A History of
Tyler School of Art
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- 1930 - 1950
In 1934, Stella Elkins Tyler and her husband donated their Elkins Park estate to Temple University.
One of the most significant gifts in Temple’s history, the Tyler’s nine-acre estate was given to the school “for the advancement of the arts” and in gratitude for the mentorship provided to Stella by sculptor Boris Blai. Blai moved his small body of art students from the Oak Lane Country Day School to the new campus.1934Moment in Time
The first class of Tyler carved the doorway to Tyler Hall.×
12 new Temple art students from the Oak Lane Country Day School carved the entry door to Tyler Hall with the school’s name: Stella Elkins Tyler School of Fine Arts.
Stella Elkins Tyler School of Fine Arts is formally established by Temple’s Board of Trustees, with sculptor Boris Blai as Director and Dean for 25 years. Renowned male studio faculty in Painting, Drawing, and Sculpture, with primarily Art Academy training, often European trained like Blai himself, offer an art curriculum with a strong emphasis on the craft of materials.
Ceramics and crafts courses are expanded with distinguished ceramist Rudy Staffel. Art History courses added with Dr. Herman Gundesheimer in collaboration with art collections of Lessing J. Rosenwald; Morris Blackburn offers Printmaking courses.
With these hands you can learn to conquer fear.Boris Blai
Stella Elkins Tyler School of Fine Arts awards its own degrees after ten years in collaboration with Temple University’s Teachers College.1945Moment in Time
Tyler offers art courses for veterans at Fort Dix.×
In weekly classes during WWI, the Tyler School of Fine Arts served both service men and women. According to a 1930’s school catalog, veterans were given art classes at Fort Dix, New Jersey to "regain confidence and self-reliance by recognizing and using their creative ability."
You’ve reached the end of the 1940’s.explore another decade by clicking above or below
- 1950 - 1970
The Rome program at the Villa Caproni allows students to widen their range of experiences and explore other artistic environments. Today, Temple and Tyler students continue to still take advantage of the opportunity to live, work, and study art and art history in one of the most important cities in the history of Western civilization.
Presidents Hall built on Elkins Park campus in 1955. Model for Frank Lloyd Wright’s Temple Beth Sholom in Elkins Park is with assistance of Tyler faculty at Tyler’s Elkins Park campus.1960Moment in Time
Boris Blai retires as Dean Emeritus.×
After Boris Blai’s retirement, painter Charles LeClair is hired from Chatham College, Pittsburgh, as Dean, primarily to extend art curriculum. Painter David Pease is hired to build Design program and Romas Viesulas to expand Printmaking. Both faculty members will become future deans of Tyler School of Art.
Faculty increased to twenty, including some female faculty in Art Education and Crafts, with new programs in photography, metals, and fibers. Art course offerings expanded on Temple’s Main Campus. Addition to Elkins Park Sculpture Studio completed.
Stella Elkins Tyler School of Fine Arts first accredited by National Association of Schools of Art. Stella Elkins Tyler passes away.1965Moment in Time
School Changes name to Tyler School of Art.×
Tyler expands to offer majors in Crafts, Graphic Design and Illustration, Sculpture, Printmaking, Painting. Departments were: Design (including crafts, photo, & illustration); Painting, Printmaking and Drawing;
Sculpture; Art History; and Art Education. There was a mural program and some interdepartmental classes.
Tyler Faculty Exhibition with 32 faculty, several female faculty in Printmaking, Art Education and Crafts.
You’ve reached the end of the 1960’s.explore another decade by clicking above or below
In 1983, Tyler Graphic Arts & Design students design a new logo for Temple University: the Temple “T”.
Under the leadership of Professor Joseph Scorsone, graduate students in Tyler’s Graphic Arts & Design program created multiple concepts for the Temple University Logo. The winning concept, designed by Kris Herrick, was implemented across all Temple campuses.1975Moment in Time
Faculty expands to 67 full time and part time professors.×
The departments are Painting, Drawing and Sculpture; Graphic Arts & Design, including Photo and Printmaking; Crafts including Ceramics, Glass, Metals, and Weaving; Art History; Art Education; and General Studies. This Tyler student drawing outside at the Elkins Park campus is featured in the 1975 Tyler Bulletin.
David Pease, Chair of the Painting faculty, selected as Dean.
“The Tyler School of Art has always been a setting devoted to the work of the studio. As such, it has encouraged a rich diversity of studio approaches and practices from both its faculty and students. That tradition is stronger than ever today and has placed Tyler among the top-ranked art schools in the country.”David Pease
Large Faculty Exhibition showcasing the expanded Faculty, distinguished by numerous fellowships and one-person shows by 55 Studio faculty in Crafts; Graphic Arts and Design; Painting, Drawing and Sculpture; University Art & Art Education.1988Moment in Time
Tyler courses offered at Temple’s Japan Campus.×
Originally opened in 1982, Temple University Japan was the first campus of an American university in Japan. In 1988, Tyler first takes advantage of this opportunity to offer study abroad to its students and art courses for local students in Japan.
Rochelle Toner is hired as Dean; Tyler has expanded to over 600 students.
You’ve reached the end of the 1980’s.explore another decade by clicking above or below
In 2009, Tyler School of Art moves to it’s new location on Temple University’s main campus.
The new Tyler School of Art building on Temple’s main campus was designed by Carlos Jimenez. Students are now able to enjoy more advanced studio spaces and facilities, and the Tyler community can now more actively collaborate with the Temple’s other schools and departments.
“The embodiment of serious art study, Tyler is a place where young artists are pushed to develop their individual talents and supported along this journey of discovery, all while being exposed to other artists. Throughout Tyler’s existence, it has always had an impulse to be creatively inclusive.”Rockie Toner1995Moment in Time
Arranged Introductions: Artworks in Different Places expands Tyler’s collaboration with Philadelphia.×
Artworks in Different Places encourages pieces like Strand by Jamie Alvins, performed at ART BANKS. The program commissions artists to create new works in cooperation with Philadelphia educational, recreational, cultural, and social service organizations. This is the precursor to the Community Arts Program.
Tyler begins offering degrees in Architecture
Dean Keith Morrison appointed.2009Moment in Time
Tyler Trojan horses sent to other Philadelphia art schools.×
In an effort to increase collaboration with other art schools in Philadelphia, Tyler sculpture students “attacked” PAFA, UArts, Moore, and the Art Institute of Philadelphia with Trojan horse sculptures. With a request for positive retaliations, this “Art War” was initiated by Karyn Olivier’s advanced sculpture class.
You’ve reached the end of 2010.explore another decade by clicking above or below
Programs in Planning & Community Development, Landscape Architecture & Horticulture, and the Center for Sustainable Communities joins Architecture to form the new Division of Architecture and Environmental Design.2011Moment in Time
Robert Blackson forms Temple Contemporary Advisory Council.×
An Advisory Council consisting of 40 diverse members of the Philadelphia community gather with Temple students, faculty, and alumni to ask pressing and relevant questions. From these discussions, they develop a plans for engaging exhibitions that address a specific question asked.
Tyler School of Art celebrates 80 years.
“In Elkins Park the environment created a small, special community of the Artist as removed from the world, the Artist alone. Now, it is more about the Artist engaging in a larger world, interacting and collaborating in a city campus. Tyler develops highly individual artists in a close knit community within the context of a large, public research university, a combination that is truly distinctive.”Hester Stinnett, interim dean
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