Concept

Ringling College of Art and Design

Résumé
Ringling College of Art and Design (RCAD; stylized as Ringling College of Art + Design) is a private art and design school in Sarasota, Florida. It was founded by Ludd M. Spivey as an art school in 1931 as a remote branch of Southern College but separated by 1933. The origins of the college go back to when the President of Southern College (now called Florida Southern College), Ludd M. Spivey, wanted to get the support of John Ringling for his institution. Spivey learned that Ringling did not have an interest in helping Southern College, was almost broke and wanted to start his own art school on the grounds of the his museum. The two discussed the idea of creating a new and independent art school before reaching the agreement that they would open a school in Sarasota as a branch of Florida Southern College. The School of Fine and Applied Art of the John and Ringling Art Museum was founded on March 31, 1931. It opened on October 2 with 75 registered students. The school, although an extension of Florida Southern, initially functioned as a junior college with business and arts classes. The college would end up breaking off from Southern College in 1933 after Ringling faculty discovered and disliked that money made from the school went to pay salaries at the college's Lakeland campus. Another theory holds that conservative Methodist trustees from Florida Southern were outraged that Ringling students were drawing naked models, so they sought to end the relationship. In any case, the school ended up successfully petitioning for and officially became independent on May 14, 1933 when they received their charter. Under this new charter, the institution became known as the Ringling School of Art. In 1934, the junior college and music courses were eliminated and the decision was made to concentrate solely on art. After World War II, enrollment grew at the school, growing from 250 in 1949 to 450 by 1959, mostly because of the G.I. Bill. The institution qualified for full accreditation as a degree-granting institution by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1979.
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