Barbara Cowles collection of Beaux Arts Ball and RIT Art Department faculty photographs

RIT Archive Collections

Table of Contents

Collection Overview
Historical Information for Beaux Arts Ball
Scope and Content
Arrangement
Subject Headings
Information for Researchers
Administrative Information
Related Materials

Collection Overview (Collapse)

Title
Barbara Cowles collection of Beaux Arts Ball and RIT Art Department faculty photographs
Inclusive Date(s)
ca. 1950's
Abstract
Barbara Cowles collection of Beaux Arts Ball and RIT Art Department faculty photographs consists of 32 black-and-white photographs from the 1950's. Also included is a hand-written letter from Barbara Cowles, the donor, to Becky Simmons, RIT Archivist briefly explaining the gift.
Extent
1.0 Folder(s) (1 envelope of photos)
Location
C.S. Mid-range, Shelf 41
Repository
RIT Archive Collections
RIT Libraries
Wallace Center
90 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, New York, 14623
(585) 475-2557
raswml@rit.edu
Language
English

Return to Top »


Historical Information for Beaux Arts Ball (Collapse)

Beaux Arts Balls or Bal des Quat’z Arts were the biggest, craziest parties of the Jazz Age. The Architecture community of the Ecole des Beaux Arts hosted the very first ball. The Beaux Arts Ball (in French the Bal des Quatres Arts) is the annual costume ball traditionally given by the students of the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris in the spring, in the École building on the rue Bonaparte overlooking the Seine. Elaborately decorated allegorical floats circled the room at midnight and were judged by a panel. Its reputation for fabulously designed nudity, louche antics, cross-dressing and high style encouraged imitators in American cities. In 1931, in New York, famous architects dressed up as their buildings and today, many American architecture schools hold similar costume balls.

Almost two hundred years later the celebration continues in the United States and around the world today.

Return to Top »


Scope and Content (Collapse)

This collection consists of 32 black and white 3 x 3 inch photographs of the Beaux Arts Ball put on by the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Art Department in the 1950s. The photographs are of individuals, mostly students, dressed in costumes and posing for the camera under an archway. Also included is a hand-written letter from Barbara Cowles, the donor, to Becky Simmons, RIT Archivist briefly explaining the gift.

There are six black and white 4 x 5 inch snapshots taken at an RIT Art Department function. There is another black and white 3 1/2 x 5 inch image of Tage Frid, woodworking faculty in the RIT School for American Craftsmen and other unidentified individuals. The last photograph is a black and white 3 x 4 inch snapshot of Dr. Paul A. Miller, RIT President, and his wife, Francena Miller at the Henrietta campus, probably around the early 1970s. Other photographs include RIT faculty Ruth Gutfrucht, Clifford Ulp, Harold Brennan, and Stanley Witmeyer.

Return to Top »


Arrangement (Collapse)

Photographs are arranged by subject.

Return to Top »


Subject Headings (Collapse)

Personal Name(s)

  • Brennan, Harold James, 1903-1989
  • Cowles, Barbara
  • Frid, Tage
  • Gutfrucht, Ruth E., 1918-1993
  • Miller, Francena
  • Miller, Paul A., 1917-2015
  • Ulp, Clifford M., (Clifford McCormick), 1885-1958
  • Witmeyer, Stanley Herbert, 1913-

Corporate Name(s)

  • Rochester Institute of Technology. Applied Art Department.
  • Rochester Institute of Technology. Department of Art and Design.

Subject(s)

  • Art students -- New York (State) -- Rochester
  • Beaux Arts Ball
  • Costumes--1950-1960.
  • Student activities -- New York (State) -- Rochester
  • Universities and colleges -- Faculty -- New York (State) -- Rochester

Genre(s)

  • Black-and-white prints (photographs)

Return to Top »


Information for Researchers (Collapse)

Preferred Citation

Barbara Cowles collection of Beaux Arts Ball and RIT Art Department faculty photographs, RIT Archive Collections

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open to researchers.

Return to Top »


Administrative Information (Collapse)

Collection ID

RITArc.0377

Accession Information

The collection of photographs were donated to RIT Archive Collections by Barbara Cowles and from the family of Donald Bujnowski in May 2012. Accession number(s): 2012:017

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Jody Sidlauskas in June 2012.

Return to Top »


Related Materials (Collapse)

Return to Top »