IN October, 1928, the Carnegie Corporation granted to the Board of Regents the sum of $20,000 annually for a period of five years for the purpose of promoting the teaching of the history of the fine arts and of stimulating creative work in them. As a result of this gift the Regents, in January, 1929, created the Division of Fine Arts and appointed Professor John Garrett Winter as Director, to administer the funds and to organize projects along lines intended by the grant. The director was made responsible to the President and the Board of Regents.
In 1931, when the College of Architecture was separated from the College of Engineering and was established as an independent unit, the definition of the Division was restated by the Regents and was made to include specifically the College of Architecture, the Department of Fine Arts (in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts), the Department of Landscape Design (also, at that time, in the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, but now in the College of Architecture and Design), the courses in play production (a part of the Department of Speech and General Linguistics in the Literary College), and the courses in creative art, which were under the immediate supervision of the director. The purpose of the Division was further defined as a grouping of the various units mentioned to co-ordinate various allied activities and to develop the general field of the fine arts along consistent, progressive, and unconflicting lines. This grouping did not, however, affect the general independence and budgetary provisions of the constituent units insofar as these had been specifically established prior to the creation of the Division of Fine Arts.
When advanced and graduate work in Islamic art was introduced by Mehmet Aga-Oglu and in Far Eastern art by Benjamin March in 1933, it was placed in the immediate charge of the director, and all graduate courses in the fine arts and all advanced degrees were put under the control and direction of the Division of Fine Arts. In May, 1936, the name Division of Fine Arts was changed by the Regents to Institute of Fine Arts, but no change was made in its organization.
In addition to developing the general program of correlating various activities and of establishing courses leading to advanced degrees, the Institute of Fine Arts has improved the facilities for teaching the history of art by assembling a large collection of prints and photographs, by equipping a study room as a special fine arts reference library, by adding to the material in the General Library, by organizing advanced instruction in Islamic and Far Eastern art, by introducing work in creative sculpture, and by providing exhibitions of paintings, sculpture, textiles, and etchings.
After the Carnegie grant expired, the University, in accordance with the terms of the gift, carried on the work that had been begun, but the budget was greatly reduced, and certain projects, especially creative work in painting, awaited development. The details of the various activities of the Institute can be found in the annual reports to the President (P.R., 1928-40). An enterprise of major importance since 1934 has been the publication by the Institute of Ars Islamica, a semiannual journal issued by the Research Seminary in Islamic Art, from special funds at the disposal of the University.
Mr. March died on December 13, 1934. Page 1142In the University he found the type of work in teaching and research for which he was ideally fitted, and his enthusiasm and happiness in it continued unabated to the end. In September, 1935, James Marshall Plumer was appointed Lecturer on Far-Eastern Art in the Division of Fine Arts, and Dr. Aga-Oglu's title was changed from Freer Fellow and Lecturer on Oriental Art to Associate Professor of the History of Islamic Art. Aga-Oglu left in 1938 and was replaced by Richard Ettinghausen. Plumer's courses, which originally were taught in the University Museums Building, have been given in Alumni Memorial Hall since 1939. Although he had been ill for several months, the death of Associate Professor Bruce M. Donaldson early in 1940 came as a shock to his colleagues in the Department of Fine Arts. Harold E. Wethey was appointed Associate Professor of Fine Arts and Chairman of the Department of Fine Arts in his place (see Part III: The Department of Fine Arts).
In addition to the members of the several units and departments who are directly responsible to their respective departmental officers and deans, the staff of the Institute of Fine Arts in 1940 comprised the following persons: Richard Ettinghausen, Associate Professor of the History of Islamic Art (since 1938), Avard T. Fairbanks, Associate Professor of Sculpture (since 1929), Helen B. Hall, Curator (since 1930), Helen Ladd, Assistant Curator (since 1939), Dorothy March Goss, Assistant (since 1935), James M. Plumer, Lecturer on Far Eastern Art (since 1935), and John G. Winter, Director (since 1929).