College of Art and Design History
1885 Mechanics Institute was established to solve the pressing need for a school to train designers.
The Mechanics Institute and its art department were created with Eugene Colby appointed as director of the department.
Classes offered in industrial design, drawing, and architecture.
1886 The institute offered its first design class and the department of industrial drawing was established.
1888 The department of industrial and fine arts was established and the number and variety of art-related courses was greatly increased.
1891 The Athenaeum and the Mechanic’s Institute joined to form the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute.
Tuition is $8 a term for drawing, $12 for painting and modeling. Evening classes are free.
1895 The department of industrial and fine arts moved to the old Manual Training School on South Washington Street.
1897 Telegraphy class was added to the department of industrial and fine arts.
1898 Manual training in iron was added to the department of industrial and fine arts.
1899 Mechanic Arts course was added to mix art and practical work application with other subjects, such as math, science, and English.
The institute offers its first art history course.
1900 Art history was divided into history of architecture and sculpture and history of Italian art.
Wood class was added to the institute.
1901 Industrial and fine arts classes were moved to the new Eastman Building.
The institute offers its first photography classes.
1903 Fine arts department created.
The department of fine arts and the department of industrial arts are separated.
The department of fine arts divided into a fine arts course, a decorative arts and crafts course, a normal art course and an architectural course.
1907 The department of applied and fine arts was established, offering courses such as Architecture, Decorative Art, Art-Handicrafts, Painting, Illustration, and Sculpture.
1910 Construction begins on the Bevier Building with funds provided by Alice Bevier, under the direction of one of the most esteemed architects of the 20th century, Claude Bragdon.
1911 The Bevier Memorial Gallery opens.
1918 An intensified mechanical drafting course is created.
1919 An art education program is established.
1920 Modern history of the arts at the institute begins with Clifford Ulp appointed as director.
1921 A crafts education program is established.
1922 The Empire State School of Printing, which later became the department of publishing and printing at the institute, is founded in Ithaca.
1928 School of Industrial Art is created in response to a change in requirements for a degree of architecture.
1930 The photographic technology department is established.
The institute offers a photographic technology cooperative as part of its curriculum.
1932 A museum preparator course is added to the curriculum.
An interior decorating cooperative is instituted.
1933 Change in New York state arts and crafts teacher requirements leads to combined programs with New York University, Columbia University, and Ohio State University.
1937 The Empire School of Printing is acquired.
The department of publishing and printing is established.
1938 Photographic technology students have the option of choosing a concentration in their third year in either portraiture, commercial photography, illustrative photography, natural color photography, or specialized fields.
1939 The department of photographic technology is divided into two curricula: photographic technology and professional photography.
1941 The college starts an art education program in conjunction with the University of Rochester.
1943 The department of photographic technology flourishes with increased photography in World War II.
The department of publishing and printing accepted many women due to the shortage of men because of World War II.
1944 The institute is renamed the Rochester Institute of Technology.
1946 The department of publishing and printing moves to a new building with outstanding facilities and an expanded program.
The department of photographic technology moves to the new George H. Clark Building with the best photography program and equipment in the world.
The original School for American Craftsmen (which later moved to RIT) is founded on the campus of Dartmouth College.
1949 The School of American Craftsmen moves from Alfred University to RIT and is introduced to the community with an exhibition of student and faculty work.
1950 The graphic arts research department is established.
Formal instruction begins in the School of American Craftsmen.
The institute offers the associate degree in applied science for the completion of programs of study in the arts.
1952 Stanley Witmeyer is appointed Director and the School of Art and Design experiences rapid development.
1953 The Division of Arts is created as a mutual supportive exchange of materials and creative strengths between the School of Art and Design and the School for American Craftsmen.
1954 Division of Photography and Printing established.
1956 The institute offers both the A.A.S. and the B.F.A. degrees for the arts.
1959 The College of Fine Arts becomes the first of RIT’s colleges to offer a graduate degree.
1960 The College of Graphic Arts and Photography is established.
The Division of Photography, Printing, and Graphic Arts is created.
The School of Art and Design and the School for American Craftsmen are formed as a college with Harold Brennan as dean.
The School of Photography is created.
The School of Printing is established.
1964 School of Printing selected by Gravure Technical Association as an approved educational center.
1965 The College of Fine and Applied Arts is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art.
1967 The Graphic Arts Research Center is established.
1968 The School of Photographic Arts and Sciences is created.
1975 The biomedical photography program is started in the College of Graphic Arts and Photography.
1976 The filmmaking program is established.
1978 The film and television program is established.
1982 The communication design program becomes the graphic design program.
The environmental design program is divided into industrial design and interior design.
1990 Academic majors are established in: advertising photography, photojournalism, and biomedical photographic communications.
The School of Printing Management and Sciences is divided into printing, printing systems, newspaper operations management, and printing and applied computer science.
1991 The School of Photographic Arts and Sciences offers photographic marketing management.
1992 The College of Graphic Arts and Photography and the College of Fine and Applied Arts are combined to become the College of Imaging Arts and Science.
1997 Accelerated BS/MBA degree is offered in printing management.
1995 Margaret’s House, an expanded child care center serving members of the RIT community, is dedicated. Al Davis, vice president emeritus and long-time supporter of RIT, gave the funds in memory of his wife, Margaret Welcher Davis.
1998 The College of Imaging Arts and Sciences divided into two schools: the School of Art, and the School of Design.
2001 The new media design and imaging program is added to the School of Design.
2018 The college is renamed College of Art and Design.