THROUGHOUT ITS history, the University of Northern Iowa (which began in 1876 as Iowa State Normal School, then evolved to Iowa State Teachers College to State College of Iowa and then to UNI) has always had an art component, but with differing names and goals. For the school’s first thirty years, the purpose of its art classes was to teach drawing and penmanship, not to artists (who in those days went to professional art schools, such as the Art Institute of Chicago), but to students in general. In 1907, art was briefly made a part of a Manual Arts Department, devoted to vocational training, where, off and on, it remained a curricular subset until 1948, the year that marks the birth date of the Department of Art as we know it.
In 1909, the university had been renamed the Iowa State Teachers College, to reflect its responsibility for the training of classroom teachers (a focus that continued until 1961, when it was again renamed, as the State College of Iowa). In 1948, the ISTC Arts Department was divided into two parts: the departments of Art and Industrial Arts. No doubt in part inspired by the European Arts and Crafts tradition (as typified by the Bauhaus), the two components were then housed adjacent to one another, on two floors of a new facility called the Arts and Industries Building (shown below), which was later remodeled and renamed Latham Hall). Hired that year as the first head of the ISTC Department of Art was a New York craftsman and art educator (who was also a concert violinist) named Harry G. Guillaume, who continued to be its director for twenty-two eventful years, throughout which it attracted a growing number of students, and dozens of vigorous faculty in studio art, art history and, especially, in art education.  
As signaled by its name change from a teacher’s college to a state college, and then a few years later to a university (consisting of a cluster of colleges), the school’s mandate has dramatically grown since the 1960s. Not surprisingly, these changes have been mirrored by comparable shifts in emphasis in the Department of Art. Today, only a few of the faculty have degrees specifically in the field of Art Education. The majority now are studio artists and designers, along with art historians—and the goals of the students are equally mixed.
UNI Art Faculty 1966 (left to right): Glenn Benge, John Page, David Delafield, Maline Robinson, Marjorie Campbell, Ken Gogel, Bela Petheo, Rolf Koppel, Charles Harshbarger, Ralph Haskell, Anne Graham, Joan Stein, Cliff Herrold, Chunghi Choo, and Robert Reisling.
below is a small selection of historic photos pertaining to the depart-ment’s past. We would like to build up a collection of these. Are there former students (or faculty) who have others we could scan? If you’re aware of any, please let us know.Contact.htmlshapeimage_2_link_0
UNI Art Faculty 1960 (left to right) back row: Clayton Fowler, Cliff Herrold, Paul R. Smith, Ralph Haskell, Don Finegan, Harry Guillaume, Gerald Shirley; middle row, center: David Delafield; front row: John Page, Ken Gogel, Marjorie Campbell, Ted Kurahara.
UNI Art Faculty 1982-83 (left to right) back row: Maynard Gunter, Shirley Eliason Haupt, Ken Gogel, Kay Anderson, Reed Estabrook, Barbara Cassino, Richard Colburn, Allan Shickman, Jo Siddens, frje Echeverria, John Page, Arthur Pontynen, and Daniel Spillane; front row: Yuan, Daniel Stetson, Onyile Onyile, Jane Regan, and Nina Ward.
Cedar River Series prints by John Page department of art
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Logo for design education conference at UNI (April 2005)