Minneapolis College of Art and Design
Established1886; 138 years ago (1886)
Endowment$53.3 million (2020)[1]
PresidentSanjit Sethi
Academic staff
Minneapolis, Minnesota
United States
CampusUrban, 10 acres (4 ha)

The Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) is a private college specializing in the visual arts and located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. MCAD currently enrolls approximately 800 students.[2] MCAD is one of just a few major art schools to offer a major in comic art.


MCAD was founded in 1886 by the trustees of the Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts and originally named the Minneapolis School of Fine Arts. Douglas Volk (1856–1935), an accomplished American portrait painter who studied in Paris with renowned French painter and sculptor Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824–1904), became the school's first president. Its inaugural class was held in a rented apartment in downtown Minneapolis and had an enrollment of 28 students, 26 of whom were women.[3][4]

In December 1889, the school found a more permanent home on the top floor of the just-finished Minneapolis Public Library at 10th Street and Hennepin Avenue. In 1893, noted German-born painter and educator Robert Koehler (1850–1917) moved from New York to Minnesota to become president of the school. Over the next ten years, he developed much of the curriculum that is known today as the art education field. By the turn of the century, the school had two instructors and had instituted a summer term, in addition to night classes for people in the community. In 1910, the School of Fine Arts changed its name to the Minneapolis School of Art to reflect the new emphasis on applied arts.[5]

In 1915, the school moved to its present location one mile south of downtown Minneapolis, and set up its classrooms and studios within the newly constructed Minneapolis Institute of Arts. The 10-acre (4 ha) site for the art museum and school was donated to the City of Minneapolis in 1911 by prominent local banker and businessman Clinton Morrison (1842–1913). It was formerly occupied by Villa Rosa, the home and estate of Morrison's parents Dorilus Morrison (1814–1897), the first mayor of Minneapolis, and Harriet Putnam Whitmore Morrison (1821–1880). The site of the Morrison's former estate is today held in the public trust under the jurisdiction of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board and is officially known as Dorilus Morrison Park.[6]

In 1916, the school moved into its own nearby facilities in the new Julia Morrison Memorial Building, which was built with funds provided to the Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts by Angus Washburn Morrison (1883–1949) and his sister, Ethel Morrison Van Derlip (1876–1921), as a memorial to their mother, Julia Kellogg Washburn Morrison (1853–1883), the wife of Clinton Morrison.[7] Designed by prominent Minneapolis architect Edwin Hawley Hewitt (1874–1939), a former Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts president, the Morrison Building featured three large painting studios with skylights, administrative offices, workshops and an auditorium.[3]

In 1970, the School was renamed the Minneapolis College of Art and Design to reflect the broadening of its fine arts and liberal arts curricula. By this time, with enrollment of nearly 600 students, the college had outgrown its facilities, and in 1974 expanded into a building designed by Pritzker Prize–winning modernist architect Kenzo Tange (1913–2005) as part of the new "arts complex" that included the Children's Theatre Company and a major addition to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.[3]

On July 1, 1988, MCAD became a wholly independent institution, no longer governed by the Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts.[3]

On October 19, 2016, the Full-time and Adjunct faculty unionized joining the Service Employees International Union Local 284.[8]


MCAD offers several degree programs: Bachelor of Fine Arts,[9] Bachelor of Science, Master of Arts, and Master of Fine Arts.[10]


MCAD Campus
The campus of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design

MCAD is located at 2501 Stevens Avenue, just south of downtown Minneapolis. It shares an eighteen-acre arts campus with the Minneapolis Institute of Art and the Children's Theatre Company. The MCAD campus consists of eight buildings and three acres of lawns and gardens.

The Minneapolis Japanese School, a weekend Japanese educational program designated by the Japanese Ministry of Education,[11] previously held its classes at MCAD.[12]


MCAD operates one main gallery space, a gallery on the concourse, an outdoor sculpture garden, and the student-run Gallery 148. The college hosts contemporary art and design exhibitions, receptions, artist talks, and other events that are free and open to the public.[13]

Notable alumni and faculty

See also


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2020. U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2020 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY19 to FY20 (Report). National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. February 19, 2021. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  2. ^ "MCAD | Minneapolis College of Art and Design". www.mcad.edu.
  3. ^ a b c d "MCAD History". MCAD. 2007.
  4. ^ "Minneapolis College of Art and Design Faculty Artists". ArtStor. May 16, 2008. Archived from the original on March 9, 2015. Retrieved July 2, 2008.
  5. ^ "Museums, Galleries, and Institutions for the Arts". Mpls Library. 2001. Archived from the original on September 25, 2008. Retrieved July 2, 2008.
  6. ^ "Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board website". Archived from the original on February 6, 2011. Retrieved April 26, 2012.
  7. ^ "Bio of Dr. Angus Washburn Morrison". Archived from the original on March 16, 2012. Retrieved October 2, 2010.
  8. ^ "MCAD faculty vote to unionize". MPR News. Retrieved February 22, 2023.
  9. ^ "MCAD: Bachelor of Fine Arts".
  10. ^ "MCAD Master of Fine Arts".
  11. ^ "日本人学校及び日本語補習授業校のご案内" (Archive). Consulate General of Japan in Chicago. Retrieved on April 8, 2015.
  12. ^ "English Page" (). Minneapolis Japanese School. October 6, 2001. Retrieved on April 8, 2015.
  13. ^ "Gallery Exhibitions". Minneapolis College of Art and Design. Retrieved April 15, 2015.
  14. ^ Crump, Robert L. (2009). Minnesota Prints and Printmakers, 1900-1945. St. Paul, MN: Minnesota Historical Society Press. p. 69. ISBN 0-87351-635-4.
  15. ^ "Linus Maurer, 1926-2016". Sonoma Index-Tribune. Retrieved November 27, 2017.
  16. ^ Rosman, Katherine (April 24, 2019). "The Chic Octogenarian Behind Barbie's Best Looks". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved August 6, 2023.

44°57′25.95″N 93°16′29.6″W / 44.9572083°N 93.274889°W / 44.9572083; -93.274889