UMassD Swain School of Design 1930 - 1939

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Commercial art class,c. 1932 
Commercial art class, c. 1932

In 1929, in addition to general art, design, drawing and painting, course offerings emphasized the fine crafts – jewelry making, silversmithing, ceramics, and textile design.

The curriculum included one course in the growing field of commercial art – commercial illustration. By the very next year, as seen in the 1930 catalogue, it is apparent that the emphasis changed rather dramatically to the commercial arts. Courses included commercial illustration, newspaper and magazine drawing, fashion and costume design, advertising layout, lettering and design, cartooning and caricature, and air brush drawing, as well as the basic drawing and painting courses. This no doubt corresponded to the hiring of Allen Dale Currier as director in 1930. Active in the field of advertising, Currier was an accomplished illustrator for Boston newspapers and served as director of Alandale Studios of Boston for many years. Currier was director of Swain from 1930 to 1943.

Life drawing class in Crapo Gallery, c.1933
Life drawing class in Crapo Gallery, c. 1933. Regular students were charged a $3.00 annual fee to help pay for models.


Saturday morning children's class, c.1932Saturday morning children’s classes were a mainstay at Swain for many years. Classes began at 9:30 am and continued until 11:45. They were offered to grade school children, and the age limit was 12. There were also adult classes in various commercial and fine artsubjects on Saturday mornings. The full course of subjects was offered at night to adults, 16 years of age and older, to accommodate students who held jobs during the day.




Saturday morning children’s class, c. 1932


Catalogue covers
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Swain catalogue cover 1932-19331932-1933 Swain catalogue cover 1933-19341933-1934 Swain catalogue cover 1934-19351934-1935 Swain catalogue cover 1935-19361935-1936 Swain catalogue cover 1936-19371936-1937


Swain catalogue cover 1937-19381937-1938 Swain catalogue cover 1938-19391938-1939