We boast a rich and colorful history of innovative art and creative expression.
Making the arts an essential part of IU
IU’s 11th president Herman B Wells envisioned a vibrant arts culture at the university that would resonate throughout the state of Indiana and the country. His vision is seen today on all corners of campus including the IU Art Museum, the Musical Arts Center, the IU Auditorium, the Lilly Library, and the Fine Arts Building.
Founded in 1895, the Department of Studio Art is one of the nation’s oldest and most-respected art schools.
Founded as the Department of Freehand and Mechanical Drawing, the present day Department of Studio Art at IU was one of only three art departments in the United States.
President Herman B Wells appointed Henry Hope to chair of the then Department of Fine Arts, which employed two faculty members and was housed in several rooms of the old library—now Franklin Hall.
Henry Hope established the Hope Fund to create a collection of prints, photographs, drawings, and watercolors for the university that would lay the foundation for the permanent collection of the IU Art Museum.
Designed by A.M. Strauss, the Fine Arts Building is constructed in the center of campus known as the Fine Arts Plaza, adjacent to the IU Auditorium, the Lilly Library, and the Showalter Fountain.
The world-renowned I.M. Pei–designed IU Art Museum is completed and dedicated to housing collections established by the Department of Studio Art.
The new School of Art and Design at Indiana University is approved by the IU Board of Trustees.
The future of art & design at IU
We are dedicated to ensuring that an IU degree is dynamic—and we’re committed to providing the best preparation for whatever may come next for students to explore their interests, passions, and skills. The studio art program will soon combine with apparel merchandising and interior design in an effort to bring art and design together as the hub of ideas, research, and craft.