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Before the New Bauhaus: From Industrial Drawing to Art and Design Education in Chicago

Before the New Bauhaus: From Industrial Drawing to Art and Design Education in Chicago Barbara Jaffee Footnotes begin on page 58. In his recent book, Art Subjects: Making Artists in the American University, Howard Singerman describes as ironic the fact that when the design curriculum developed at the German Bauhaus in the 1920s was assimilated in the United States some fifteen years later it was as instruction in “fine arts.” 1 The irony, however, is both less and more than Singerman’s observation allows. Less, I will argue, because distinctions between what counted as instruction in design, or industrial arts, and instruction in fine arts in the United States never have been clear-cut. But also more, because it is exactly the kind of statement that makes it difficult for us to reconstruct the tangled trajectories of art and design education in the United States. For much of the twentieth century, the arts were made to simultaneously serve a variety of purposes (and political positions) in American education—at once vocational training and a source of spiritual uplift; the basis of progressive educational reform and a vehicle for social control. This is because two powerful cultural tendencies converged in the United http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Design Issues MIT Press

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