Tag Archives: Robert Dirig

Last Week for “No Teachers! No Grades!”

Edward A. "Tink" Adams working on a drawing in class, circa 1936. Photo: Irene Vermeers PHOT '37.

The posters around campus announcing No Teachers! No Grades! may seem like a cruel joke, wishful thinking or both during finals week. But in reality what they’re advertising is an exhibition titled No Teachers! No Grades!: Art Center on Seventh Street, 1936-1946, curated by Art Center Archives‘ Robert Dirig and on view in the Library until December 17.

Students able to pull themselves away from their final projects for a few minutes will be rewarded with a rare look at items from the first chapter of Art Center’s history, when it was located on Seventh Street in Los Angeles’ Westlake District. Objects on view include: a 1941 catalogue for Art Center Center School, as it was then called; a number of photographs taken at the Seventh Street campus (including the image above); founder Edward A. “Tink” Adams’ business card, circa 1936; and a Caltech flyer announcing aircraft production illustration courses, which were offered at Art Center during World War II when the College ceased normal operations to assist in the war effort.

As for the exhibition title, the text on display in the Library explains, “The early catalogs boast, ‘No teachers! No grades!’ signifying that Art Center is not a typical school. That proclamation was not to say that it was effortless for students. From many accounts students were thrown out of the school if their work did not meet the Art Center standard.”

So much for the “good ole days,” right?

Remembering the Summer of Punk

© Steven A. Heller/Art Center College of Design

Guest post by Art Center Archivist Robert Dirig

During the summer of 1986, Art Center students relived the era of punk through an Illustration Department workshop, Punk Is Not a Fashion Statement, organized by former Illustration Chair Phil Hays. The workshop focused on journalistic illustration, with various punk scenes acted out as students recorded them via drawings and paintings.

In addition to the workshop, students heard lectures on the history and significance of punk from a wide variety of speakers including Malcolm McLaren, the manager of the Sex Pistols.

Do you remember this Summer of Punk at Art Center? We want to hear your memories!

To visit Art Center’s Archives or to donate materials, contact Art Center Archivist Robert Dirig at 626.396.2208 or robert.dirig@artcenter.edu.

© Steven A. Heller/Art Center College of Design

Mystery Photo: Can You Help?

Guest post by Art Center Archivist Robert Dirig

This photograph of Art Center Photography and Imaging students comes to us from the collection of Lorraine Streeter, who served as director of the department from 1956 to 1993. During her tenure, she collected images of students, photo shoots and student work. Streeter passed away in 2004, and her wonderful collection of 81 photographs was generously donated to Art Center’s Archives in 2006.

We know that this mystery photo shows a group of Photography and Imaging students, but that is about all we know about this image. We don’t know the names of any of the students, the photographer or the year it was taken. Do you recognize anyone? If you know any information about this photo, please let us know!

In addition to archiving Art Center’s collections, the Archives also accepts donations of papers, photos, video, publications, and objects related to the College. Do you have any Art Center materials that you would like to donate to us? If so, please contact Archivist Robert Dirig at 626.396.2208 or robert.dirig@artcenter.edu.

To visit the Archives or to donate materials, contact Art Center Archivist Robert Dirig at 626.396.2208 or robert.dirig@artcenter.edu.

The Changing Face of the Art Center Catalog

Guest post by Art Center Archivist Robert Dirig

Art Center’s most recent Viewbook has received rave reviews, winning an Art Directors Club Silver Award and now a Gold Award in the 2011 CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) Circle of Excellence Award. Congrats to the Design Office and Marketing and Communications team for these well-deserved honors!

Here in the College Archives, we recently began a project scanning all Art Center catalogs and viewbooks, starting back to the first one published in 1937.

Enjoy this slideshow of images, and let us know if you have any that aren’t included here. We seem to have a gap between 1965-67 and 1972-74. Stay tuned for an announcement for when they are available online!

To visit the Archives, or to donate materials, contact Art Center Archivist Robert Dirig at 626.396.2208 or robert.dirig@artcenter.edu.

From a Block to a Tablet

Guest post by Art Center Archivist Robert Dirig

It’s so exciting to see the new iPad editorial class break ground in Art Center’s Graphic Design Department. Take a look back to see how far have we come in 25 years with us, won’t you?

Art Center offered computer graphics courses beginning in the early 1980s, and a department was established in 1990.

In this photograph from 1986, students are seen in a computer graphics class.

Do you recognize the instructor or any of the students in the photograph? What was it like studying computer graphics in the 1980s?

To visit the Archives, or if you recognize anyone in the photo, contact Art Center Archivist Robert Dirig at 626.396.2208 or robert.dirig@artcenter.edu.

Reflecting Back at 80: A Department is Born

Guest post by Art Center Archivist Robert Dirig

The year was 1931. Nevada legalized gambling. The Empire State building was completed. And Art Center created its Photography (now called Photography and Imaging) Department.

Pictured: Advanced Photography students shooting dancers outside, 1949 (photographer unknown)

Initially led by Will Connell, the department offered coursework in amateur and professional photography.

By 1935, there were 12 faculty members and in addition to the core classes, there were specialized courses in portraiture, color photography, 16mm cinematography, and composition and lighting.

Ansel Adams joined the growing program’s faculty in the early 1940s, joining such faculty members as Fred Archer, Otto Halmer, Edward Kaminski, Albert King and Charlie Potts.

In this photograph from 1949, advanced photography students are shooting dancers outside. Do you recognize anyone in the photo?

What are your memories of our Photography Department? To visit the Archives, or if you recognize anyone in the photo, contact Art Center Archivist Robert Dirig at 626.396.2208 or robert.dirig@artcenter.edu.

Reflecting Back at 80: The Art Center Wives Club

Guest post by Art Center Archivist Robert Dirig

Long before the Real Housewives invaded our televisions, there were the Art Center Wives.

Founded in 1956, the Art Center Wives Club was sponsored by the College to serve as a social and support group for the wives of the College’s male students.

Unidentified club members setting up the stage for skit about new students, circa 1966

Meeting monthly, the group had guest speakers, sponsored dances, picnics, talent shows and volunteered time to a variety of community organizations.

For most of the organization’s approximate 20-year history, it printed a monthly newsletter, The Breadwinners’ Review.

Shown are two images from the Art Center Wives Club collection from the Art Center Archives. Be sure to view the entire collection of photographs on the Archives Facebook page.

Do you recognize anyone in the photos? If you can help us identify anyone, or if you’d like to view the document collection in person, contact Art Center Archivist Robert Dirig at 626.396.2208 or robert.dirig@artcenter.edu.

For more information about the Art Center College of Design Archives, including how you can donate or access materials, visit artcenter.edu/archives.

Unidentified members of the Art Center Wives club at a garden buffet dinner at the home of Elizabeth Franklin, 1963

A Festive Look Back at Our Past

Guest post by Art Center Archivist Robert Dirig

As we put the finishing touches on our 2010 holiday greeting—a beautiful motion design piece designed by Art Center students—we turn to our College archives to remember holiday cards from yesteryear.

Not surprisingly, Art Center’s holiday cards have always been quite unique and creative. The designs range from posters to origami to traditional cards to others that fold out in unusual dimensions.

The earliest Art Center card we have found was sent out in 1955. Some were made by students, others by alumni, and still others by faculty members. Product Design alumnus and former faculty member Kohei Eguchi designed many of cards from the 1980s that pop out like origami when opened.

Grab some eggnog and take a little trip through time with us, won’t you?

See the entire collection by appointment at the College Archives. Contact College Archivist Robert Dirig at robert.dirig@artcenter.edu or 626.396.2208 for more information.

Wheels in Motion: A Look at Art Center’s Transportation Design Department

Guest post by College Archivist Robert Dirig and Transportation Design Director Jay Sanders

Strother MacMinn teaches class on lawn, 1960 (Photo courtesy Art Center Archives)

Art Center’s Car Classic has become one of the most highly anticipated transportation events in Southern California, if not the entire country. Over the past nine years, the event has showcased amazing automobiles and brought together industry leaders–many of whom are Art Center alumni. As we approach Sunday’s Car Classic 2010: Freedom of Motion, join us in looking back at how Art Center became a leader in the world of transportation design.

Jergenson is shown in this circa 1950 photograph with student A.K. Ragheb PROD '51. (Photo courtesy Art Center Archives)

It is estimated that more than half of the world’s car designers are Art Center graduates. Transportation Design alumni currently hold top positions at the studios of Pininfarina, Ferrari-Maserati, Ford, General Motors, DaimlerChrysler, BMW, Porsche, Audi, Volvo, Nissan, Aston Martin, Mazda, Toyota/Lexus and Volkswagen North America.

The field has a long and storied history at the College. Years before Transportation Design became a major at Art Center, our graduates were taking positions with General Motors’ Buick Division in Detroit in the 1930s.

In 1948, Transportation Design became an official course of study at the College, with such influential faculty members as George Jergenson, Strother MacMinn and John Coleman establishing the school’s connection with transportation design—a field that would lift Art Center into international prominence.

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