The Hartford Art School has a rich history, beginning in 1877 with its founding by a virtual who’s who of late 19th century Hartford women. These visionary individuals included Harriet Beecher Stowe, the abolitionist writer; Olivia Clemens, the wife of Mark Twain; Elizabeth Colt, the president of Colt’s Firearms Manufacturing Company; Susan Warner, the wife of the owner of the Hartford Courant; and Mary Bushnell Cheney of Cheney Silk Mills. We believe the founders would be proud to know that the school they created in Hartford, more than a century and a quarter ago, has become one of the most highly regarded art schools in the country.
In 1957, the Hartford Art School merged with the Hartt School and Hillyer College to form the University of Hartford. Today, the University has seven colleges, 4,600 undergraduate students and a total enrollment of 7,000 students, including graduate and professional programs. Hartford Art School students have the best of both worlds. They are enrolled in a rigorous professional studio-based program that is an integral part of a thriving university environment. Our 350 undergraduate BFA and 90 graduate MFA students have access to a large university library, university-wide lectures, expertise in other colleges, as well as outstanding music, theater and dance concerts, plus sports events held throughout the year.