Famous Artists School
Famous Artists School has offered correspondence courses in art since it was founded in 1948 in Westport, Connecticut, U.S.A. The idea was conceived by members of the New York Society of Illustrators, but due to the society's legal status, could not be operated by it. Society member Albert Dorne led the initiative to set up a separate entity, and recruited the support of Norman Rockwell, who was also a society member. For the founding faculty, Dorne recruited John Atherton, Austin Briggs, Stevan Dohanos, Robert Fawcett, Peter Helck, Fred Ludekens, Al Parker, Norman Rockwell, Ben Stahl, Harold von Schmidt and Jon Whitcomb. All were making more than US$ 50,000 a year at the time, roughly equivalent to US $425,000 in 2006. Later faculty included Cowboy Artist Harvey W. Johnson and cartoonists Roger Vernon, Al Capp, Milt Caniff and Rube Goldberg. Advisory faculty for the school later included Stuart Davis, Ben Shahn, Fletcher Martin, Ernest Fiene, Arnold Blanch and Doris Lee.
Original 1948 courses
The Painting and Illustration & Design courses, which are still offered, consisted of 24 lessons, with a new lesson mailed to the student upon completion of the previous lesson. When a student completed and returned the assignment, it was critiqued by a professional artist who sent suggestions back to the student. The original 1948 price for the two-year course was $300, payable in monthly installments, plus an estimated $11.55 for basic oil painting supplies.
In February 2012, Famous Artists School introduced Foundations Creative Art Course, the online version of its classic art course. Enrolled students can access the text materials of the course and assignments on line as well as receiving printed textbooks. Because the school believes strongly in the importance of instructors working with actual student artwork (as opposed to scanned and emailed art), students will still send their assignment artwork by mail to the School for critiquing and evaluation by artist/instructors. This personal attention is the heart of the course.
"Painting Master Creative Art Course" was introduced in late 2012. "Painting Master" is a complete course in painting, beginning with the "Foundations" course covering the basics followed by advanced painting techniques. "Painting Master" is also online and in printed textbooks so students can access their course in any way they like. "Painting Master" consists of a total of four textbooks and 24 lessons/evaluations.
Both "Foundations" and "Painting Master" can be accessed via arthomestudy.com.
"Illustration & Design Master Creative Art Course" and "Famous Artist Cartooning Course, Book 1." are also available at arthomestudy.com.
- ASIFA-Hollywood Animation Archive - Chad's Design For Television (1960)
- CHS - The Connecticut Historical Society - Famous Artists School
- Marling, Karal Ann. "Hyphenated Culture: Painting by Numbers in the New Age of Leisure" (Relevant information more than halfway down the page)