Cleveland Institute of Art

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Cleveland Institute of Art
Cleveland Institute of Art logo.png
Established 1882
Type Private
President Grafton J. Nunes
Academic staff
50 Full-time faculty, 40 adjunct faculty (2012-13)
Undergraduates 568 (figures from Spring 2014)
Location Cleveland, OH
Campus Urban
Frederick Gottwald taught at the Western Reserve School of Design for Women, and it has been said that he "contributed more than any other person to Cleveland's artistic development".[1]
Cleveland Institute of Art, c. 1900.

The Cleveland Institute of Art, previously Cleveland School of Art, located in University Circle, Cleveland, Ohio, is one of the nation’s leading independent colleges of art and design.[2]


The college was founded in 1882 as the Western Reserve School of Design for Women. Having become a co-educational school, it was renamed the Cleveland School of Art in 1892. After unsuccessful attempts to merge the school with Western Reserve University, the school became independent. In the fall of 1905, the first classes were held in a newly constructed building at the corner of Magnolia Drive and Juniper Road in Cleveland's University Circle. Beginning in 1917, the school offered classes for children and adults on weekends and in the summer.[3]

The school participated in the WPA Federal Art Project during the Great Depression (1930s). Medical drawing and mapmaking were added to the curriculum during World War II (1939-1945).[3] The school began offering a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1947[citation needed] and it became the Cleveland Institute of Art the following year, in 1948. The college gradually incorporated more academic courses into the curriculum, while retaining its key objective to offer practical training.[3]

In 1956 the school moved to a new building on East Boulevard that it would name for George Gund II, who served as the college's board president and generous patron from 1942-1966. In 1981 the college acquired the former Euclid Avenue assembly plant which was built by Ford in 1914-1915 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. Cleveland Institute of Art named the building the Joseph McCullough Center For Visual Arts following remodeling.[3]

In early 2013, CIA announced it would sell its East Boulevard building to the Cleveland Museum of Art and Case Western Reserve University.[4] In 2015, the college unified its operations at the Euclid Avenue site, where it completed construction of an 80,000-square-foot building adjoined to the McCullough Center on the west, and also named for George Gund II.

This new George Gund Building houses: the Peter B. Lewis Theater, the new home of CIA’s year-round, nationally acclaimed Cinematheque film program; the Reinberger Gallery for public exhibitions; CIA’s Industrial Design, Interior Architecture, Graphic Design, Illustration, Biomedical Art, Animation, and Game Design programs; the Stone-Flower Café; American Greetings Welcome Center; the Admissions and Financial Aid offices; and several administrative operations. The new building has been designed to look crisp and contemporary without detracting from the historic McCullough building next door. This campus unification fully connects CIA to the new Uptown development of retail, restaurants, and residential construction anchored by CIA to the east and the new home of the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland to the west. Uptown Phase II, at the corner of Euclid Avenue and Ford Drive, includes CIA’s new freshmen residence hall that opened in August 2014.[5]


Bachelor of Fine Arts[edit]

It offers Bachelor of Fine Arts degree programs for the following majors:[2]

The Institute offers Study Abroad Programs, Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design (AICAD) Mobility Programs, Internships, and AICAD New York Studio Residency Programs. Services for students include Career Services, Center for Writing and Learning Support.[2]


Other programs include:[2]

  • Continuing Education
  • Pre-College Programs
  • Summer Workshops
  • Young Artist Programs


The school is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (NCA) and the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).[2]


Cleveland Institute of Art Is a founding member of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD).[2]

In 2013, 2014, and 2015, Cleveland Institute of Art was named a Best Midwestern College by the Princeton Review. In 2015 CIA was the only college of art and design to achieve this designation. Princeton Review is an education services company widely known for its test preparation programs and college and graduate school guides.

In 2015, Money magazine named Cleveland Institute of Art to its "Best Colleges for your Money" ranking. [6]


  • Cleveland Cinematheque, a nationally recognized alternative film theater, is part of Cleveland Institute of Art.
  • The new George Gund Building, is adjoined to the historic Joseph McCullough Center for the Visual Arts, both at 11610 Euclid Avenue.
  • Reinberger Gallery offers free rotating art exhibits, events and lectures. Visiting artists often present slide lectures and symposia. The gallery is closed on Sundays.
  • CIA's Uptown Residence Hall houses some 130 first-year students in the Uptown Development on Euclid Avenue.

Notable professors and students[edit]


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°30′37.7″N 81°36′8.91″W / 41.510472°N 81.6024750°W / 41.510472; -81.6024750