Darrel Sewell for an excellent introduction to the founding of the Pennsylvania Museum & School of Industrial Art, now the UArts College of Art, Media and Design.

Garafola, Lynn.
Of, By, and For the People: Dancing on the Left in the 1930s.
OfByAndFor

 

 

 

Greenfield Open Stacks 793.322 Of1g
UArts connection: Go to the index and find Chilkovsky, Nadia. Nadia Chilkovsky Nahumck, a founding member of the New Dance Group in New York, returned to Philadelphia in the 1940s and founded the Philadelphia Dance Academy, which is now the UArts School of Dance.

MacDonald, Sara Jean, and Eugene A. Bolt, Jr.
The University of the Arts.
UArtsBook

 

 

 

Greenfield Open Stacks 378.74811 M145

Magaziner, Henry Jonas.
The Golden Age of Ironwork.
GoldenAgeIronworkGreenfield Open Stacks 739.4 M270
UArts connection: The master of Philadelphia ironwork, Samuel Yellin, attended the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art (PMSIA, now UArts College of Art, Media & Design) in 1905-06 and taught wrought iron at the school from 1907-1919.

Saunders, David.
H. J. Ward.
HJWard
Greenfield Open Stacks 741.60924 W256
UArts connection: UArts Class of 1930. Hugh J. Ward studied at the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art (PMSIA, now UArts College of Art, Media & Design) from 1927-28 through 1929-30 and had a long and successful career as an illustrator, mostly for the pulp magazines. Ward created iconic images of Superman, the Green Hornet, and the Lone Ranger.

Scranton, Philip, and Walter Licht.
Work Sights: Industrial Philadelphia, 1890-1950.
Scranton
Greenfield Open Stacks 974.81104 Sc15w
Once known as the Workshop of the World, Philadelphia’s industrial and manufacturing might was second to none. Instead of being focused only on one industry, such as steel or textiles, Philadelphia truly was made of small workshops and factories that employed highly-skilled workers in a wide variety of trades and industries. Watch the video Workshop of the World (GD1590) and then flip through this book. UArts connection: the UArts College of Art, Media and Design began in 1876 as the Pennsylvania Museum & School of Industrial Art to turn out designers for industry.

Shaw, Gwendolyn DuBois.
Represent: 200 Years of African American Art in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Represent tp
Greenfield Open Stacks 704.03960748 Sh26r
UArts connection: This exhibition catalog includes UArts alumni: Samuel J. Brown, Jr. (Class of 1930); Claude Clark (Class of 1939); Allan Randall Freelon (Class of 1916); Paul F. Keene, Jr. (attended 1939-41, faculty member, 1954-68); Jayson Musson (Class of 2002). UArts Professor Helen Shannon contributed research and essays.

Skaler, Robert Morris.
Philadelphia’s Broad Street: South and North.
BroadStGreenfield Open Stacks 974.811 Sk13p
Did you know the 500 block of South Broad Street used to be called Millionaire’s Row (p. 21+)? That Broad and Washington was the site of a train station where Union soldiers headed south to fight in the Civil War (p. 18)? UArts connection: That Terra Hall used to be half the size it is now? (See page 43.)

Thomas, George E.
William L. Price: Arts and Crafts to Modern Design.
wlpriceGreenfield Open Stacks 720.924 P932t
UArts connection: Architect William Lightfoot Price (1861-1916) attended the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art (PMSIA, now UArts College of Art, Media & Design) in at least 1888 if not other years. His siblings Frank, Mary Louisa, Susanna, and Walter also attended PMSIA. Price was a founder of the Rose Valley Arts and Crafts community, and also helped found the Arden community in Delaware.

Vitiello, Dominic.
Engineering Philadelphia: The Sellers Family and the
Industrial Metropolis
.
EngPhilGreenfield Open Stacks 974.811 V844e
UArts connection: Coleman Sellers (1827–1907) was the first president of the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art (PMSIA, now UArts College of Art, Media & Design). Born into a family of engineers and artists (his grandfather was Charles Willson Peale), he was noted for his design of the hydroelectric dynamos of Niagara Falls, advances in photography and film, and many contributions to engineering. The Sellers family embodied the Enlightenment age, the Industrial Revolution in Philadelphia, the “Workshop of the World” era, and the post-World War II industrial decline.

Woodmere Art Museum.
We Speak: Black Artists in Philadelphia, 1920s-1970s.
Greenfield Open Stacks 709.22 W522w
UArts connection 1: This exhibition features UArts alumni: Samuel J. Brown, Jr. (Class of 1930); Claude Clark (Class of 1939); Allan Randall Freelon (Class of 1916); Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller (Class of 1898); Paul F. Keene, Jr. (attended 1939-41, faculty member, 1954-68); Jerry Pinkney (1960); and Deborah Willis (Class of 1975). UArts connection 2: UArts Professor Helen Shannon contributed research and essays.

Workshop of the World.
Greenfield DVD GD1590
Workshop of the WorldProduced by Philadelphia’s major public television affiliate, WHYY, this documentary looks at the great manufacturing history of Philadelphia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Some of the companies profiled include Henry Disston & Sons, New York Ship, Pennsylvania Railroad, J.B. Lippincott Publisher, Campbell’s Soup Co., and RCA Victor. UArts connection: the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art (PMSIA, now UArts College of Art, Media & Design) was founded to train artisans, craftsmen, and designers for Philadelphia industries.

June 15, 1824: Hamilton Hall cornerstone laid 190 years ago

The University of the Arts’ Dorrance Hamilton Hall is an excellent example of major work by three of America’s most important 19th-century architects: John Haviland, William Strickland, and Frank Furness. Today it is the oldest extant building on Broad Street, Philadelphia’s main north-south corridor, along which several of the city’s most important and prominent businesses and cultural institutions are located. It is also a prominent and vibrant part of Philadelphia’s designated cultural district, “The Avenue of the Arts.”

Courtesy of the Athenaeum of Philadelphia.

The first of the building’s three major building phases occurred in 1824 when John Haviland (1792-1852) designed a three-story, E-shaped building in the Greek Revival style for the Pennsylvania Institution for the Deaf and Dumb (now Pennsylvania School for the Deaf). Broad Street in the 1820s was still an undeveloped wooded area and rural pastureland on the outskirts of the city, which was then centered around Independence Hall at 5th and Chestnut Streets and east along the Delaware River. The Institution was among the first social and cultural organizations to move here to escape the noise of the city. Haviland’s granite-clad four-columned Doric portico immediately became a well-known landmark. Architecturally, Haviland may have taken some cues from Benjamin Latrobe‘s then-recently completed public water works pumping station which was then located on Center Square, where City Hall is today. As a popular past-time, city dwellers would take promenades or carriage rides out to the rural countryside of Broad Street to see these two impressive and memorable Greek Revival structures.

The laying of the cornerstone on June 15, 1824, was reported as follows and is transcribed exactly:

Democratic Press [Philadelphia], June 16, 1824:

    I yesterday attended at the corner of Broad and Pine streets to witness the ceremony of laying the corner stone of the new building now erecting by the Pennsylvania Institution for the Deaf and Dumb. I can truly say that never was time passed more entirely to my satisfaction. The day was fine and the event well calculated to arouse public attention, for it gave assurance of permanency and stability to one of the most valuable of the numerous charitable institutions which adorn the city of Philadelphia. The company assembled was, therefore, large and respectable. At an early hour the children of the institution, 74 in number, accompanied by Mr. Weld, the principal, the assistant teachers and the matron appeared upon the ground, and took their station within the foundation walls of the building. The ceremony was opened by an impressive address and solemn prayer from the Rt. Rev. Bishop White, President of the institution. A charity which calls forth the active and efficient services of one so venerable, so universally respected and so generally beloved as is Bishop White cannot but be entirely worthy of public patronage, and will assuredly never make a vain appeal to the benevolence of the citizens of Philadelphia. An address was then delivered by J. R. Ingersoll, Esq., which was characterized by his usual ability and eloquence. 

    In the plan of the building the Tuscan and Doric orders are stated to be harmoniously united and when finished it is expected to be as great an ornament to the city as the institution itself is honorable to the citizens of Philadelphia. “We participate,” says the New York Evening Post, “in the pleasure which it gives to every philanthropic mind that measures are thus taking to render such an institution permanent. The gratification would be greatly increased if a similar spirit prevailed in our own city.”

The Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art, now the UArts College of Art, Media and Design, purchased the building in 1893 and has occupied it ever since. It was named in 1996 in honor of a long-time trustee and donor, Mrs. Dorrance Hamilton. For more details, please see http://library.uarts.edu/archives/hamilton.html

UArts and the Eakins Connection

Thomas Eakins (1844-1916). Portrait of Leslie W. Miller. 1901.

Did you know that Thomas Eakins painted the portraits of many people associated with the 19th-century predecessor institutions of UArts? Those predecessors are the Pennsylvania Museum & School of Industrial Art (PMSIA, founded 1876), the Philadelphia Musical Academy (founded 1870), and the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music (founded 1877).

One of the most interesting is of Portrait of Leslie W. Miller (1901), principal of PMSIA from 1880 to 1920 and a great friend of Eakins. Eakins painted this in Hamilton Hall; look closely and you can see student work hanging on the wall behind the screen. The painter Charles Sheeler was a PMSIA student at the time and describes the painting of the portrait: “… As the artist’s work continued we witnessed the progress of a perspective drawing which was made on paper and then transferred to the canvas… those charts which we knew only too well. This careful procedure led us to the conclusion that the man, whoever he was, couldn’t be a great artist, for we had learned somewhere that great artists painted only by inspiration.” (Sheeler quoted from Goodrich, Lloyd. Thomas Eakins. Harvard University Press, 1982, p. 184-5)

Mrs. Mary Hallock Greenewalt

Eakins loved music and painted several notable musicians. Mary Elizabeth Hallock Greenewalt (1871-1951) earned her diploma in piano from the Philadelphia Musical Academy (now the UArts School of Music) in 1893. Best known for her invention of a synchronized light-and-color-producing organ she called the Sarabet, she called her form of music “Nourathar” and obtained eleven U.S. patents for her inventions.

A portrait of Rudolph Hennig, called The Cello Player, was the first painting by Eakins that was purchased by the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, but it was recently sold to a private collector. It depicts noted cellist Hennig practicing. Hennig was one of three founders of the Philadelphia Musical Academy, and was the Philadelphia Orchestra’s original first cellist.

The Cello Player

Hedda van den Beemt, who came from Holland to join the Philadelphia Orchestra, served on the faculty of the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music (now the UArts School of Music) and was head of the violin department until his death in 1925. Eakins’ portrait of van den Beemt is simply called Music.

Music

 

 

 

 

 

Image credits:

All work by Thomas Eakins, American, 1844-1916.

Portrait of Leslie W. Miller. 1901. Oil on canvas. Gift of Martha Page Laughlin Seeler in memory of Edgar Viguers Seeler, 1932. 1932-13-1. Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Mrs. Mary Hallock Greenewalt. 1903. Oil on canvas. Wichita Art Museum, Roland P. Murdock Collection. M61.45. Courtesy of the Wichita Art Museum.

The Cello Player [portrait of Rudolph Hennig]. 1896. Oil on canvas. Private collection.

Music [portrait of Hedda van den Beemt]. 1904. Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

. (1904). “]. (1904). Via Wikimedia Commons”]

 

Visual Music: Mary Greenewalt at HSP

A University of the Arts alumna’s work is at the center of a Historical Society of Pennsylvania event on Thursday, January 27, 2011. Mary Elizabeth Hallock Greenewalt, an 1893 graduate of the Philadelphia Musical Academy (today’s UArts School of Music), was known for her invention of the nourathar, an organ that displayed color scored to music (she also invented the rheostat, or light dimmer!). The Historical Society event will feature composers performing their own work inspired by Greenewalt and her papers, now available to researchers at the Historical Society and on exhibit for the event. One of the composers is UArts faculty member Andrea Clearfield.

Greenewalt seated at one of her inventions. This image taken from http://processandpreserve.wordpress.com/2010/10/01/mary-elizabeth-hallock-greenewalt-and-the-sarabet/

Intrigued by the nourathar? To find out more you can read UArts Music Librarian Mark Germer’s essay on Greenewalt, published in an earlier library newsletter.

“Undefeated Since 1876”? As a matter of fact, yes!

The UArts School Store’s “Undefeated Since 1876” football t-shirt is a perennial best-seller, and it turns out that there’s some truth to the joke.

An item in a Pennsylvania Museum & School of Industrial Art (today’s UArts College of Art, Media and Design) student publication from 1936 is entitled “P.M.S.I.A. Blanks Academy 18-0“, and dramatically (and tongue in cheek) recounts the football game incidents on and off the field. The Academy mentioned is the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

from the Winter 1936 "Sketchbook"
from the Winter 1936 "Sketchbook"; note that we also beat the Academy at ping-pong

Further proof of the athletic prowess of our students appears in a 1964 yearbook for the Philadelphia Musical Academy (PMA), today’s UArts School of Music. PMA played the Philadelphia Museum College of Art (yet another name change, but still today’s UArts College of Art, Media & Design) twice, with both games ended in a tie (12-12 and 2-2). The PMA students did beat the art students in a basketball game (score: 72-65), but now that we’re all one institution we can honestly say that (as far as we know!) we remain undefeated since 1876.

Philadelphia Musical Academy cheerleaders
Philadelphia Musical Academy cheerleaders from a 1965 yearbook

UArts History: Rose Valley and William L. Price

An article in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer Home & Design section is about the restoration of a Rose Valley house designed by William Lightfoot Price (1861-1916). Many of you, especially if you’re interested in the Arts and Crafts movement, may have heard of Rose Valley, but you may not be aware of the Price family’s strong ties to UArts.

Siblings Frank L., Mary Louisa, Susanna Martin, Walter Ferris and William L. all attended the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art (PMSIA, now the UArts College of Art and Design) from approximately 1887 to about 1893. Walter was William’s architectural partner, and Frank seems to have collaborated with William as well. Susanna became an art teacher at Miss Irwin’s School (better known today as Agnes Irwin School), and Mary married architect Carl deMoll (Carl and Mary are both listed in the PMSIA 1888-1889 roll of students, as are Frank Price and Susanna Price). While little documentation exists in the UArts archives to show that William attended, he is listed as a former student in several school catalogs and is listed twice in a March 13, 1888 program of tableaux vivants performed by PMSIA and Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts students.

PMSIA student design work by Mary Louisa Price, circa 1888.
PMSIA student design work by Mary Louisa Price, circa 1888.

For more about the fascinating Price family, consult William L. Price: Arts and Crafts to Modern Design by noted architectural history scholar George E. Thomas, and the Rose Valley Museum & Historical Society Web site.

You’ll find more information about the Price siblings on our Notable Alumni page (scroll down for all the Prices).