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Outer Circle is Art Center’s alumni publication and features alumni-driven content and stories. Produced by Art Center’s Office of Alumni Relations and the Marketing and Communications Department.  If you have story ideas for inclusion in future Outer Circle publications, please contact the Alumni Relations office at 626.396.2305 or email alumni@artcenter.edu.


Editorial Director:
Vanessa Silberman

Contributor: Kristine Bowne

Writers: Lara Warren, Mike Winder

Design: Paul Gillis

Web site production:
Chuck Spangler

Alumni Notes and Events Coordinator: Matt O’Brien

Special Thanks:
Robert Dirig, College Archivist

Cover Illustration:
Andrew Holder ILLU ‘07

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80 Years in Pictures

Third Street campus, circa 1950.
“That shot of everybody out on the lawn? Based on my recollections, I’d say that was staged. Nobody ever did that. There was no time to lounge around outside!

Being downtown was central for most people, but I was living in Venice and didn’t have a car. Thankfully my buddy Ed had a car. So every morning we’d take my son to his nursery school, Ed to UCLA, my wife to her job in Beverly Hills and then I’d go downtown. That went on for almost two years! I look back now and say, ‘How the hell did we get through that?’”
–Leland Lee PHOT ’52

7th Street Campus

1947 – 1976
3rd Street Campus

Returning World War II veterans increased enrollment dramatically at Art Center, prompting a move in 1946 to a larger building on Third Street (formerly the Cumnock School for Girls) in the Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. The new campus had plenty of space for classrooms and workshops, an auditorium, a large central courtyard and a front lawn where students could socialize.

The move went hand-in-hand with a switch to a year-round schedule. Ex-GIs, older and often married with children, saw no need for summer vacation. During this time, the school’s famous work ethic became entrenched and its reputation for attracting passionate students drew renowned professionals to the faculty.

In 1948, the Transportation Design Department was founded. In 1949, Art Center became an accredited four-year college, and offered its first bachelor degrees in Industrial Design, Photography, Illustration and Advertising. In 1965, The Art Center School changed its name to Art Center College of Design. New departments were soon added: Fine Art in 1967, Environmental Design in 1969 and Film in 1973. And in 1975, a graduate degree in Film was first offered.

Hillside Campus

Vevey Campus

South Campus