Archives & Special Collections
Swain School of Design 1940-1949
Photography was added in the late 1930s, and continued to remain a popular offering throughout the 1940s as an evening extension course. The two main courses of study for day students were still Commercial Art and Fashion Illustration; in some years “Show Card Writing” and “Sign Painting” was offered, as well as “Theory and Use of Color.” The evening division offered four-year certificate programs in Oil Painting, Watercolor, Fashion Illustration and Commercial Art. In 1939 fees were $60 per year for day and $30 per year for evening attendance. In 1949, by contrast, the cost for the day division was $90 and the evening, still $30.
Allen Dale Currier retired as director in 1943 and Albert N. Anderson took over as director, a position he held until 1951.
World War II took its toll on the school as it did on other educational institutions. Lack of qualified instructors meant the teaching loads of those left behind were stretched. Students suffered, since the curriculum was not as diversified, and school finances were stretched because enrollment was down. After the war, in 1945, Swain was able to take advantage of increased enrollment through the G.I. Bill.
On March 13, 1948 the original Swain homestead suffered a serious fire, and was subsequently demolished. The adjoining Crapo Gallery survived intact, and in October 1948 construction began on an office and studio addition to replace the original building.