Department of Fine Arts

In the beginning of the 1928 school year, Geneva College offered a new department, the Department of Fine Arts. Students enrolled in the classes were responsible for making scrapbooks for different materials they collected, portfolios and a “well arranged note books”. Any student enrolled in the Department had the choice to either take the Design I-IX, classes which were listed under the catch all category of art, or they may have taken music classes, or a combination of art and music. Of the eleven classes for the major, two mention that they were popular, or were designed for students and homemakers; they would be classes Design II and Design III.

Design II was described as “practical organization of the subject for home makers as well as for students[1]”. Other classes offered were costume design, pottery, interior decoration, clay modeling and drawing and painting. In his book “To Advance Knowledge”, author Roger L. Geiger writes that in the 1920’s “An increasing proportion of men chose programs in business or commerce, while women took more degrees in teaching and, to a lesser extent, in home economics[2]”.  This would lead me to believe that the college was attempting to appeal to more women seeing as many men were turning towards different academic majors.

Design III on the other hand, was Interior Decoration and was described by the Course Catalog as, “Application of design to home furnishing. A popular course for the homemaker as well as the student. Practice in stencil work and block printing. Creative work. Course continued throughout the year[3]”.


[1] Geneva College Course Catalog, 1928, 60.

[2] Geiger , Roger L. To Advance Knowledge, New York (Oxford University Press, 1986) 109-110.

[3] Geneva College Course Catalog, 1928, 60.

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