Philadelphia school of design for women - moore co


Founded in 1848 by Sarah Peter, a philanthropist, the Philadelphia School of Design for Women, later named the Moore College of Art, challenged prevailing norms by training women to be artisans and craftswomen. It was the first school to teach women industrial art. Upon graduation, students were helped by faculty to find jobs with industries. Women of all ages enrolled, but by 1920, most were between the ages of 18 and 22 years. "A key figure in developing the school as a major center for fine arts was Emily Sartain, who was Principal from 1886 to 1920." (Strass) From a family of distinguished Philadelphia artists, she asserted that training in commercial and fine art should receive equal attention, and under her direction the curriculum included work from the living model, perspective, and design. She brought respected teachers including Robert Henri to the school. Harriet Sartain, niece of Emily, took over as Principal in 1920. She strongly opposed modernist movements in art and kept the school on message that the institution???s success lay in its ability to train women for industrial art vocations. In 1932, the name changed to the Moore College of Art with a $3 million dollar gift from Joseph Moore, Jr. Enrollment increased greatly, although after World War II into the 1950s, many of the women graduates directed their energies to home and family instead of industrial vocations. In the 1970s and early 1980s, the school weathered accreditation problems but continues into the 21st Century. Sources: Stephanie Strass, "American Women Artists, 1819-1947"; Charlotte Rubinstein, "American Women Artists"; (LPD)