Collection on Royal B. Farnum

RIT Archives

Table of Contents

Collection Overview
Biographical Information for Royal B. Farnum
Scope and Content
Arrangement
Subject Headings
Information for Researchers
Administrative Information
Related Materials

Collection Overview (Collapse)

Title
Collection on Royal B. Farnum
Bulk Date(s)
1916-1942
Inclusive Date(s)
1916-2000
Abstract
Contains photocopies of clippings and articles about and by Royal B. Farnum, third president of the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute (RAMI) from 1919-1921.
Extent
1.0 Folder(s)
Location
C.S. South, Shelf 783, Box 3
Repository
RIT Archive Collections
RIT Libraries
Wallace Center
90 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, New York, 14623
(585) 475-2557
raswml@rit.edu
Language
English

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Biographical Information for Royal B. Farnum (Collapse)

The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) can trace its origins to the founding of the Rochester Athenaeum in 1829. After joining with several different Rochester institutions during the 19th century, the Athenaeum finally merged with the Mechanics Institute (founded in 1885) in 1891 to form the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute (RAMI).

Until 1910, the Institute never had a president of its faculty. For the previous twenty-five years, the Board of Directors handled all executive concerns. At this time the Institute was expanding rapidly, and Board Members had private affairs to tend to, leaving less time for Institute matters. This combination of factors made a separate executive head necessary. The Board named Carleton Gibson the first president of the Institute in June, 1910. He was followed by James F. Barker (1916-1919) and Royal B. Farnum (1919-1921).

A graduate of the Massachusetts Normal Art School, Farnum taught art classes in the Cleveland public schools and served as Director of the Normal Department of the Cleveland School of Art. In 1918, he was hired by the Mechanics Institute as Superintendent of the Department of Applied Arts. Within a year he was named president of the Institute.

During Farnum's tenure, more students enrolled at the institute than ever before. This was primarily due to the school's appeal as an intermediary place of instruction between high school and college-level education. Fundraising efforts carried out during his term allowed the school to remain financially stable.

In 1921 he left the Institute to serve as Principal of the Massachusetts Normal Art School and Director of Art Education for the state of Massachusetts. In 1929 he moved to the Rhode Island School of Design, first as Educational Director, then as Executive Vice President. He also served as president of several national organizations: the National Association for Art Education, the National Association of Schools of Design, and the Federal Council on Art Education.

Farnum died in August of 1916 at age 83.

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Scope and Content (Collapse)

The Collection on Royal B. Farnum contains photocopies of clippings related to Farnum's appointment and role as third president of the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute (now RIT). Also included are copies of articles he wrote regarding art education. They are:

  1. "The Purpose of Art Instruction in American Education"
  2. "Art Education in the United States"
  3. "Biennial Survey of Education in the United States 1928-1930, Chapter 8, Art Education"
  4. "How Pictures Talk in the Home"
  5. "Art and Its Relationships"

Lastly, there are two articles on Farnum's retirement from the Rhode Island School of Design and an obituary clipping.

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Arrangement (Collapse)

Collection materials are arranged chronologically.

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Subject Headings (Collapse)

Personal Name(s)

  • Farnum, Royal B., (Royal Bailey), 1884-1967

Corporate Name(s)

  • Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute -- Presidents.

Subject(s)

  • Universities and colleges -- New York (State) -- Rochester -- Administration
  • Universities and colleges -- New York (State) -- Rochester -- History

Genre(s)

  • Articles
  • Clippings (information artifacts)

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Information for Researchers (Collapse)

Preferred Citation

Collection on Royal B. Farnum, RIT Archive Collections

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open to researchers.

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Administrative Information (Collapse)

Collection ID

RITArc.0212

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Amy Vilz in July 2011.

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Related Materials (Collapse)

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