1947

Cartoonists & Illustrators School is founded by Silas H. Rhodes and Burne Hogarth at 112 West 89th Street; three instructors (Burne Hogarth, Marvin Stein, and Harry Fisk) teach thirty-five students, many of whom have just returned from WW II and are taking advantage of the GI Bill. C&I offers a two-year course to train students for a career as a commercial artist. Students from the first graduating class include Dick Cavalli (Winthrop), Jerry Marcus (Trudy), and Bob Weber (Moose).

Late-1940s

C&I adds day classes and reaches full capacity; Silas Rhodes adds courses in English, advertising, photography, photo retouching, and fine arts. The School’s three instructors are joined by Tom Gill (creator of the comic book version of the Lone Ranger), illustrator Robert Frankenberg, and precisionist painter Francis Criss.

1950

C&I moves to a four-story building on the northwest corner of 23rd Street and Second Avenue. The yearly tuition is $450 and students are taught by twenty-one teachers in five departments.

1955

George Tscherny is hired to expand the Design Department; Robert Weaver, Jack Potter, and Phil Hays are among the faculty to follow.

1956

Silas Rhodes changes the School’s name from C&I to the School of Visual Arts; George Tscherny designs a School symbol, letterhead, and poster announcing the name change.

1960

SVA moves to 209 E. 23rd Street.

1960

SVA becomes a three-year institution of higher education, enabling students to transfer SVA credits and complete degree requirements elsewhere - an important step toward full accreditation.

1960s

Fine Arts and Photography Departments are established.

1961

Visual Arts Gallery opens.

1963

Film Department established.

1963

Salvador Dali addresses students in SVA amphitheater.

1964

Shirley Glaser named Visual Arts Gallery Coordinator; exhibitions from her tenure include “Possessions” and a 1964 self-portraits show (which includes Jim Dine, Alex Katz, Andy Warhol, and Elaine de Kooning).

1964

Milton Glaser and Henry Wolf begin teaching evening symposia.

1967

SVA expands Fine Arts curriculum by creating a four-year certificate program; Burt Hasen, Michael Loew, Don Nice, Paul Waldman, and art critic Dore Ashton are among the faculty.

1969

Visual Arts Gallery becomes the Visual Arts Museum.

1970

Visual Arts Press founded.

1971

Media Arts Department established.

1972

Silas Rhodes becomes SVA’s first President.

1972

After 15 years of negotiations, SVA announces that it has been authorized by the NY State Board of Regents to confer the BFA degree on graduates of four-year programs in Film, Fine Arts, Media Arts, and Photography.

1972

SVA celebrates its 25th Anniversary with a party held at the Whitney Museum of American Art; the evening features the presentation of the SVA 1972 Outstanding Achievement Award, given to columnist and screenwriter Pete Hamill (‘54).

1972

SVA Alumni Society created.

1973

Graphic Design Department established.

1973

Film Department adds animation and video concentrations.

Mid-1970s

Art Therapy (taught in collaboration with the Bronx Psychiatric Center) and Art Education Departments established.

1976

SVA holds its first formal commencement exercises at the Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Henry Geldzahler, curator of Twentieth Century Art at the Met, delivers the commencement address.

1976

SVA holds its first year-end show in the galleries and streets of SoHo.

1978

SVA accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.

1978

Silas Rhodes steps down as President, but continues to remain active as Chairman of the Board, president of the Visual Arts Press, and later president of the Visual Arts Foundation.

1978

SVA Board of Governors elects David Rhodes (then Vice President) to be President.

1979

SVA opens a gallery in Tribeca.

1970s-1980s

Visual Arts Museum exhibits work by Josef Albers, Robert Rauschenberg, Willem de Kooning, Robert Motherwell, Andy Warhol, Kenneth Noland, and Robert Morris.

1980

Communication Arts program opens.

1980

Silas Rhodes and His Excellency Ali Bengelloun, Moroccan ambassador to the U.S., announce the opening of SVA’s first International Studies program in Tangier, Morocco; sixty students participate in the first summer’s six-week program.

1980

First annual “Mentors” photo exhibition is held; selected photography students are given assignments by leading professional photographers.

1981

SVA opens the Visual Arts Gallery in SoHo.

1983

SVA’s first graduate program, MFA Fine Arts (painting, drawing, and sculpture) opens.

1984

MFA Illustration as Visual Essay program opens.

1985

Fine Arts Department holds an exhibition called “8 Artists/8 Years” in the SVA SoHo gallery with work by SVA alumni Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, Tod Wizon, Jedd Garet, Lydia Dona, Jane Swavely, James Wang, and Barry Bridgwood (all of whom attended SVA during the eight years between 1975 and 1983).

1986

SVA becomes the first accredited college in the U.S. to offer an MFA in Computer Art.

1986

Anthony Rhodes becomes Director of Continuing Education.

1987

SVA celebrates 40th Anniversary.

1987

Humanities Department holds its first Annual National Conference on Liberal Arts and the Education of Artists.

1988

MFA Photography program opens.

1987

David Rhodes establishes Art for Kids Program.

1988

Anthony Rhodes appointed director of International Studies; he introduces new programs in London and Paris (graphic design) and Barcelona (painting).

1988

SVA Scholarship Fund becomes the Visual Arts Foundation.

1988

Masters Series begins; Paul Rand is the first recipient.

1988

Paula Scher designs new SVA logo.

1989

Interior Design program opens.

1989

First Annual “Dusty Awards” are presented to outstanding graduating students by the Film and Video Department.

1990s

Exhibits at the Visual Arts Museum include Hans Neleman, type designer Ed Benguiat, and artists Yasuo Tanaka, Robert Weaver, and Paul Davis.

1991

The Media Arts Department is separated into two BFA programs: Advertising & Graphic Design and Illustration & Cartooning.

1992

Anthony Rhodes appointed Vice President for Administration.

1992

SVA authorized by the New York State Board of Regents to offer a Post Baccalaureate Certificate Program leading to a K-12 certification in Art.

1992

Animation curriculum fully established.

1993

Computer Art program opens.

1993

Three-Dimensional Design section fully established.

1993

Korean, Japanese and Chinese Art Students Programs combined to form the Asian Art Students Program.

1993

Visual Arts Museum holds first annual Digital Salon, a juried Computer Art show.

1995

Yugo Next premieres at Grand Central Terminal in NYC. The exhibition features various transfigurations of the Yugo automobile into such objects as a toaster and a grand piano. The exhibition is created by students and alumni of the College’s 3-D Design program and becomes the first of an ongoing series of public art presentations.

1997

SVA celebrates its 50th Anniversary. George Tscherny creates a new logo to visually unite SVA’s various entities.

1998

MFA Design program opens.

2001

MPS Art Therapy program opens.

2003

MAT Art Education program opens.

2003

SVA Honors David Rhodes on his 25th anniversary as president.

2004

Visual Arts Gallery moves from SoHo to Chelsea; the opening is celebrated with “Beginning Here: 101 Ways,” an exhibition of works by 101 artists whose careers began at SVA.

2005

MFA in Art Criticism and Writing program opens.

2006

Milton Glaser Design Study Center and Archives opens to the public.

2007

School of Visual Arts Archives established.

2007

Silas Rhodes passes away.

2007

BFA in Visual and Critical Studies program opens.

2007

MPS in Digital Photography program opens.

2008

MFA in Design Criticism opens.

2009

The SVA Theatre, designed by Milton Glaser, opens at 333 W. 23rd Street; long-time SVA faculty member Gene Stavis appointed director in 2008.

2009

MFA in Interaction Design program opens.

2009

MFA in Social Documentary Film program opens.

2010

MPS in Branding program opens.

2010

MPS in Live Action Short Film program opens.

Summer 2011

MFA Art Practice program opens

Sept 2011

MPS Fashion Photography program opens

Sept 2012

MFA Design for Social Innovation program slated to open

Sept 2012

MFA Products of Design program slated to open

Sept 2012

MA Critical Theory and the Arts Department slated to open