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Herron School of Art and Design Records

Identifier: UA026

Scope and Contents

The Herron School of Art and Design records document the activities of administrators, faculty, students, and alumni, the development of the school’s academic programs, its relationship with other arts, cultural, and arts education organizations in the city, state, and nation, and its role in promoting the arts in Indianapolis through exhibitions and other events. The records are divided into twelve series:

Director/Dean Records, 1921-2002, consist of the records of the school’s chief administrative office. The position was known as director until the school’s incorporation into the IU system in 1967, when the title was changed to dean. The records contain correspondence, committee minutes, and reports. The series includes records from Edna Mann Shover. While Shover’s job title was principal of the art school, her duties were similar to those of the individuals who had the title of director.

Administrative Records, 1902-2014, contain records relating to the day-to-day operations of the school. The series includes the records of assistant deans, development officers, and other administrative personnel. The records include reports, budgets, correspondence, and minutes.

Academic Records, 1933-1997, contain course descriptions, syllabi, and correspondence related to Herron academic programs.

Faculty Records, 1930-2003, contain minutes, evaluations by students, correspondence, faculty handbooks, and newspaper articles relating to the faculty.

Student Records, 1902-1988, contain correspondence, student handbooks, lists of students, tuition records, and examples of student work. Student records that are more than 75 years old may be viewed without restriction.

Alumni Records, 1922-2007, contain lists of alumni, newsletters, correspondence from alumni, materials relating to alumni events, and minutes and correspondence relating to the Alumni Association.

Exhibition Records, 1905-2012, contain programs, promotional materials, and correspondence from Herron-related exhibitions. Early exhibitions are classified as alumni (those featuring Herron alumni), faculty (those featuring Herron faculty members), student (those featuring Herron students), Herron (exhibitions held at Herron by artists not connected to the school), and general (exhibitions held away from Herron that could include works by Herron students, faculty, and alumni). Later exhibitions are arranged chronologically. Materials from the 2004 "Some Things Happening" exhibition, held at the Indiana State Museum, provide a 25-year overview of exhibiting artists.

Events Records, 1912-2002, contain correspondence and promotional materials for Herron-related events, most notably the annual Honors and Awards Night ceremony and the Janus Ball fundraising event.

Publications Records, 1902-2002, include school bulletins, class schedules, newsletters, and calendars.

History Records, 1921-2003, include newspaper articles and other publications about the history of the school.

Art Association of Indianapolis Records, 1909-1981, contain minutes, annual reports, newsletters, and other publications from the organization that started and operated the Herron School of Art for its fist 65 years.

Audiovisual Records, 1902-1999, include an audiotape from the 1975 homecoming, promotional videotapes, and glass slides that include black and white photographs of the school, paintings by Indiana artists, and buildings in Indiana. The slides of the paintings and buildings were used for instructional purposes.


  • 1902 - 2014


Language of Materials

The materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Use

Records dealing with individual personnel or student records are restricted. The copyright laws of the United States (Title 17, United States Code)) govern the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material.

Historical Note

In 1902 the Art Association of Indianapolis, organized in 1883, opened the John Herron Art Institute, which included an art school and a museum. The institute was named in honor of Indianapolis businessman John Herron (1817-1895). Herron bequeathed most of his estate to the Art Association on the condition that the association establish both an art museum and a school of art bearing his name. The association purchased Tinker-Talbott Place (the former home and studio of artist T. C. Steele) at 16th and Pennsylvania Streets, remodeled the building, and opened it as the home of the art association and the school of art in early 1902.

In 1905 the association broke ground for a museum building to replace Tinker-Talbott Place. Designed by the architectural firm of Vonnegut and Bohn, the museum building opened in 1906. The art school used rooms on the first floor of the museum until 1907, when a new classroom building, also designed by Vonnegut and Bohn, opened next to the museum. This building was replaced in 1928 by a new building (which became known as the Herron Main Building) designed by architect Paul Cret. A third building, Fesler Hall, was added in 1962, and the school also purchased or rented neighboring buildings for use as studios and classrooms.

In the 1960s the Art Association decided to separate the art museum from the school. After considering several options, the Art Association agreed in 1967 to merge the art school with Indiana University-Indianapolis, which became Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) in 1969. IUPUI purchased the Herron buildings at 16th and Pennsylvania Streets, and the Art Association built its new museum (which became the Indianapolis Museum of Art) on West 38th Street.

The art school remained at its 16th Street location until 2005, when it moved into Eskanazi Hall on the IUPUI campus. The same year the school’s name was changed to the Herron School of Art and Design.

With the Herron School of Art and Design Records, the Archives is attempting to document the school’s development and its role in training artists, art educators, and designers. The records kept will show the operations of the school, the activities of faculty, staff, and students, and the school’s interaction with local, state, and national organizations involved in the arts and arts education.


89.4 Cubic Feet (87 cartons, 1 document box, and 10 flat boxes)


The Herron School of Art and Design has provided instruction in both fine and commercial art since 1902. Founded by the Art Association of Indianapolis as part of the John Herron Art Institute, the school became part of the Indiana University system in 1967 and one of the schools of IUPUI in 1969. The school’s faculty, students, and alumni have won several prestigious awards and gained national recognition for their work. The school was located in buildings at 16th and Pennsylvania Streets until 2005, when it moved into Eskenazi Hall on the IUPUI campus.

Records include correspondence, minutes, reports, newsletters, exhibition programs and promotional material, publications, videotapes, and glass slides.


Presented by the Herron School of Art and Design, 1975-2005. A75-10, A75-16, A76-3, A77-3, A77-8, A77-13, A79-28, A81-24, A82-8, A82-11, A82-17, A82-37, A83-26, A83-28, A84-21, A85-1, A85-18, A85-35, A86-34, A86-43, A87-18, A87-22, A87-23, A87-35, A88-35, A89-9, A90-5, A90-46, A93-18, A96-22, A2002/03-017, A2005/06-007, A2008/09-017, A2011/12-008, A2014/15-013, A2014/15-018.

Related Materials

Office of the Chancellor Records, 1924-2002, UA 041.

Office of the Dean of the Faculties/Executive Vice Chancellor Records, UA 044.


Carper, M. Dolorita, Sister, O.S.F. “A History of the John Herron Art Institute.” M.A. thesis, Butler University, 1947.
Warkel, Harriet G., Martin F. Krause, and S. L. Berry. The Herron Chronicle. Indianapolis: Herron School of Art in association with Indiana University Press, 2003.


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Herron School of Art and Design Records, 1902-2014
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Repository Details

Part of the University Archives Repository

IUPUI University Library
755 W. Michigan St.
Room 0133
Indianapolis IN 46202 USA