The MICA Study Center for Art Education is named after Dr. Al Hurwitz, Chair Emeritus in Art Education. Located in the Fox Building, it includes a reception area, administrative workstations, faculty offices, and a resource library. The study center is the primary working space for graduate students and features a reading library, which holds Dr. Hurwitz's library along with gifts from many of his friends and colleagues. Other items are available for checkout including a print and video collection. Computers as well as scanners and printers are provided for student use. Within this space, faculty and students intermix, conference, work collaboratively, and study. This facility was funded in part by alumna Patricia Lion Krongard, '76 and '90 who graduated from the MAT program.
Dr. Al Hurwitz '41 (1920-2012)
After a full career in art education, Dr. Al Hurwitz returned to his home state and alma mater in 1984 to re-energize the art education program at MICA. During his tenure as Chair Emeritus and Graduate Director, he laid the groundwork for the MAT program and remained active as a faculty member well into his 80's. As recent as 2008, he co-authored a book and initiated a project to assemble an international history of art education.
His teaching career began in the Dade County School in Miami. He first taught at the elementary level, then in junior high school, later in high school, and eventually became the county's art teacher on television. His final post in the district was that of supervisor. Subsequently, he was recruited to a supervision post in the Newton Public Schools where he worked until his retirement. During his tenure in Massachusetts, he earned his doctorate in Art Education from the Pennsylvania State University, served as an education associate for Harvard's Graduate School of Education, and directed Continuing Studies for the Mass College of Art.
A native of Maryland, he had attended children's classes at MICA and later studied art education under Leon Winslow and Margaret Glace. Retiring to the state, he reconnected with the Institute and was invited by President Fred Lazarus to revitalize the art education program. He began by laying the groundwork for the MAT degree and put MICA back on the art education map by sponsoring conferences based on issues at the forefront of the field.
Dr. Hurwitz was very active in the international art education scene. He served as president of the International Society for Education through Art from 1975-78 and is known for helping many a teacher in a foreign country secure the necessary support to attend international conferences. He has traveled widely abroad, ever eager to drop into a local school, talk to art educators, and initiate drawing activities with children. He conducted tours for art educators to Russia, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Israel, Egypt, and Turkey, and was the leader of the first tour for art educators to China. He has given keynote addresses and lectures in Korea, Qatar, South Africa, Israel, Egypt, Spain, Brazil, and Taiwan. Dr. Hurwitz's personal collection of international student artwork is archived in the library at the Pennsylvania State University.
Born in 1920, Dr. Hurwitz received an MFA in Theatre from Yale in addition to his credentials in art education. He is credited with beginning one of the first off-Broadway theatres in New York. He is an avid fan of film and has been an extra in a number of nationally syndicated movies.
Deeply interested in promising practices and emerging issues in the field, Dr. Hurwitz, himself or in collaboration with other authors, has written numerous books in art education. These include:
- Memory and Experience: Thematic Drawings by Qatari, Taiwanese, Malaysian, and American Children with Karen Carroll (2008)
- Pathways to Appreciation: A Sourcebook for Media and Methods with Stanley Madeja and Eldon Katter (2003)
- Children and Their Art with Michael Day (8 editions, latest 2006)
- Art Education in America with O. Scholz (1994)
- Collaboration in Art Education (1993)
- Teaching Drawing from Art with Brent and Marjorie Wilson (1986)
- International Art Education with Robert Ott
- The Gifted and Talented in Art (1983)
- The Joyous Vision: A Sourcebook for Elementary Art Appreciation with Stanley Madeja (1977)
- Programs of Promise (1973)
His awards include:
- 2011 Eisner Lifetime Achievement Award, The National Art Education Association
- 1996 National Art Educator, National Art Education Association
- 1990 Alumni Medal of Honor, Maryland Institute College of Art
- 1989 Viktor Lowenfeld Award, National Art Education Association
- 1987 Edwin Ziegfeld Award, US Society for Education through Art
- 1984 Distinguished Fellow of the National Art Education Association
- 1981 Sir Herbert Read Award, International Society for Education through Art
- 1981 National Award for Distinguished Service to the Profession, NAEA