Posts Tagged ‘Strother MacMinn’

Reflecting Back at 80: Alumni Faculty Look Back on 80 Years

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Eighty years ago, Edward “Tink” Adams had a revolutionary idea for a school that would teach real-world skills to artists and designers. Even more radical: classes would be taught by working professionals, at the top of their respective fields.

Third Street campus, 1950

In 1930 the Art Center School opened its doors at West Seventh Street in Los Angeles, with just 12 instructors and eight students. Adams, a former advertising executive from Chicago, served as director. Since then, Art Center has changed its name, moved twice (to Third Street in 1947 and to Pasadena in 1976), maintained a satellite campus in Switzerland for 10 years and opened a second campus in downtown Pasadena in 2004. Today, the College boasts a student body of 1,500 and nearly 600 full- and part-time faculty members.

Over the decades, Art Center has been home to world-renown faculty including automotive designer Strother MacMinn TRAN ’35, illustrator Phil Hays ILLU ’55, lettering and logo designer Doyald Young ADVT ’55 and illustrator Barron Storey ILLU ’61.

As we celebrate our 80th anniversary, who better to ask about Art Center’s history than our faculty—in particular those who were students here before becoming instructors? What are their favorite memories of the College?

Read more: Looking Back on 80 Years

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

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

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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