In Pursuit of Art

Mid-nineteenth-century Grand Rapids, Michigan offered limited opportunities for education. In an illustration for Harper’s Weekly (Fig. 1), Frederick Stuart Church recalled his early school days in a Grand Rapids one room schoolhouse. Consumed by a desire to draw, young Fred occupied himself drawing with pencil on the blank pages of his school texts and on…

The Institution Builders

What accounts for an institution’s longevity? In New York City, real estate is key. Most histories of the Art Students League credit disaffected art students with the school’s founding, its democratic government, and communal character. This is fitting. Less recognized, however, is the role non-artists played in buying prime lots along Fifty-seventh Street and erecting a building…