The problem was that no one knew exactly what sort of courses to teach. This was one of the first art schools in the country, and methods of teaching industrial art design had not yet been determined.
Those who had hoped the School of Design would lead to economic gains in Cincinnati
industries were upset that drawing classes seemed geared more toward training fine artists rather than designers. It really wouldn’t be until Pitman’s woodcarving and china painting courses shifted the school’s emphasis that design really became a part of the curriculum.
in 1873 would prove to be a turning point in the history of the School of Design. furniture-making was
a large industry in the city at the time, so the school readily accepted Pitman’s class offer. Up until that point, the majority of art students had been men, but Pitman’s classes attracted mostly women, including Maria Longworth Nichols and M. Louise McLaughlin.
This is what would lead Cincinnati into the Art and Crafts Movement.