Fresh blood and familiar faces made up the core faculty in the 1950s.

Arthur Helwig spent four decades teaching drawing and painting.

Paul Chidlaw (AAC 1927) brought his experiences in Les Années Folles in Paris to usher the Academy to Modernism.

Sculpture teacher Chuck Cutler was a burly rebel with a chisel.

Charley Harper (AAC 1947) returned to teach illustration and commercial design with his flair for minimalism.

Noel Martin (AAC 1947) had a long tenure as an instructor and as the graphic designer for the Cincinnati Art Museum, designing everything from the museum’s logo to the exhibition catalogs and signs. Noel Martin was “one of the most creative graphic designers and typographers in the United States,” wrote Allon Schoener, former director of Contemporary Arts Center (CAC).

Julian Stanczak, a Polish refugee during World War II, taught at the Academy for seven years before his optical paintings launched the brief Op Art movement.

These instructors inspired the likes of Tom Wesselmann, Malcolm Grear, Tom Marioni, Joseph Marioni, and Jim Dine.

Tom Wesselmann made his mark in the Pop Art movement of the 1960s, blurring the line between
commercial and fine art by taking inspiration from advertising, billboards, and food labels.

The zany, frenetic jazz album-cover illustrations of Jim Flora were unlike anything else being done in the 1940s. “Flora’s designs are magically simple distillations of Cubism, Surrealism and cartoon madness, with playful figures and instruments floating in planes of color,” Ben Sisario wrote in the New York Times.