Viewing category '1960s'
“Space Odyssey, 1961-1981” chronicled the ’60s
“Space Odyssey, 1961-1981” chronicled the ’60s.
As the decade of the 1960s dawned, movement accelerated toward the creation of a School of Fine Arts
As the tumultuous decade of the 1960’s was dawning, the groundswell for the creation of a School of Fine Arts was reaching new peaks of intensity. The three departments — Art, Music, and Speech and Drama — were now housed together in the new Fine Arts Center. However, the University Board of Trustees had yet to approve the establishment of a separate, independent School of Fine Arts. Advocates for a new School needed to marshal their arguments for an impending vote. Several of the documents that follow reveal some of the ‘in-house’ thinking and strategic planning that was employed by President Jorgensen, Provost Waugh, and other University administrators as they prepared for the critical vote. The following reports filed by the three department heads shortly after their arrival at the new Fine Arts Center are similarly revelatory. Before studying the documents, you might take a moment to consider this question: If the vote were held today, what arguments would you advance for the creation of a School of Fine Arts?
J. Louis von der Mehden’s Legacy
February 16, 1960
President [Jorgensen] reported to the Board of Trustees “. . . that under the provisions of the will of the late Susan Evelyn von der Mehden, the University is to receive income from the estate which is estimated to be . . . approximately $500,000. Under the terms of the will, the University is expected, first, to publish any unpublished but completed compositions [by her husband] that are worthy of publication; and secondly, to provide a vault for the safekeeping of the late J. Louis von der Mehden’s published musical compositions . . . In discussing the vault, it was clear that she had in mind adequate protective shelving for the safekeeping of the music compositions, this protective shelving to be located in a room which could be designated as a memorial recital room where her late husband’s compositions could be played and enjoyed, without the exclusion of other recital uses of this room.” The president recommended building a recital room with the Fine Arts Center that was planned for construction. The Board of Trustees approved, 2/15/56.
— “Space Odyssey, 1961-1981,” p. .
Communiques leading to the achievement of the goal
By way of review then, the first years of the new decade saw the three departments — Art, Music, and Speech and Drama — housed together under one roof, the new Fine Arts Center. However, the University Board of Trustees had yet to approve the establishment of a separate, independent School of Fine Arts. The following documents reveal some of the essential arguments that were brought forth by those in the University establishment who advocated for the establishment of that School. In a similar vein, the reports filed by the three department heads shortly after beginning to settle into the new Fine Arts Center may help us to understand how the world looked from their vantage points in the new facilities.
The Department Heads Express the Rationale for a School of Fine Arts
January 2, 1961
The Department Heads write to President Jorgensen.
January 6, 1961
Department of Music Head, Walter Ihrke, conveyed to President Jorgensen supplemental needs, felt by all three Fine Arts Departments. These included teaching spaces, faculty and student lounges, office space for the Dean, additional space dedicated for library use, and three offices for a librarian and staff.