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Celebrating 150 years
Yale School of Art
Yale School of Art
1156 Chapel Street
New Haven, Connecticut
United States

art.yale.edu
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Above: Yale School of Art, Holcombe T. Green Jr. Hall.
Above: Yale School of Art, Holcombe T. Green Jr. Hall.
Yale School of Art
1156 Chapel Street
New Haven, Connecticut
United States

art.yale.edu
Facebook / Instagram

On October 15, 1869, the Yale School of the Fine Arts held its first day of classes to inaugurate the first university art school in the United States. Augustus and Caroline Street’s generous gift made the founding of the School possible on the condition that enrollment be co-educational. The School was established two months before the territory of Wyoming adopted the women’s right to vote and hold public office, and amidst a nationwide movement establishing women’s rights. And yet despite the declared mandate for the School, media coverage surrounding its opening denied that very point. The New York Times reported: “We have never had a school of high art where young men could receive an artistic training that would fit them for the actual work of their profession and we congratulate the authorities of Yale College on having so far succeeded.” The first class, reportedly destined for enrollment by “young men,” was composed of Mr. Joline B. Smith, and Ms. Alice and Ms. Susan Silliman.

On October 15, 2019, the Yale School of Art celebrates its 150th year. To commemorate this anniversary, Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, Director of Graduate Studies in Graphic Design and the first tenured woman professor in the School’s history, was commissioned by Marta Kuzma, Professor of Art and the Yale School of Art’s first woman Dean, to create an anniversary mark that both celebrates and conveys the School’s history, in partnership with Laura Coombs, alumna and Senior Designer at the New Museum. Rather than creating a singular symbol, the designers collected a range of 150 interchangeable marks constructed with typefaces made by School of Art students, alumni, and faculty. In a visual representation of the School’s contribution to the development of graphic design and to visual culture more broadly, these 150 marks reveal a continuity of difference in an accelerated assembly of typographic inquiry.

In addition to serving as an insignia of celebration, the mark also functions as a springboard for a forthcoming publication of typeface specimens created by School of Art faculty and alumni to be released in 2020. The 150th mark will also be used as the visual element anchoring a series of upcoming public talks and engagements in New Haven.

150th Autumn Lecture Series at the Yale School of Art:

David Reinfurt: A *New* Program for Graphic Design
October 10, 7pm
1156 Chapel Street, Room 104

Graphic designer David Reinfurt (MFA in Graphic Design, ‘99) on his new publication, a do-it-yourself textbook that synthesizes the pragmatic with the experimental and builds on mid- to late-20th-century pedagogical models to convey advanced principles of contemporary design.

Jessica Stockholder: “Hinging: How to put it in the world”
October 28, 6pm
32 Edgewood Avenue

Hayden Visiting Artist and former Director of Graduate Studies in Sculpture at the School of Art Jessica Stockholder (MFA in Sculpture, ‘85) will speak to the range of her work over time. Followed by a conversation between the artist and novelist, short story writer, and cultural critic Lynne Tillman, alongside Dean Marta Kuzma.

Nancy Fraser: “What should socialism mean in the 21st century?”
November 18, 6pm
32 Edgewood Avenue

Nancy Fraser, critical theorist and Loeb Professor of Philosophy and Politics at The New School for Social Research, on her research and latest publications.

The School of Art is also cosponsoring a panel on November 14 alongside Yale’s Department of African American Studies and the Yale University Art Gallery, featuring three Yale School of Art alumni—Howardena Pindell (‘67), Wangechi Mutu (‘00), and Kevin Beasley (‘12, and Critic in Sculpture)—in conversation with the Director of the Yale Center for British Art, Courtney J. Martin.

Future events and initiatives celebrating the Yale School of Art’s 150th year will be announced throughout the fall. Visit art.yale.edu/150th for information regarding upcoming anniversary programs.

October 8, 2019

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Yale School of Art, New Haven