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Mission and History

For over 85 years, the College of Fine Arts has championed the creative process and excellence in art.

Our Mission

The College of Fine Arts celebrates innovative creativity and scholarship, and engages students through a challenging and supportive learning environment. We infuse the arts into the university, the region, and the world, by embracing a broad spectrum of traditions and emerging practices.

Our Vision

The College of Fine Arts aspires to be an internationally significant center of creative practice and scholarship, by launching arts initiatives that reflect a diversity of ideas and cultures.

Our Values

  1. The arts have transformative power on society and on individual lives.
  2. A diversity of arts should be both accessible and challenging.
  3. Traditional and emerging practices should reflect the most rigorous measures of artistic and scholarship production.
  4. Creative processes and the scholarly study of the arts contribute to humanity and produce skills and insights that are transferable to many other areas of knowledge.
  5. Students who study diverse cultures gain a deeper understanding of our changing world.

Come see for yourself and experience the arts.

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Our History

From our early start as individual departments to our strong, centralized College, see how the arts have evolved at Ohio University.

Archive photo of Ohio University Tupper Hall being moved in 1896
Photo of Ohio University Tupper Hall being moved in 1896. Image courtesy of Ohio University Archives.


in 1896 Tupper Hall was physically moved— approx. 100 feet south and 200 feet east—which took forty days to accomplish. First opened as the Chapel Building and Library, Tupper Hall then served as the Music Hall, and finally as the Fine Arts Building, with the fledgling School of Photography darkroom/lab in the basement. This building was demolished in 1966, and the College of Fine Arts now exists across five buildings: Seigfred Hall (Art + Design), Robert Glidden Hall (Music), Putnam Hall (Dance), Kantner Hall (Theater), 31 Court Street (Film and Interdisciplinary Arts), and Jennings House.


Historical Timeline

1883 • Piano lessons and singing classes first offered at Ohio University
1889 • Department of Vocal Music established
1892 • Department of Drawing and Painting established
1900 • College of Music established
1930 • Department of Dramatic Art established
1936 • OU President Herman A. James reorganized Ohio’s traditional two-college structure into five new degree-granting colleges, thus creating the College of Fine Arts
1958 • Elizabeth Baker purchased the Monomoy Theatre on Cape Cod for theater students to gain acting experience during the summer
1964 • New doctoral program in Fine Arts was established, the Department of Comparative Arts (now the School of Interdisciplinary Arts)
1967 • School of Painting and Allied Arts renamed to the School of Art
1967 • Marching 110 founded
1968 • School of Theater established
1969 • School of Dance established
1973 • School of Film established
1974 • Athens International Film and Video Festival founded
1988 • College of Fine Arts comprised of six schools: Art, Interdisciplinary Arts, Dance, Film, Music, and Theater
1995 • Edwin L. & Ruth E. Kennedy Museum of Art opened to the public
2012 • 75th Anniversary of the College of Fine Arts
2016 • Tantrum Theater’s inaugural season
2018 • The Ohio Valley Center for Collaborative Arts Established