History and Legacy

The Art Department The Department of Art offers undergraduate courses leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History; the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Ceramics, Design, Electronic Studio, Fashion […]

The Art Department
The Department of Art offers undergraduate courses leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History; the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Ceramics, Design, Electronic Studio, Fashion Design, Interior Design, Painting, Photography / Printmaking, Sculpture. The Department also offers graduate art studio courses that lead to a Master of Fine Arts degree. The Howard University Department of Art is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

The Legacy…
The history of arts education at Howard University begins as early as 1871 when John A. Cole, then the financial agent for the University, declared in his report to the Board of Trustees that “music, drawing and other accomplishments should be within the reach of all.” The fact that this principle was placed in the record by its budget officer before the University celebrated its tenth birthday is highly significant for it documents the importance of the arts and the acknowledgement of the necessity for funding arts education early on in the development of the institution. Throughout the years that followed, the departments which were later incorporated into an autonomous arts unit were diligent in their service to the University, to academe and to the community. They provided a haven for artist-scholars who were encouraged to nurture their talents while sustaining themselves and their families; prepared thousands of gifted students for careers in the arts; and, enriched the lives of thousands more by guiding them in the exploration of the products of man’s creative impulses.

Today, the Division of Fine Arts (formerly the College of Fine Arts) occupies Childers Hall, a four-level structure which houses the Gallery of Art, Ira Aldridge Theater, a recital hall, a band/orchestra rehearsal facility and a network of classrooms, art studios, dressing rooms, offices and sixty music practice studios. The Sculpture Annex is within easy walking distance of the main building. The Division is comprised of the Department of Art, the Department of Theatre Arts, the Department of Music, the Office of University Choirs and Bands, and the Howard University Dance Ensemble, a part of the dance unit. Each of the instructional components is affiliated with the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification and accredited by the appropriate professional association. The major assets of the Division are a prestigious history; a corps of competent, energetic faculty members who are firmly committed to teaching, learning, research and creativity; talented students; And distinguished alumni, many of whom are internationally recognized for their achievements in the arts.