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Our major encyclopedic art museum, libraries, special collections, and public programs create an unparalleled environment for maintaining a thoughtful and tangible relationship to history. Students, faculty, and alumni of SAIC have made significant and groundbreaking contributions to the art, design, and scholarship of the 19th and 20th century, and continue to do so in the 21st.

From Bold Suffragette to Betty Crocker

An SAIC alum and women’s rights activist created the first face of the iconic fictional homemaker.

The Dean of African American Artists

William Edouard Scott (SAIC 1904–07) redefined the ways African Americans were portrayed in art.

The Human Figure

SAIC alum and teacher John Vanderpoel significantly influenced O’Keeffe and the field of figure drawing.

A History of Generosity

Since the first SAIC scholarship was established in 1891, students have benefited greatly from the financial support that enables them to further their artistic goals.

Tarzan Illustrator

SAIC alum Burne Hogarth drew the King of the Jungle for more than a decade.

SAIC’s First African American Student

SAIC alum Charlotte “Lottie” Wilson was the earliest known African American painter to have a work exhibited in the White House’s collection.

SAIC's Second President

Leonard W. Volk helped rebuild the school after the Great Chicago Fire.

21st-Century Griot

An SAIC alum unfolds a multimedia narrative of African American history.

Resurrecting the Dead

For her Art History thesis, an SAIC graduate student restages an obscure, yet pivotal moment in Japan’s cultural history.

Painting Portraits

Mohamed and Nanette Drisi met while earning their degrees at SAIC. They married soon after and remember their days in SAIC’s Department of Painting and Drawing.

Nickel Backer

In 1912 SAIC alum James Earle Fraser was commissioned to redesign the nickel.

A Machine for Producing Monsters

After World War II, the Monster Roster— a group of predominantly SAIC artists led by Leon Golub—established a deeply existential and fiercely independent Chicago style that had a lasting impact on American art.

The Jazz Age Modernist

Archibald Motley, Jr. (1914–18, HON 1980) used his art to portray the vibrancy and vitality of African American culture.

The New Wild One

Elizabeth Murray (BFA 1962, HON 1992) "reshaped Modernist abstraction."

SAIC at the 2014 Whitney Biennial

A record number of SAIC alumni and faculty members took part in the 2014 Whitney Biennial.

The Mother of American Modernism

Georgia O'Keeffe (SAIC 1905–06, HON 1967) pioneered modern art with her large-scale paintings of natural forms and flowers.

What Is the Proper Way to Display the US Flag?: An Interview with Dread Scott

Dread Scott (BFA 1989) talks about the provocative work that the President of the United States deemed “disgraceful.”

The Man Behind the Monopoly Man

SAIC alum “F.O.” Alexander illustrated the board game and its well-known characters.

Snap! Crackle! and Pop!

SAIC alum Vernon Grant created the iconic characters from Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal.

The Founder of Father’s Day

In 1910 SAIC alum Sonora Smart Dodd proposed a day to celebrate fatherhood and the rest is history.

SAIC and the Armory Show

In 1913 SAIC students greeted modernism and Matisse with disdain and a mock trial.