Jul 22, 2019  
2018-2019 University Catalogue 
2018-2019 University Catalogue [Archived Catalogue]

College of Art, Media & Design

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Joe Rapone, Acting Dean


Mission Statement

In the College of Art, Media and Design, rigorous training and creative exploration occur within a dynamic, participatory studio environment. Through critical thinking, research and collaboration, students develop their own distinct approach to all forms of making. Emphasizing both conceptual and perceptual proficiencies, we are committed to the power of self-definition unfolding within a rich and diverse social setting. Our programs prepare students for productive professional lives and engaged citizenship by revealing who they are now and defining who they can become.

The fundamental attributes of tomorrow’s creative practitioner:

  • An acute eye for the principles of design
  • The ability to communicate effectively through varied media
  • An empathy for the diversity and challenges of the human experience
  • A commitment to integrity and excellence
  • A dedication to making a positive, constructive contribution to a better world
  • A love for individual expression

Introduction to the College

The College of Art, Media, and Design is comprised of undergraduate and graduate programs in Design, Visual Arts, and Film. The College’s curricula focus on different forms of specialized knowledge and practice that enable artists and designers to create particular kinds of expressive artifacts. Art, media, and design are modes of problem solving, of understanding and analyzing phenomena, and of advancing arguments or developing insights. These programs teach not only skills and discipline-specific knowledge, but also a way of thinking, understanding, and knowing.

In addition to educating students and preparing them for professional success and leadership in their fields, the College produces artists and designers who have the capacity to be creatively self-sustaining and self-critical. Graduates from these programs are able to generate and evaluate new challenges for themselves, and are willing to take chances, to fail, and to start over again. These values and capabilities enable our graduates to succeed as artists and to become engaged, intelligent, creative individuals and citizens.

Common Learning Outcomes

  • A coherent critical position with regard to demonstrating a detailed awareness and understanding of key historical and contemporary debates and contexts in art, design, and film.
  • A sustained and well-developed research methodology that is critically engaged with their specialist field(s) of study.
  • The integration of concepts, processes, and skills in order to realize, select, and present their intentions as a coherent body of work.
  • Independence in planning and organizing their own learning, and relating to all aspects of their work through a process of analysis, reflection, and self-evaluation.
  • The ability to deploy a wide range of transferable skills, including visual and verbal communication, time-management, planning, initiative, and problem solving, to equip them for professional practice, further study, or employment.

History of the College

The Pennsylvania Museum and the School of Industrial Art was formed in 1876 in in order to take advantage of the Centennial International Exposition held in Philadelphia that year. Comprised of a museum (now the Philadelphia Museum of Art) and a school  (now the College of Art, Media and Design), its mission was to provide training in the industrial arts and exhibit well-designed manufactured goods.  In 1938 the Pennsylvania Museum and School of Industrial Art became the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art, and was authorized to grant academic degrees in 1940. In 1949 its name was changed to the Philadelphia Museum School of Art, which received accreditation in 1959, and became the Philadelphia Museum College of Art. In 1964 it separated from the Philadelphia Museum of Art and became the Philadelphia College of Art (PCA), which evolved into the  College of Art and Design (CAD).  In 2011, CAD was joined with the College of Media and Communication (CMAC - founded in 1996) to form the College of Art, Media and Design.

Exhibition Program

The Exhibition Program showcases major contemporary exhibitions related to the University’s diverse academic curricula in design, crafts, and the fine arts.

Over the years, the Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery, the University’s primary exhibition space, has attracted national and international artists to the campus. Artists who have had one-person exhibitions in the gallery include Vito Acconci, Richard Amsel, Siah Armajani, Alice Aycock, Willie Cole, Gregory Crewdsen, Robert Crumb, Rosalyn Drexler, John Duff, Richard Fleishner, April Gornik, Lois Greenfield, Alex Grey, John Hejduk, James Hyde, Daniel Jackson, Maira Kalman, Barbara Kasten, Mel Kendrick, Jon Kessler, Donald Lipski, Salvatore Meo, Henry Moore, Ree Morton, Robert Motherwell, Isamu Noguchi, Thomas Nozkowski, Jack Pierson, Irving Penn, Anne and Patrick Poirer, Quay Brothers, Yvonne Rainer, Judith Shea, Pat Steir, Lenore Tawney, Paul Thek, George Trakas, and Lebbeus Woods. In addition, the gallery has presented notable historic exhibitions of design: Philippe Apeloig, Geoffrey Beene, Alexei Brodovich, Czech Cubism, Charles Eames, Dan Friedman, Frogdesign, Milton Glaser, Keith Goddard, Daniel Jackson, Matthew Liebowitz, Memphis, Milano, and Samuel Yellin.

The Dorrance Hamilton Hall Galleries, Arronson Gallery, Solmssen Court Gallery, President’s Gallery and the Window on Broad are additional exhibition spaces that furnish opportunities for faculty, alumni, students, and regional talents. Nearly every department also launches its own series of exhibits.

The work of emerging and established artists are exhibited in galleries throughout the University, including the Richard C. von Hess Illustration Gallery; the Photography program’s Sol Mednick Gallery and Gallery 1401; Design, Art + Technology  and Game Art programs’ Gallery 1201;  Art + Design Education’s Special Gifts Gallery; Graduate Gallery 224; and the Fine Arts Galleries: Gallery 817, the Printmaking/Book Arts Gallery 633, and the Sculpture Gallery. Student-run invitational and juried exhibitions in Gallery One give students the experience of curating and installing shows. Museum Exhibition Planning and Design MFA students gain experience and skills from their practical work in the galleries. Highlights of the year are the Annual Student Show - a featured Commencement event - and the Senior Students and Master of Fine Arts exhibitions.

Borowsky Center for Publication Arts

The Borowsky Center for Publication Arts is a unique educational arm of the University providing students, staff, faculty, and visiting artists a resource to explore the creative potential inherent in the offset lithographic printing medium. The Center enables qualified users to experience the complete graphic arts process from initial conceptualization through production, while maintaining the highest printing standards. The Center is equipped with a Heidelberg Kors 19 x 25 offset press, platemaking and stripping facilities. Staffed with a master printer and student assistants, the Borowsky Center produces a wide variety of printed material including posters, announcements, limited edition prints and artists’ books.

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