Students, staff & faculty can login to access personalized content.

Parent & Guardian Access is located here.

Forgot your password?

1879-1904: New Departure—Redefinition and Growth of Art School

1879 Maryland Institute transforms the Great Hall into classrooms for the renamed Schools of Art and Design and adopts a new mission: “diffusing a knowledge of art … fostering original talent…and laying a permanent foundation for a genuine school of high art in Baltimore.” New facilities are modeled on those in the most advanced art and design schools of the time (Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Pennsylvania Museum & School of Industrial Arts, Franklin Institute, Philadelphia School of Design for Females, National Academy of Design, New York Art League, Cooper Union, Boston Museum of Fine Arts). All non-art offerings (chemistry, music) phased out.
1880s Maryland Institute becomes leading advocate of art education, urges the Maryland State Legislature to mandate the teaching of drawing in public schools. Teacher training expanded and the first continuing education classes (Saturday School) for children and adults offered.
1884 Bust of Otto Fuchs, by J. Maxwell Miller Otto Fuchs becomes Principal of the Schools of Art and Design. Under Fuchs and board president Joseph M. Cushing, who serve concurrently for nearly 20 years, the Maryland Institute grows into a first-rate art school, offering instruction in all branches of drawing, painting, designing and sculpture. Time-sketching and courses in life-drawing are introduced. Fourth year of study added along with the first post-graduate classes.
1885 Goucher College founded. Baltimore Watercolor Club founded by five alumnae of the Maryland Institute.
1886 Enoch Pratt Free Library opens; original library building designed by Maryland Institute graduate Charles Carson.
1887 A set of 100 plates of Eadweard Muybridge’s “Animal Locomotion” is donated to the Institute’s library and exhibited there in 1888.
1890 Maryland Institute becomes a collecting institution, with the goal of adding an art museum. More than 700 objects are collected including antique casts donated by the Peabody Institute; designs in stained glass, ceramics, and textiles; models of machinery and architecture; plus, an exceptional collection of Japanese, Chinese, and Zuni pottery.
1891-92 Board members visit sister institutions in the Northeast and newly established art schools in the Midwest (Cincinnati, Chicago, Columbus, St. Louis) to research the latest methods of study and promote “the interchange of views and experiences in Art Education.” Otto Fuchs travels to Berlin, Paris, and London to visit schools and to gather artwork for the museum.

William T. Walters opens his famous private art collection to Maryland Institute students, an annual tradition carried on by his son and former Institute board member, Henry Walters, until The Walters Art Gallery opens to the public in 1909.
1895-96 Alumni Association established; first reunion held January 1896, followed by life drawing classes which inaugurated the Alumni Studio Night tradition that continues to this day.
1896 First Rinehart class, ca. 1899 Rinehart School of Sculpture established—the first graduate-level art program of its kind in America—through a bequest from sculptor and former student William Henry Rinehart, administered by trustees of  the Peabody Institute. First class included Edward Berge, J. Maxwell Miller, Hans Schuler, Grace Rinehart (niece of the founder), Mabel Carpenter, Helen Warner and Rachel Marshall (Hawks).

Mount Royal Station opens as the flagship station for B&O’s Royal Blue Line and will later become part of MICA's campus.
1899 Municipal Art Society of Baltimore established to beautify the City’s public buildings, streets, and open spaces.
1900 Enrollment passes 1000 students.
1904 Center Market building after Great Fire The Great Baltimore Fire destroys the Center Market building on February 7, along with 1,500 other structures. Classes resume in temporary quarters above two other city markets (Richmond and Hollins). Local businesses, the Alumni Association, and faculty offer aid and supplies. Preparation begins to rebuild a campus on two sites: land donated by Michael Jenkins for the School of Art and Design next to Bolton Hill's Corpus Christi Church, and a new market building funded by the city on the old site, offering the upper stories for the use of the Maryland Institute's drafting programs.

The History of MICA continues in Part IV:  1905–1960.

Credits: Photo of Fuchs bust by Jonathan Trundle; other images MICA Archives.