Layton School of Art

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The Layton School of Art was a post-secondary school located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Originally affiliated with the Layton Art Gallery, it was established by Charlotte Partridge and Miriam Frink in September 1920[1] in the basement of the Layton Art Gallery. It closed as a result of financial insolvency in 1974.[2] At its closure, the school was regarded as one of the top five art schools in the United States[citation needed] and enjoyed a historical reputation for innovative methods in art education[citation needed].

A new campus was constructed on the east side of Milwaukee in 1951 at 1362 North Prospect Avenue. This building was razed as part of the construction Park East Freeway in 1970 and the school then moved to a new location at 4650 North Port Washington Road.[3]

Viewed by some[who?] as one of the most progressive art schools in the country, Layton made design the core of its curriculum and pioneered several movements now considered standard practice in art education. It was the first professional art school to require a year of foundation courses prior to specialization. One of these foundation courses was appreciation of literature, thereby exposing students to different means of artistic expression. It abolished an old taboo by conducting its life drawing (nude) classes with male and female students together. Courses were arranged to allow students exposure to the methods and viewpoints of different instructors.

Notable members[edit]

Over the years, Layton faculty included:

Over the years, Layton students included:

Daniel Dingler


  1. ^ 'Plan to Teach Industrial Art, The Milwaukee Journal (Milwaukee, WI), September 19, 1920, A9
  2. ^ 'Layton School: Its Birth, Its Life and the Twilight, The Milwaukee Journal (Milwaukee, WI), March 10, 1974
  3. ^ a b c d 'Miss Partridge, Art Leader, Dies, The Milwaukee Journal (Milwaukee, WI), February 26, 1975
  4. ^ 'Brink was crucial to Milwaukee's visual-arts scene, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Milwaukee, WI), April 8, 2002, 5B
  5. ^ 'Paul Faulkner-Was NFA art teacher, The Day (New London, Connecticut), January 6, 1997, B4
  6. ^


  • Famous Wisconsin Artists and Architects, By Hannah Heidi Levy, Badger Books Inc., 2004