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Conference: Defining the Decorated School

Defining the Decorated School: A Little History, A Few Functions

02 April 2012
101 Churchill, Northeastern University
1:00 PM – 7:00 PM

The Decorated School Research Network is an international project that researches the relationships between architects, artists and educators in integrating artworks as part of the fabric of the school environment. The network researches those aspects of the school building and grounds that contain integrated artwork produced by artists, craftsmen and sculptors at or near to the time that the school was constructed. Recovering the ‘decorated’ dimension of the school is aimed at enriching scholarly knowledge of educational, architectural and art histories, and raising public awareness and interest in the cultural value of school environments.

The conference at Northeastern University is planned as a workshop for presenting research papers on the integration of art into the architecture of the interwar and postwar school in the United States. Following Northeastern’s approach of integrating scholarship with practice, the conference will explore the opportunities and conflicts arising from the collaboration between artists, architects, educationalists, and administrators in integrating art in school environments.


11:00AM—12:00PM: Site visits
Visit to schools:  Martin Luther King, Jr. School, Cambridge. Architect: Jose Louis Sert

2:00PM—3:30 PM: Frost Lounge, Ell Hall
Historian panel

Leslie Humm Cormier, PhD, Department of Visual & Media Arts, Emerson College, Boston

A Bauhaus Building as An American Post-War Prototype

Sylvia Rhor, PhD. Associate Professor, Art History, Carlow University, Pittsburgh, PA

To Inspire and to Instruct, Then and Now: Shaping Chicago Schools through Mural Painting in the 20th Century

Michele Cohen, Ph.D., Principal, Michele Cohen Art, Founding Director of Public Art for Public Schools

Reinventing New York City Public Schools in the Post-World War II Years

4:00PM-5:30 PM: Frost Lounge, Ell Hall
Practitioner panel

Lillian Hsu, Cambridge Arts Council

Copley Wolff Design Group, Landscape Architects & Planners

Michelle M. Laboy, Associate at MaryAnn Thompson Architects

6:00-7:00PM: Churchill Hall 101
Keynote Lecture

Dr Catherine Burke, Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge and Dr Jeremy Howard, Art History, University of St Andrews.

Dr. Roy Kozlovsky
Northeastern University School of Architecture
Ryder Hall 151
360 Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02115


Supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council