Newcomb College Art School


H. Sophie Newcomb Memorial College for Women was the inspired gift of Mrs. Josephine Newcomb in memory of her daughter, Harriet Sophie. Paired with the men’s school, Tulane University, it was the first degree-granting women’s coordinate institution in the nation. Its doors opened in 1887,and a classical curriculum was joined by an innovative Art School, which trained women to be self-supporting in the recovering Southern economy. The instructors, artists and decorators of Newcomb Art School built the College’s reputation and became leaders in art education and style in New Orleans and the South.

The Art School was at the forefront of the American Arts and Crafts Movement. Fine Art and a variety of Crafts were taught; but it was the Pottery that earned the School international fame by 1900.

Although the Art School significantly changed after the World Wars, its standard of excellence continued in Newcomb College studio art courses, which graduated nationally recognized modernist Ida Kohlmeyer and local fine jewelry creator Mignon Faget.

On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina brought vibrant New Orleans to a standstill and necessitated the closure of the present Newcomb College on July 1, 2006.

Jean Bragg Gallery of Southern Art has long recognized the excellence of Newcomb Art School and has published research catalogs: Newcomb College Arts and Crafts Sales Exhibition, 1998; The Newcomb Style, 2001; and Painting the Town, The Woodward Brothers Come to New Orleans, 2004. The Gallery has acquired many works of art from the talented women of Newcomb College and offers collectors an opportunity to share in the beautiful and timeless legacy of the Art School.

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