An exotic-sounding name keeps popping up in my world – Miss Blanche Hutto – compelling me to take a deep dive into Fort Wayne’s art history. Dive into Fort Wayne history with Collection Information Specialist Sue Slick to learn more about a teacher who inspired many artists!
Our current exhibit, 1026 West Berry Street, shines a light on the Fort Wayne Art School and when we return from the holidays we will begin working towards the 2019 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards and exhibit. This post remembers Fort Wayne native Bill Blass — king of fashion, handsome heartthrob, most available bachelor, darling of the fashion press — all words written about this icon of high fashion who had ties to both the Art School and to the Scholastic Awards.
Did you know that there was a proposal to put the Fort Wayne Art School and Museum in Foster Park? Read on to follow Sue Slick on her journey to discover the multiple places we almost had our Art Museum located!
When the name Hamilton is mentioned in the context of Fort Wayne history, we tend to think of the famous female cousins – Agnes, Edith, Alice, Norah, and sometimes Jesse, but most are less acquainted with their cousin, James Montgomery Hamilton. James (1876-1941) was the son of Allen and Cecilia (Frank) Hamilton. Though his name is not as familiar, and details of his life are less known, his generosity and devotion to his boyhood home left a lasting mark on Fort Wayne and on our Museum.
Surprising things often turn up in our archives, and the story of the first Director of the Fort Wayne Art School & Museum is one of those. When Theodore Thieme, president of the Wayne Knitting Mills, gave his home on Berry Street to the Fort Wayne Art School in 1921, he mandated some conditions before the transfer of his property could occur. One condition was that the Museum would become a formal part of the institution, others described the new board, constitution, and memberships, and, finally, it was agreed that the school would have a Director. Until then, the Board of Control had recruited an array of instructors, but had not appointed an executive. Now, with the added responsibilities of the Museum, a large endowment, and growing enrollment, it was necessary that the school and museum have a leader.
There are three small faded black and white photographs in the archives of the Walter E. Helmke Library at PFW that record a colorful bit of Fort Wayne history. So why include one of these obscure photographs in the FWMoA blog?