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Guide to the San José State University Art Department Records
MSS-2009-11-07  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Processing Information
  • Project Information
  • Organizational History
  • Bibliography
  • Related Material
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Subject Headings

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: San José State University Art Department Records
    Dates: 1942-1963
    Bulk Dates: 1951-1959
    Collection number: MSS-2009-11-07
    Creator: San José State University
    Collection Size: 1 box, 0.42 linear feet
    Repository: San José State University. Library.
    San José, California 95192-0028
    Abstract: The San José State University Art Department Records, 1942-1963 (bulk 1951-1959), document the department's course curriculum, as well as art exhibits created by students. The records consist of miscellaneous brochures, pamphlets, course catalogues, flyers, and art ephemera. This collection is arranged into one series: Series I. Course Curriculum & Miscellany, 1942-1963 (bulk 1951-1959).
    Physical location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

    Access

    The collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright is assigned to the San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Special Collections & Archives. Copyright restrictions may apply to digital reproductions of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

    Preferred Citation

    San José State University Art Department Records, MSS-2009-11-07, San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives.

    Processing Information

    Collection processed by Silke Higgins. Finding aid EAD encoded by Silke Higgins. Reviewed by Danelle Moon and Erin Louthen.

    Project Information

    This finding aid was created as part of the Survey and Cataloging Project, a two-year San José State University Library grant project funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The project began in 2008.The Project Director is Danelle Moon. The Project Archivist is Erin Louthen.

    Organizational History

    In 1857 the San Francisco Board of Education established Minns' Evening Normal School for current and prospective teachers in the city. Named after its principal, George W. Minns, the institution was formally established as the first California State Normal School by the State Legislature in 1862. A decade later, the Legislature voted to move the Normal School to San José, and the school relocated to its new home on Washington Square prior to the fall term of 1872. After a fire destroyed the Normal School building in 1880, the Legislature authorized $200,000 to construct a new building on the same site. Completed in 1881, the building was commonly referred to as the Second State Normal School. After several names and curriculum changes, Minns' Normal School is now San José State University, offering more than 134 bachelor's and master's degrees with 110 concentrations, and is recognized as one of the top public universities granting such degrees in the West.
    The San José State University Art Department originated in 1911, when a one-year course leading to an elementary diploma in art was instituted by the San José State Teachers College. Inspired by Calthea Vivian, the head of the Art Department from 1911-1916, students began to take advantage of the course work offered. Soon after, under the new department head Ruth W. Turner, the department expanded to include a two-year course leading to a secondary diploma. Turner was succeeded by Dr. Marques E. Reitzel, under whose guidance the Art Department gained its reputation as one of the finest in the West. During Reitzel's time, the faculty was enlarged and the curriculum expanded to include course offerings in commercial art and interior design. In 1956, Dr. Reitzel was succeeded by Dr. French, a San José State University graduate, author, and painter. In 1957, the department consisted of 30 professors, making it the "largest group of artist-educators between San Francisco and Los Angeles." The establishment of a graduate program further increased the number of students, and led to many graduates entering the fields of commercial art and interior design, as well as winning important fellowships in fine arts.
    During the 1950s and 1960s, the Art Department won numerous awards for painting, ceramics, sculpture, jewelry, silver craft, and weaving at exhibitions on the local, regional, and national levels. Plans for a new campus building, located behind the Music Building, originally included lecture halls, laboratory and activity rooms as well as an art gallery. The Art Building was later expanded to include the Visual Resource Center, numerous shops for wood, glass, machine, metal, spray, and welding work, along with facilities for jewelry and small metal work, photography, foundry, glass and print making. Current students can choose from a great variety of Art Department undergraduate and graduate programs. In recent years, the work of Art Department students and graduates has been included in the Whitney Museum of American Art Biennial Exhibition, and has also won awards in the National Housewares Competition as well as international film and animation festivals. Today the School of Art and Design has the largest number of full time students enrolled, surpassing the college of Business and Engineering.

    Bibliography

    Gilbert, Benjamin F., and Burdick, Charles. Washington Square, 1857-1979: The History of San José State University. San José, California: San José State University, 1980.
    Greathead, Estelle. The Story of an Inspiring Past: Historical Sketch of the San José State Teachers College from 1862 to 1928. San José, California: San José State Teachers College, 1928.
    San José State University Faculty Papers of H. Brett Melendy, MSS-2009-05-01, San José State University Library Special Collections and Archives.
    San José State University. About SJSU. http://www.sjsu.edu/about_sjsu/ 
    San José State University. School of Art and Design. http://ad.sjsu.edu/home.html  (accessed November 2009).
    Walsh, James P. San José State University: An Interpretive History, 1950-2000. San José, California: San José State University, 2003.

    Related Material

    Edith Harvey Heron Collection, MSS-2005-01, San José State University Library Special Collections and Archives.
    San José State University Faculty Papers of H. Brett Melendy, MSS-2009-05-01, San José State University Library Special Collections and Archives.
    Robert Freimark Collection, MSS-2008-05-01, San José State University Library Special Collections and Archives.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The San José State University Art Department Records, 1942-1963 (bulk 1951-1959), document the department's course curriculum, as well as art exhibits created by students. The records consist of miscellaneous brochures, pamphlets, course catalogues, flyers, and art ephemera.

    Arrangement

    This collection is arranged into one series: Series I. Course Curriculum & Miscellany, 1942-1963 (bulk 1951-1959).

    Subject Headings

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    San José State University -- Art Dept. -- History.
    San José State College -- History.
    San José State University -- History.
    Education, Higher -- California -- San José.
    Art -- Study and teaching (Higher) -- California -- San José.
    Art -- California -- San José.
    Art -- Exhibitions.