Pennsylvania Art Education Association records, 1917-2012

1133

Collection Overview

Title:
Pennsylvania Art Education Association records
Dates (Inclusive):
1917-2012
Creator:
Pennsylvania Art Education Association
Abstract:
In the early twentieth century, small, county-based art education affiliates of the Pennsylvania State Education Association unified and pursued the goals of art education through a separate, specialized organization--the Pennsylvania Art Education Association. This collection contains the constitution and bylaws, meeting minutes, financial records, conference programs, correspondence, newsletters, art education papers and special programs, art education books, photographs and slides of conferences and members, and committee records.
Collection Number:
1133
Size:
8 Cubic feet
Repository:
Special Collections Library. Pennsylvania State University.
Languages:
English

Biographical Note

In 1835, The Quakers established in Philadelphia what is believed to be the very first public schools. Throughout most of the 1800s, art was not an area of study, but the industrialization of the late 1800s-early 1900s caused an interest in artistry and design. Two areas of art study surfaced in the schools: 1) art for industry; 2) art as a profession. Not until the early 20th century would there be any attempts to unite art educators.

In Pennsylvania, Dr. C. Valentine Kirby, a state art educator, and Dr. Claude Rosenberry, a state music director, travelled around to various art and music classrooms in the commonwealth to promote a unification of teachers in art related fields. The organization of art teachers was a difficult process at first, but Dr. Kirby eventually made significant gains. One such success was The Lawrence County Art Teachers Association. Being a part of the Central Western Pennsylvania PSEA, The Lawrence County organization met annually at the PSEA district meetings, but in between they participated in regular studio and curriculum workshops. Besides the Lawrence County group, Allegheny, Westmoreland, Bedford, Cambria, and other county art organizations attended and met at the PSEA distric meetings. PSEA district meetings, at which the county art organizations would meet, were an early form of an annual conference for art educators.

Early conferences provided much needed information, workshops, and demonstrations, but attendance was poor due to travel and accomodation expenses. As a result, sales and supply houses were invited to rent exhibit space at the conferences. Still, the conferences were not well attended given the large number of art educators in Pennsylvania. Eventually, Pennsylvania Art Education Associations broke away from the Pennsylvania State Education Association, and became the PAEA. Around 1954, Dr. Viktor Lowenfield and his staff contributed their organizational and leadership skills to make the annual conference a success. At the same time, the director of art for the Pennsylvania department of Education, Mr. Clyde McGeary, contributed to a renewed interest in art at all levels of education. With the help of these influential people, PAEA membership increased, and the PAEA became the represenative for the interest of art in the commonwealth.By the 1950s, the PAEA was often called upon to promote the goals of Art Education whenever curriculum groups met to design new programs and methods of instruction.

The 1960s saw a divergent art community. Many traditional beliefs and methods for teaching art were being challenged, and new programs and philosophies were rapidly appearing. The outcome was individuality rather than the unity of the past. This has forced the PAEA to adapt to divergent thought and practice. In the 1980s, Art Education experienced another surge of unity with the introduction of Discipline Based Art Education, but after further research and implementation, opponents of this program have surfaced. The PAEA may be faced with another period of debate and individuality within the field.

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Collection Overview

The PAEA collection traces the history of the Pennsylvania Art Education Association up to 1988. In the early twentieth century, small, county-based art education affiliations of the PSEA (Pennsylvania State Education Association) unified and pursued the goals of art education through a separate, specialized organization. The Pennsylvania Art Education Association would eventually become an branch of the National Art Education Association, with headquarters in Reston, Virginia.

The first and largest series of the collection includes several folders concerning the governance of the organization. The first of four subseries is a few folders that contain vitae of various art educators, and drafts of the NAEA and the PAEA constitution/by-laws. The second subseries consists of a multitude of folders which house various financial reports, information on annual conferences, correspondence to and from members of the governing body, and minutes from Executive Council meetings. Various committees and samples of work done by the executive officers are some subjects found in the third subseries--Committees. The fourth and final component of the Governance series is an assemblage of academic papers, special programs, and accounts of other miscellaneous events that had relevance to the Pennsylvania Art Education Association. The second series of the collection covers various publications. Some were created by and/or had relevance to the PAEA and its operation. Other books found in the series document significant historical events in the history of Art Education. The third and final series represents a visual history of various officers and events via photographs and slides. In fact, this series contains a complete slide carousel that highlights the 1969 and the 1980 PAEA annual conference. In sum, the PAEA collection, and the corresponding NAEA collection mark an increasing emphasis on Art Education in American public schools. Beginning as a fledgling organization, the PAEA has emerged as a vital force in the promotion of the arts, and their importance to education as a whole.

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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Copyright Notice

Copyright is retained by the creators of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Pennsylvania Art Education Association records, PSUA 1133, Special Collections Library, Pennsylvania State University.

Processing Information

Processed by Special Collections staff.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Pennsylvania Art Education Association

Genre(s)

  • Photographic

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Collection Inventory

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