Rhode Island School of Design
|Type||Private art school|
|Endowment||$349.7 million (2019)|
421 part-time (2018-19)
13 acres (53,000 m2)
RISD's campus is located at the base of College Hill and contiguous with the Brown University campus. The two institutions, which share social, academic, and community resources, offer a joint degree program and students can cross register for classes.
Founding of the school
The Centennial Women were a group formed to raise funds for a separate Women's Pavilion showcasing women's work at the 1876 Centennial Exposition. In a little over a year the RI women raised over $10,000 with spectacles such as: a recreation of the burning of the Gaspee that drew a crowd of 9,000, the writing and publication of a monthly newspaper, Herald of the Century, and an art exhibition. The Women's Pavilion at the 1876 Centennial successfully highlighted women's "economic right to self-sufficiency" and included exhibits from recently founded design schools, displays of new patents by women entrepreneurs, and a library containing only books written by women. The Rhode Island Centennial Women submitted their newspaper, Herald of the Century, to this Women's Pavilion's library.
At the end of the World's Fair, the RI Centennial Women had $1,675 left over and spent some time negotiating how best to memorialize their achievements. Helen Adelia Rowe Metcalf proposed that the group donate the money to found what would become Rhode Island School of Design, and this option was chosen by a majority of the women on January 11, 1877. The school was incorporated on March 22, 1877 and opened its doors the following fall at the Hoppin Homestead in downtown Providence, RI. Metcalf directed the school until her death in 1895. Her daughter, Eliza Greene Metcalf Radeke, then took over until her death in 1931.
The Rhode Island General Assembly ratified "An Act to Incorporate the Rhode Island School of Design" on March 22, 1877, "[f]or the purpose of aiding in the cultivation of the arts of design". Over the next 129 years, the following original by-laws set forth these following primary objectives:
- The instruction of artisans in drawing, painting, modeling, and designing, that they may successfully apply the principles of Art to the requirements of trade and manufacture.
- The systematic training of students in the practice of Art, in order that they may understand its principles, give instruction to others, or become artists.
- The general advancement of public Art Education, by the exhibition of works of Art and of Art school studies, and by lectures on Art.
In July 2020, President Somerson began negotiations with the RISD faculty union over the avoidance of possible layoffs by suggesting cost-cutting measures. The part-time faculty union, the National Education Association rejected the initial proposal.
Racial diversity and equity
In the summer of 2020, after the Black Lives Matter and George Floyd protests, RISD students and alumni came forward to voice outrage at the institution for failing at social equity and inclusion. They formed a student-led RISD Anti-Racism Coalition (ARC) alongside BIPOC faculty. As a result in July 2020, RISD announced they would hire 10 new faculty members that would specialize in "race and ethnicity in arts and design", the RISD museum would return back to Nigeria a sculpture that was once looted, expand and diversify the curriculum, and the school would, "remain committed to reform".
|E. Roger Mandle||1993–2008|
|Louis A. Fazzano||1992–1993 (interim president)|
|Thomas F. Schutte||1983–1992|
|Donald M. Lay, Jr.||1968–1969 (interim president)|
|John R. Frazier||1955–1962|
|Max W. Sullivan||1947–1955|
|Helen Metcalf Danforth||1931–1947|
|Eliza Greene Metcalf Radeke||1913–1931|
|Isaac Comstock Bates||1907–1913|
|William Carey Poland||1896–1907|
|Herbert Warren Ladd||1891–1896|
|Alfred Henry Littlefield||June 11–27, 1890 (resigned)|
|Royal Chapin Taft||1888–1890|
|Claudius Buchanan Farnsworth||1877–1888|
In 2014, U.S. News & World Report ranked RISD first amongst Fine Arts programs. In 2019 RISD was ranked 4th by the QS World University Rankings amongst Art & Design programs. Its undergraduate architecture program ranked 6 in DesignIntelligence's ranking of the Top Architecture Schools in the US for 2019. In 2018, the institution was also named among Forbes’ America's Top Colleges and the Chronicle of Higher Education's Top Producers of US Fulbright Scholars.
The RISD Museum was founded in 1877 on the belief that art, artists, and the institutions that support them play pivotal roles in promoting broad civic engagement and creating more open societies. The RISD Museum stewards works of art representing cultures from ancient times to the present from around the globe.
RISD has many athletic clubs and teams. As might be considered fitting for an arts school, the symbolism used for the teams is unique. The hockey team is called the "Nads", and their cheer is "Go Nads!" The logo for the Nads features a horizontal hockey stick with two non-descript circles at the end of the stick's handle.
The basketball team is known simply as the "Balls", and their slogan is, "When the heat is on, the Balls stick together." The Balls' logo consists of two balls next to one another in an irregularly shaped net.
Lest the sexual innuendo of these team names and logos be lost or dismissed, the 2001 creation of the school's mascot, Scrotie, ended any ambiguity. Despite the name, Scrotie is not merely a representation of a scrotum, but is a 7-foot tall penis, with scrotum and testes at the bottom. In 2016, the school reported that the 2009 incarnation of the mascot had been deemed not appropriate for younger fans, and so the mascot would return to its earlier, "more cartoonish" appearance.
RISDmade & RISD Craft
- As of June 30, 2019. "U.S. and Canadian 2019 NTSE Participating Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2019 Endowment Market Value, and Percentage Change in Market Value from FY18 to FY19 (Revised)". National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. Retrieved April 22, 2020.
- "About". Rhode Island School of Design. Retrieved January 6, 2020.
- "RHODE ISLAND SCHOOL OF DESIGN". Supply Rhode Island.
- "RISD + Brown".
- Austin, Nancy. "Towards a Genealogy of Visual Culture at the Rhode Island School of Design, 1875–1900". Dissertation, Brown University. Ann Arbor: ProQuest/UMI, 2009. (Publication No. 3370099.)
- Austin, Nancy. "What a Beginning is Worth". Infinite Radius. Ed. Dawn Barrett and Andrew Martinez. (Providence: Rhode Island School of Design, 2008) 170–196.
- Austin, Nancy. "No Honors to Divide". Infinite Radius. Ed. Dawn Barrett and Andrew Martinez. (Providence: Rhode Island School of Design, 2008) 197–217.
- Austin, Nancy. "A Place for Design: RISD at the Hoppin Homestead, 1878–1893". Towards a Genealogy of Visual Culture at the Rhode Island School of Design, 1875–1900. Dissertation, Brown University. Ann Arbor: ProQuest/UMI, 2009. (Publication No. 3370099.)
- Kirk, Laura Meade (2004-03-21). "From bonnets to baccalaureates". The Providence Journal. Retrieved 2007-10-17.
- Borg, Linda (March 16, 2020). "RISD becoming blank canvas as students leave". ProvidenceJournal.com. Retrieved 2020-07-06.
- Borg, Linda (June 16, 2020). "RISD plans hybrid of in-person and online instruction". ProvidenceJournal.com. Retrieved 2020-07-06.
- Borg, Linda (July 1, 2020). "RISD president: 'We are continuing to have conversations to avoid layoffs'". ProvidenceJournal.com. Retrieved 2020-07-06.
- Fitzpatrick, Edward (July 21, 2020). "Responding to activism, RISD is hiring faculty, boosting diversity, returning looted artifacts". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2020-08-10.
- "Rhode Island School of Design releases open letter promising social equity action". The Architect’s Newspaper. 2020-07-27. Retrieved 2020-08-10.
- "RISD announces plans to focus on social equity and inclusion in art and design education". Archinect. Retrieved 2020-08-10.
- "Rhode Island School of Design | RISD | Best College | US News". Colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com. Retrieved 2015-03-06.
- "QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019 - Art & Design". QS World University Rankings. Retrieved 14 August 2015.
- "The Best Architecture Schools in the U.S. 2019". 3 September 2016.
- "Forbes - America's Top Colleges".
- "Brown, RISD again among top Fulbright producers". Providence Business News. February 21, 2018.
- "RISD Clubs and Organizations".
- "10 Weirdest College Mascots - RISD mascot, university mascot".
- Zeigler, Cyd (11 July 2012). "Rhode Island School of Design students love their Nads and Balls". Outsports.
- Molinari, Jessica. "Scrotie The Penis & More Wacky College Mascots". Bustle.
- "The Story Of Scrotie, The College Sports Mascot Who Was A Dick And Balls". 22 September 2016.
- "Scrotie Responds to Hands-on Attention". www.risd.edu.
- "A Costume Change for Scrotie". Our RISD.
- Keller, Hadley (2018-01-12). "RISDmade, a New Way to Shop From the World's Most Talented Makers and Designers". Architectural Digest. Retrieved 2018-01-12.
- Olson, Katy B. (2018-01-11). "Have you shopped RISD's new maker shop?". JSN Global Media. Retrieved 2018-01-12.
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