History

Since the founding of the University of Illinois in 1867, art and design, the  performing arts, and environmental design have played an integral role in advancing its mission to create knowledge, prepare students to affect the world, and use their knowledge to address critical societal needs. Many parts of what is now the College of Fine and Applied Arts were founded in other colleges but over the decades have grown to prominence as a collective of art makers.

1868 Illinois Industrial University (eventually to be known as the University of Illinois) opened its doors

1868 First course in landscape gardening offered

1870 Nathan C. Ricker arrived as an architecture student

1870 Group of sixteen students requested and received brass instruments and instruction for a military band for the University Battalion

1871 School of Architecture established within the College of Engineering

1871 First drawing teacher hired and first course in freehand drawing offered

1871 First course in garden architecture added

1872 Keyboard instruction first offered

1872 Charlotte E. Patchin, the first female teacher at the university, hired to instruct students in freehand, cast drawing, and music

1873 Nathan C. Ricker became the first graduate of an architecture program in the United States

1874 President John Milton Gregory started the art collection by purchasing plaster copies of art while traveling in Europe

1875 Art gallery opened on the third floor of University Hall

1876 School of Art established

1877 School of Design founded

1877 Department of Free Hand Drawing (and Designing) established in the School of Art

1877 Courses offered in the history and criticism of art

1878 Mary Page became the first woman in the nation to earn a degree in architecture

1878 Illinois Industrial University renamed the University of Illinois

1885 Elementary Graphical Statics and Construction of Trussed Roofs became the first book published by any faculty member

1893-94 School of Art and School of Design moved to the College of Literature and Arts

1896 Joseph Cullen Blair joined the university and encouraged the additions of professional courses in landscape architecture and city planning

1897 School of Music established

1907 Curriculum required for a degree in landscape gardening added

1912 Division of Landscape Architecture established as the only program aside from Harvard University to offer a planning program with studios and workshops

1912 Charles Mulford Robinson appointed the first professor of city planning in the nation

1913 Charles Mulford Robinson appointed professor of civic design

1915 School of Architecture became the College of Architecture and separated from the College of Engineering

1916 Captain Thomas J. Smith donated land and money for the building now called Smith Music Hall, the first on campus to be wholly funded by private donations

1917 Nathan C. Ricker Library founded in the Department of Architecture, the first departmental library on campus

1919 Military Bands became an independent organization under the administration of a director reporting to the university president

1922 Curriculum for music education added in cooperation with the College of Education

1929 University selected as one of the first eight schools to meet the accreditation standards of the American Society of Landscape Architects

1930 John Philip Sousa donated his music library and named the band “the world’s greatest college band”

1931 College of Fine and Applied Arts created

1931 Department of Art and Design changed name to the Department of Art and added a fine arts degree in painting

1931 Department of Architecture became part of the College of Fine and Applied Arts

1931 Division of Landscape Architecture reorganized as a department in the newly formed College of Fine and Applied Arts

1932 Rexford Newcomb appointed the first dean

1935 Fine arts degree offered in arts education

1937 Fine arts degree established for industrial design and commercial design

1937 Paintings for the Emily Nichols Trees (Class of 1905) and Merle Jay Trees (Class of 1907) Collection were donated

1940 School of Music began offering courses leading to a master of music degree

1944 Spencer and Lena Ewing Collection of Balinese and East Indian Art objects acquired

1945 Graduate program in landscape architecture established

1948 School of Music began an outreach program

1948 First Festival of Contemporary Arts held

1948 Military Bands became University of Illinois Bands

1949 Bachelor of science degree in physical education with dance concentration offered

1949 Fine arts degree in advertising design established to replace degree in commercial design

1949 School of Music began Illinois Summer Youth Music

1949 First fine arts master’s degree offered

1949 Dance became a course of study

1949 Master’s degree program in art history established

1950 Board of Trustees placed the bands under general supervision of the dean of FAA

1951 Fine arts degree offered in art history

1951 First landscape architecture advanced degree awarded

1953 School of Music established courses leading to the degree of doctor of philosophy in musicology

1953 Bachelor of fine arts in city planning added

1957 Krannert Foundation of Indianapolis donated funds to help build an art gallery in proximity to FAA

1959 Department of Dance initiated residency with choreographer Merce Cunningham, the first long-term guest artist residency at a university

1959 Board of Trustees authorized a graduate program in the College of Physical Education leading to the degree of master of arts in dance

1958 Experimental Music Studios, the first of their kind in the Western Hemisphere, were founded by Lejaren Hiller

1960 Fine arts degree in crafts and master’s degree in painting and printmaking offered

1961 Krannert Art Museum opened its doors

1961 Ellnora Krannert gave Murillo’s Christ after the Flagellation to Krannert Art Museum in honor of its opening

1962 Herman Krannert and Ellnora Krannert established a gift to create Krannert Center for the Performing Arts

1964 Shozo Sato, then artist-in-residence and now professor emeritus in the School of Art and Design, initiated a series of courses about the art and culture of Japan

1964 Baccalaureates in medical art and sculpture offered

1964 Erlanger House designed by Jack Baker as a request of Margaret Erlanger, the first head of the Department of Dance

1965 Two separate departments born: Department of Urban and Regional Planning and Department of Landscape Architecture

1966 Construction began on Krannert Center

1966 Degree in graphic design replaced degree in advertising design

1966 Fine arts master's degree in sculpture and a doctorate in art education were added in conjunction with the College of Education

1966 Study Abroad Program at Versailles, the first program for foreign study at the university, established

1967 Department of Theatre established

1968 Krannert Center construction completed

1968 Board of Trustees transferred programs in dance from the College of Physical Education to the College of Fine and Applied Arts and established the Department of Dance

1969 Doctorate in art history offered

1969 Department of Theatre established master of arts degree

1972 Fine arts degree in painting offered

1974 Last Festival of Contemporary Arts held

1974 Graduate and undergraduate courses in music theory, history, and applied music offered

1976-77 School of Art and Design celebrated 100-year anniversary

1977 Walden String Quartet established as the first ensemble in full-time residence at an American university

1984 Landscape Architecture Department received equipment grant from IBM

1984 Sinfonia da Camera established as resident chamber orchestra

1984 Computer Music Project founded in conjunction with the Experimental Music Studios

1986 Department of Dance granted five-year accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Dance

1986 East St. Louis Action Research Project began public service to communities

1988 Kinkead Pavilion added to Krannert Art Museum, nearly doubling the building’s size

1992 Department of Dance granted ten-year accreditation

1992 I space Gallery in Chicago established

1995 Department of Landscape Architecture moved to Temple Hoyne Buell Hall and joined School of Architecture and Department of Urban and Regional Planning

1996 Smith Music Hall added to the National Historic Register

1998 Japan House built

1999 Jointly administered Ph.D. program in architecture and landscape architecture established

2001 First landscape architecture Ph.D. students admitted

2001 International arts minor offered

2002 Department of Landscape Architecture and School of Architecture launched joint Ph.D. program

2003 University alumnus James Bier completed the tea garden, strolling garden, and rock garden at Japan House

2003 Sasaki Initiative for Integrated Design Instruction course connecting architecture, urban and regional planning, and landscape architecture began

2003 Japan House presented Kimono Fantasy in collaboration with the Hakubi Kimono School

2004 Civitas, a community design center, established in Champaign-Urbana by architecture, urban and regional planning, and landscape architecture students

2005 Robert E. Brown Center for World Music established

2007 Creative Research Award program initiated

2008 Humanities/Arts Scholarship Support (HASS) fund established

2010 Figure One, an exhibition space curated by the School of Art and Design, opened in downtown Champaign

2012 Department of Landscape Architecture hosted the Council of Educators at a landscape architecture conference

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