The History of Art Education Time Line 1940-1949
Decades of art education history in contexts of schooling and artworlds

  • John Biggers was an artist and teacher who was most famous for his murals. His work focused on telling the story of African American history and the importance of education. Biggers attended the Pennsylvania State University in the 1940's and studied closely under Lowenfeld. Two of Biggers' murals, Day of the Harvest and Night of the Poor, are displayed on the University Park Campus in the Burrowes Building.
  • The Society of Industrial Designers was founded in 1944.
  • J. Paul Getty purchased a plot of land just above Pacific Coast Highway and began to use its "Ranch House" as both a residence and a space for the display of his personal art collection. This was the beginning of Getty's extensive art collection that eventually developed into the J. Paul Getty Museum and Trust.
Photo of Jackson Pollock
  • In 1946, Jackson Pollock did away with the easel and attached his canvases to floors and also walls. He poured and dripped his paint from a can while using sticks and knives to manipulate the paint. At times sand, broken glass and other unusual materials were added to his paint. This style has come to be known as the "drip and splash" style.
  • Mark Rothko is, like Jackson Pollock, one of the most famous painters of the 1940s. A graduate of the New York school, he created moving forms of abstract painting. His work also became increasingly symbolic during this new painting period.
  • Highlights Magazine for children published its first issue in Honesdale, PA. Highlights Magazine is a wonderful source for children's artistic inspiration and creation. In each issue there are several sections that encourage readers to send in original works of art. Some pieces are displayed with other original creations, such as short stories and poems, while others appear along with directions so that other children can follow along to create their own masterpiece.
  • The National Art Education Association was founded with the merger of the Western, Pacific, Southeastern, and Eastern Region Art Associations, plus the art department of the National Education Association (NEA). The NAEA consists of educators in all fifty states plus the District of Columbia, U.S. Possessions, most Canadian Provinces, U.S. military bases around the world, and twenty-five foreign countries. This organization was founded to promote art education through Professional Development, Service, Advancement of Knowledge, and Leadership. NAEA is a non-profit, educational organization which has the potential to collaborate with federal education agencies and other national professional groups.
  • Margaret Naumburg is considered the primary "mother" of and pioneer in art therapy in the United States. She was an educator as well as a psychoanalyst which gave way to her early research on the ability art has to make the unconscious conscious. She called her approach to this concept of art as a form of symbolic speech "dynamically oriented art therapy" which was deeply based on Freudian understandings. This led to the 1947 publication of her book on the concept of dynamically oriented art therapy as well as many other books that deal with the psychoanalytic aspect pf the arts. Through her extensive work and writings on the psychoanalytic theory and her belief that art is a road to "unconscious symbolic contents," Margaret Naumberg helped the field of art therapy expand as well as be taken seriously in its early manifestations during the mid 20th century. In the words of an anonymous friend of Naumburg's, "She took the psychoanalytic patient off the couch and stood him in front of an easel."
  • The federal government followed growing post-war, public interest in the arts. In 1949, the Office of Education reestablished, after many years, a position of "Specialist in Education for the Fine Arts."