UMassD Swain School of Design 1903 - 1919
1903 - 1919
By 1901 the endowment limited the school’s operation, so it closed temporarily. It was felt that its general curriculum competed with the city’s public school system; many suggested Swain School find a niche not covered by other institutions within the city.
Clay modeling class
It reopened in 1903 as a school of design with the initial expectation that graduates could find jobs in the local textile mills. In 1907 “Designing for Industry” was introduced, along with night and Saturday classes. In 1911the school established a curriculum in general art, design, manual arts for teachers, and architecture.
The following subjects are listed in the 1911 catalogue as being taught in both day and evening classes, "except those marked D which are taught only in day classes and those marked E are only taught in the evening classes:"
Elementary design and composition
General free hand drawing
Modeling in clay and wax
Pottery-casting and plaster carving
Metal Work ( hammered copper, brass, etc.)
Drawing from cast in all mediums
Elements of Perspective
Principles of illustration
(E) Drawing from life
(D) Oil painting-Still life and portrait
(D) Water Color-Still life and portrait
(D) Pictorial composition
History of art
Portrait Class, around 1912 Swain School of Design
World War I affected attendance at the school, but it was the influenza epidemic of 1917 which caused classes to be interrupted. There was not sufficient student work the following year for an exhibition (1919), but after the war, attendance began to increase.
A $10 prize was offered to students during the teens and the 20s for the best design for the cover of the catalogue.
Click on the thumbnails for a larger image.