Atlanta College of Art

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Atlanta College of Art
Atlanta College of Art Logo.png
Active 1905 (1905)–2006 (2006)
Location Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Affiliations Woodruff Arts Center
Atlanta College of Art Sign at the Woodruff Arts Center
Atlanta College of Art Print Making Studio Spring of 2006.
Logo of the Atlanta College of Art

The Atlanta College of Art (ACA) was a private four-year art college located in Atlanta, Georgia.[1] Founded in 1905, it was the oldest art college in the Southeast when it was absorbed by Savannah College of Art and Design in 2006.[2]


In 1905, the Atlanta Art Association helped establish an art college and museum that would later become the Atlanta College of Art and the High Museum of Art, respectively.[1] ACA was the first non-profit college of visual art in the Southeastern United States.[citation needed] In 1963, the college was incorporated into the Woodruff Arts Center, a visual and performing arts center in Atlanta named for its primary benefactor Robert W. Woodruff.[1]

In August 2005, the boards of trustees of the Woodruff Arts Center and the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) formally approved the merger of ACA and SCAD. In June 2006, the two institutions combined operations at SCAD's Atlanta location. The merger was widely contested by many ACA students, faculty and members of the Atlanta arts community.[3]


The college was located on Peachtree Street in Midtown Atlanta, a business district and home of the arts and culture in metropolitan Atlanta. The college shared a building with two fellow Woodruff Arts Center members: the Alliance Theater and the Atlanta Symphony Hall.[3] In 2002, the High Museum of Art announced an expansion plan for the museum that included a new dormitory for the college. Italian architect Renzo Piano was hired for the project.[4] SCAD acquired this dormitory in its merger with ACA and named it "ACA Residence Hall" in honor of the college.[5]

Organization and administration[edit]

As an original and founding member of Atlanta's Woodruff Arts Center, the Atlanta College of Art was adjoined with the High Museum of Art, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Alliance Theatre.

Academic profile[edit]

The college offered studies in the mediums of drawing, painting, printmaking, photograghy, sculpture, digital art, video and graphic design.

Community Programming[edit]

The school offered programming to the greater Atlanta community through the Georgia Artists Registry, ACA Gallery shows, community education classes for adults, and summer programs in the arts for children and teens.

Noted people[edit]

For a more comprehensive list, see Category:Atlanta College of Art alumni.

Notable alumni of the Atlanta College of Art include Kara Walker, Radcliffe Bailey,[6] Jack Daws, Roe Ethridge, Courtney Adams, and Ty Pennington.


  1. ^ a b c Robin Fay (2013). "Atlanta College of Art". New Georgia Encyclopedia. 
  2. ^ Lilly Lampe (2014). "It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times: Art Education Reaches an Apex in the American South". Art Papers. Retrieved 2015-09-26. 
  3. ^ a b Scott Henry (3 August 2005). "Hostile Takeover". Creative Loafing. 
  4. ^ Julie V. Iovine (23 May 2002). "A New Broom Sweeps a Meier Design Clean". New York Times. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Hilarie M. Sheets (30 June 2011). "In the Picture: Atlanta, Africa and the Past". New York Times. 

Coordinates: 33°47′21.97″N 84°23′10.28″W / 33.7894361°N 84.3861889°W / 33.7894361; -84.3861889