School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts
|135 full- and part-time |
Professional Arts Consortium
The School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University (Museum School, SMFA at Tufts, or SMFA; formerly the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston) is the art school of Tufts University, a private research university in Boston, Massachusetts. It offers undergraduate and graduate degrees dedicated to the visual arts. It is affiliated with the Museum of Fine Arts. SMFA is also a member of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD), a consortium of several dozen leading art schools in the United States.
From 1876 to 1909, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, was housed in the basement of the original Museum building in Copley Square. When the Museum moved to Huntington Avenue in 1909, the School moved into a separate, temporary structure to the west of the main building. The permanent building, designed by Guy Lowell, was completed in 1927. The 45,000-square-foot (4,200 m2) red brick building provided improved classroom, studio and library facilities. In 1945 the Museum School and Tufts College collaborated to develop their first joint degree teacher training granting program. The creation of additional programs between the two institutions followed soon after.
In 1987, a newly renovated and expanded school building, designed by architect Graham Gund, more than doubled the size of the existing structure and provided an auditorium, enlarged library, expanded studios and classrooms, a spacious new entrance, cafeteria, and increased gallery and exhibition spaces. Gund's expansion included the central atrium, known as the Katherine Lane Weems Atrium, that connects the two buildings.
In December 2015 it was announced that the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (SMFA) would become a part of Tufts University and on June 30, 2016 the integration was completed.
The school does not have a foundations program, but it does require all new students to take a freshman seminar. Encouraged to build an individual program of interdisciplinary study, students are not asked to declare a major, but by choosing among in-depth courses in a dozen disciplines, students are free to concentrate in a medium of their choice.
One of the unique attributes of SMFA is that students are required to participate in a "Review Board" which is a review of all of the art work that a student has done during the semester. Review Boards are led by two faculty members, one of whom is the students' choice, and two fellow students. There are many opportunities for students to exhibit their artwork at both the main building and the Mission Hill building.
Opportunities to exhibit works include the annual Art Sale and the juried "Student Annual Exhibition". Various galleries and spaces that are available to students around the school buildings include Bag Gallery, Hallway Gallery, Bathroom Gallery, Underground Gallery, as well as the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
The school's main campus is adjacent to and just to the west of the Museum of Fine Arts. Most classroom space is located there, as well as the Cafe des Arts, the library, the School's store and the Grossman Gallery. The Mission Hill building, located about a quarter mile from the main building, recently has been renovated and includes studio spaces for graduate and post-baccalaureate students as well as classrooms, workshops, and the Writing Center.
Noted artists affiliated with the school
- Frederick Warren Allen, Sculptor, Teacher for 50 years, 30 as Head of Sculpture, 1907-1954, Emeritus
- Marion Boyd Allen, painter. Attended 1902–09
- David Aronson, painter, sculptor; Emeritus Professor of Art, Boston University
- David Armstrong, photographer
- Art School Cheerleaders, performance art troupe
- Will Barnet, painter/printmaker. Attended 1928–1930
- Kaiju Big Battel, performance art troupe
- Carol Beckwith, photographer, author, and artist
- Ture Bengtz, painter/printmaker, teacher
- David Buckley,MFA 1977,Painter/former musician with the BARRACUDAS lives in London
- Frank Weston Benson, painter. Diploma, 1883
- Jan Brett, illustrator. Attended 1969–70
- Margaret Fitzhugh Browne, painter
- Lisa Bufano, performance artist
- Al Capp, cartoonist (Li'l Abner), attended briefly before having to leave for non-payment of tuition
- Marie Cosindas, photographer. Attended 1947–50 and 1955–56
- Holly Coulis, painter. M.F.A., 1998
- Allan Rohan Crite, painter. Diploma, 1936
- Frank Dengler, sculptor. Instructor c. 1877
- Jim Dine, painter/printmaker. Attended 1950–53 and 1955–58
- Adio diBiccari, Sculptor
- Philip-Lorca diCorcia, photographer
- Omer Fast, video artist. BFA, 1995
- Zach Feuer, art dealer. BFA 1996–2000
- Esther Geller, painter, taught with Karl Zerbe 1943-44
- Kahlil Gibran, painter/sculptor. Attended 1940–43
- Nan Goldin, photographer. Diploma, 1977; Fifth Year Certificate, 1978
- Charles Grafly, sculptor, Head of modeling, 1917 to 1929
- William Snelling Hadaway, attended 1890s
- Philip Leslie Hale, painter. Attended 1883. Instructor 1893 to 1931.
- Leslie Hall (2000–2003), frontwoman for Leslie and the Ly's
- William Melton Halsey, painter/sculptor, 1935-1939, recipient of William Paige Fellowship
- Doc Hammer (briefly attended), painter
- Juliana Hatfield, musician, 2012
- Todd Hido, photographer
- Susan Howe (graduated 1961) poet, scholar, essayist and critic
- Joan Jonas, performance artist. Attended 1958–61
- Tom Jung, graphic designer and illustrator
- Lois Mailou Jones, painter. Diploma, 1927
- Ellsworth Kelly, painter/sculptor/printmaker. Diploma, 1948
- Eleanor de Laittre, artist
- Arnold Borisovich Lakhovsky, painter/teacher
- Mira Lehr, painter
- Steven Lisberger, director, graduated 1974
- May Hallowell Loud, painter. Attended 1879–83
- David Lynch, filmmaker. Attended 1964–65
- F. Luis Mora, artist and illustrator
- Mark Morrisroe, photographer
- Laurel Nakadate, video artist and photographer
- William McGregor Paxton, painter. Instructor from 1906 to 1913.
- Sally Pierone, artist. Attended 1940–1942
- Stacy Poitras, chainsaw sculptor 1985–88
- Larry Poons, painter. Attended 1957–58
- Bela Lyon Pratt, sculptor, Head of modeling, 1893 to 1917
- Liz Prince (2002–2007), comic book artist, Ignatz Award winner
- Sarah Gooll Putnam (1851-1912), painter, enrolled in 1877
- Richard Scarry, illustrator. Diploma, 1942
- Doug and Mike Starn photographers and performance artists. Diploma, 1984; Fifth Year Certificate, 1985
- Frank Stout, painter, 1949
- Tom Sutton, illustrator and comic book artist
- Edmund Tarbell, painter. Diploma, 1882
- Wallace Tripp, illustrator. Attended 1960, 1964
- Cy Twombly, painter/sculptor/printmaker. Diploma, 1949
- John A. Wilson, sculptor
- Peter Wolf, painter, singer
- Levni Yilmaz, animator and cartoonist
- Karl Zerbe, painter, head of Department of Painting 1937-1955
- Malcolm Travis, video artist and musician. Attended 1974-1978
- Chantal Zakari, book artist and graphic designer; faculty.
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