by Jennifer Hardin
If you recently visited the CAM exhibition “Art Academy of Cincinnati at 150: A Celebration in Drawings and Prints,” you may have noticed some of the photographs and memorabilia that help chronicle the Academy’s dynamic history. Many of these materials came from the museum’s archive.
The Mary R. Schiff Library and Archives holds the records of the Art Academy of Cincinnati and its predecessor, the McMicken School of Design, for the period 1868 through 1998. The collection contains administrative records, photographs of student artwork and activities, and the student and faculty records.
While these materials are significant to scholars researching well known Cincinnati artists like Frank Duveneck, they are also of value to people with family members who attended the school. We frequently are asked whether we have any records from someone’s parent or grandparent’s time at the Academy. It is always rewarding when we can show them their relative’s student tickets with the dates they attended, lists of their classes and instructors, and if we are really lucky, a photograph of their artwork.
The library display for the month of April, features a selection of materials from the Art Academy of Cincinnati archival collection intended to highlight the variety of resources available. Handwritten class lists, group photographs of early classes, student tickets, record cards, and catalogues, all help to establish a framework for understanding the careers of many AAC artists.
*Please note, as regards student records specifically, our archives only cover the period 1873 to 1947. Later records are held by the Art Academy of Cincinnati.