• IdentificationMSART_76
  • TitleArt Resources in Teaching records MSART_76
  • PublisherSpecial Collections
  • LanguageEnglish
  • RepositorySpecial Collections
  • Physical Description46.25 Linear feet
  • Date1906-1994
  • AbstractArt Resources in Teaching was founded as the Chicago Public School Art Society in 1894 at Hull-House. It was led by Ellen Gates Starr and included a group of women from the Chicago Woman's Club. Its goal was to serve young people in the inner city. It did this initially by refurbishing classrooms and by providing art appreciation lectures and museum visits for schools in disadvantaged neighborhoods. The Chicago Public School Art Society has never been a part of or funded by the Chicago Public School System. To avoid confusion, its name was changed in 1984 to Art Resources in Teaching. The Society currently produces art appreciation curriculum materials, sponsors lectures, and awards scholarships to young art students.
  • Location3-310 13-01-06
  • OriginationArt Resources in Teaching.

Old Resource ID was ART

Art Resources in Teaching (formerly the Chicago Public School Art Society) is a non-profit arts organization committed to the promotion of art appreciation in the Chicago Public Schools. The Chicago Public School Art Society (C.P.S.A.S.) was founded in 1894 by members of the Education and the Art and Literature Departments of the Chicago Woman's Club. Ellen Gates Starr, co-founder of the Hull-House settlement house, presided over the founding meeting. The Society's first official meeting was held at Hull-House on September 17, 1894 and Starr was elected the C.P.S.A.S.'s first president. The goal of the C.P.S.A.S. was to enrich the lives of Chicago school children, especially those in poorer neighborhoods, by introducing them to "good" art in the classrooms. The Society raised funds to decorate classrooms in "restful tones" and developed a loan program to supply artwork to be hung on classroom walls.

The budget for the Society's first year was $140 and was used to purchase sepia prints of famous paintings, casts of sculptures, and photographs. Artwork was purchased by a Censorship Committee, and placed in schools and cared for by members of the School Committee. Early fund-raising efforts included a Chinese Tea in 1901, a 1902 benefit program of entertainment at the Art Institute of Chicago with singing and cartoons drawn by John T. McCutcheon, and a Victor Hugo Matinee in the Art Institute's Fullerton hall in 1905. Goodrich School at Taylor and Brown Streets in the Hull-House neighborhood was the recipient of the C.P.S.A.S.'s first artwork. Goodrich was intended to provide an example for donors and for other schools of suitable decorations. In 1895, a gift from honorary member, educator Francis W. Parker, funded the decoration of a room in the Normal School. As funding improved the C.P.S.A.S. expanded their collection of reproductions and gradually acquired original works of art.

The C.P.S.A.S. was incorporated as a non-profit agency in 1900. Its stated purpose was "to obtain and to place works of art in and about the public schools of Chicago, and the education and development in art of the children in said public schools." Volunteer staff consisted of a president, executive director, treasurer, and three vice-presidents. The C.P.S.A.S. was supported solely by membership dues and private donations. By 1917, pictures had been hung in over 1000 schools, mainly in less affluent neighborhoods of the city and the C.P.S.A.S. owned three loan collections of about thirty reproductions. In addition to their own loans, they arranged for the Art Institute of Chicago and the Chicago Society of Artists to loan artwork to schools for one year periods. In 1917, the C.P.S.A.S. also began placing Industrial Arts Cabinets filled with needlework, weaving, block prints, and other textile work in schools with manual arts training classes. Industrial Arts Cabinets were designed to dignify handiwork, cultivate appreciations of quality, and encourage self-expression.In the 1920s, the C.P.S.A.S. convinced the schools to set aside space in the front of new classrooms for the eye level display of artwork and to create a small gallery space within schools. They also began to purchase three paintings each year from the Chicago Artists' Exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago.

In 1920, the C.P.S.A.S. opened an office in the Fine Arts Building and in December 1941, they affiliated with the Art Institute of Chicago (AIC). In 1942, they moved into an office in the AIC where artwork could be displayed and offered wholesale to interested schools. PTA committees, graduating classes, or committees of students chosen by individual schools, often made the selection of pictures for their schools. The Executive Secretary, at that time the only paid employee, began visiting schools that had received or purchased reproductions to present lectures on the pictures they had chosen.By the late 1940s, an active art appreciation lecture program for schools had begun under the supervision of the AIC Department of Museum Education. A school that had at least ten pictures could apply for an "assembly" to be given on their paintings. The Museum Education department approved the credentials of lecturers, reviewed all written material, and was represented on the C.P.S.A.S. board. By the 1960s, a staff of professional lecturers visited two schools per day, bringing slides and reproductions to stimulate discussion. Free guides were provided for school groups visiting the Chicago Art Institute.

In 1964, at the recommendation of Barbara Wriston, Head of Museum Education and Mary Cole Emerson, director of Art for the Chicago Board of Education, the C.P.S.A.S. authorized the publication of an art appreciation curriculum for elementary and high school students. Written by C.P.S.A.S. lecturers and published in 1966, Art Form was designed for teachers with no art background or training. It included a teachers guide and filmstrips. In 1975, Art Form II, an updated version consisting of six filmstrips covering 24 lessons was introduced. Supplements on photography (1977), prints (1978), and public sculpture (1979) were also created. The units were designed to supply basic visual vocabulary, general knowledge of art and of individual artists, and exposure to specific works of art. Suggestions for classroom discussions, sketching exercises, art projects, research projects, and field trips were included. Paid lecturers made supplementary visits to classrooms that were using Art Form and in 1976, The Junior League began providing volunteer docents to extend the program to a greater number of schools. By 1978, over 100 Chicago public schools had bought the program and three full-time staff and seventeen volunteers were reaching almost 10,000 students. In the late 1970s, funds from the Mayor's Office of Employment and Training (CETA Title VI) allowed an increase in the number of paid lecturers.

In 1945, the C.P.S.A.S. began providing scholarships to various art schools, including the School of the AIC. The scholarships were offered to talented high school graduates whose families were unable to afford art school. A committee directed the scholarship program, screened applicants, and offered them guidance once they were enrolled. Students were given the opportunity to exhibit their work at annual Scholarship Teas where they could meet with board members and donors. In 1968, scholarships to the Young Artists Studios (later The Studios) Saturday program at the AIC began to be offered to young artists selected by visiting classroom lecturers.Student ages 7 -13 and high school students were given the opportunity to explore the visual arts in a fifteen week program that offered drawing, painting, clay modeling sculpture, and design classes.

Funding came primarily through memberships and private, corporate, and foundation donations. Affiliations were several clubs aided in the purchase of reproductions in the early years. Later, fundraising events were often held in members' homes. In 1950, C.P.S.A.S. held an auction of donated fine art and antiques. This became an annual event and a major source of funding. In the 1980s, the auction, held at Chicago's Merchandise Mart, became a gala event that included cocktails, dinner, awards presentations, celebrity-designed tables, and both a silent and a live auction. The Society also held other fundraising events including "Heirloom Discovery Day" in which experts from the Sotheby Parke Bernet auction house in New York did appraisals of art and antiques brought in by C.P.S.A.S. members and donors.

In November 1982, the C.P.S.A.S. changed its name to Art Resources in Teaching (A.R.T.). It continued to give lectures, slide presentations to schools, sponsor field trips to the Art Institute of Chicago, and offer scholarships.

This collection documents the activities and administration of the Chicago Public School Art Society (later Art Resources in Teaching) and its efforts to support art appreciation in the Chicago Public Schools. The material covers the period from the founding of the society in 1894 until 1994. The largest proportion of material dates from approximately 1945-1991 and pertains to fund-raising events, especially the annual Collector's Sales and Auction, financial records, and the creation and promotion of Art Form materials. Minutes of early meetings, incorporation papers, by-laws, scrapbooks, catalogs of artwork, and several folders of historical materials assembled by the C.P.S.A.S. document the founding years.

The collection is divided into three series, each with several sub-series. The Administration series illustrates the organization and growth of the staff and programs of the society, including its relationship with the Art Institute of Chicago. It contains minutes of board meetings, papers from several former presidents, personnel information, annual reports, and publicity and publications. The Finances series documents the fund-raising activities of the C.P.S.A.S. It includes financial records, fund-raising materials, and material relating to scholarship contributions and recipients. It also includes material on the Collector's Sales and Auctions that were held from 1950 onwards. The Program series illustrates activities with the public schools including the loan and sale of artwork, lectures, field trips, exhibits and events related to scholarship students, and production materials and orders for Art Form, Art Form II, and the Photography, Print, and Sculpture supplements. Included are the filmstrips and guide to the first Art Form program.

Material is arranged chronologically, with the exception of the Financial Records sub-series, which is grouped by type of material and arranged chronologically within those groups. The materials in this collection include: meeting minutes, correspondence, memoranda, reports, published material, speeches, newspaper clippings, statistics, invoices, incorporation papers and by-laws, audits, ledgers, children's artwork, invitations, announcements, insurance policies, photographs, slides, glass slides, negatives, a taped radio interview, and one copy of Art Form including filmstrips. Oversize files and some media materials are marked with an asterisk[*].

Art Resources in Teaching records, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Illinois at Chicago

Subseries D (Scholarships) of Series II (Finances) is restricted.

In January 8, 1976, the Board of Directors of A.R.T. voted to establish an official archive for their records at the University of Illinois at Chicago. A ceremony was held at the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum to commemorate the decision. Additions to the collection were made in 1976, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1992, and 1995.

  • Names
    • Art Resources in Teaching. -- Archives
    • Hull-House (Chicago, Ill.).
  • Subject
    • Art--Scholarships, fellowships, etc.
    • Art--Study and teaching (Elementary).
    • Chicago Community Organizations.
  • Geographic CoverageIllinois--Chicago.