AAC History Timeline
The Art Academy of Cincinnati’s roots are in the McMicken School of Drawing and Design, founded in 1869 for the “promotion of taste and design in the industrial arts.” The McMicken School became one of the first established departments of the University of Cincinnati. In 1884, Joseph Longworth, a Cincinnati philanthropist, was instrumental in the founding of the Cincinnati Art Museum and the Art Academy of Cincinnati. The McMicken School separated from the University of Cincinnati and became part of the Cincinnati Museum Association. The change of association culminated in an official name change to the Art Academy of Cincinnati and a move to a new facility built adjacent to the Cincinnati Art Museum in Eden Park in November of 1887.
In 2005 the Art Academy of Cincinnati moved from its Eden Park and Mount Adams locations to its current campus in historic Over-the-Rhine, a move that enabled the college to provide 24-hour access to over 100 student studio spaces, improved instructional studios, and other updated campus facilities. The Art Academy of Cincinnati was awarded numerous awards for the development, design and construction of the new facility and achieved LEED Certification by the US Green Building Council in 2008.
The Art Academy of Cincinnati has a rich heritage of 150 years (1869-2019) of great art, great art instruction, and educated many accomplished artists and designers. Art Academy of Cincinnati continues to provide personalized attention to students and to touch Cincinnatians’ lives through community education programming. This private not-for-profit institution of higher education is an anchor for the creative artistic community in a vibrant and growing arts district.