NAEA 75th Anniversary Historical Update

March 2022

Five years ago, as NAEA began to focus on the Association’s 75th anniversary in 2022, NAEA Distinguished Fellows were tasked with gathering, writing, and editing an update to the 50th anniversary history published in 1997. *1

The goal of this momentous project was to encompass the breadth and depth of NAEA’s development through its divisions, interest groups, and other activities, and to substantiate for members a historical account focused on (1) how NAEA has built advocacy for the visual arts in education and in the wider community and (2) how NAEA has furthered the general aims of the Association for greater quality in art education. This account would clarify how historical documents, historiography, theoretical literature, and practice inform the visions and actions of NAEA’s membership over time.

Readers will learn how NAEA came into being, why that beginning might be reexamined, who played what part as the Association grew in size and scope, and what thoughts were embraced at critical junctures—an ongoing record of the ways NAEA members’ interests and involvement continue to impact the future of NAEA and the strength of its advocacy for the field of art education.

This abridged version of our 75th anniversary history update embraces a diversity of interests and provides historical context for where NAEA might go in the future. Each chapter contributes a piece to the history, as these scholarly narratives particularize the most recent quarter century of events, contributions, and workings of an association dedicated to art education.

Expanded versions of many of the chapters, along with appendices, will be posted on the NAEA website this summer for further reading and research.

*1 National Art Education Association: Our History—Celebrating 50 Years, 1947–1997

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