On October 15, 1919, the Broadmoor Art Academy (BAA) was born. Through the generosity of Julie and Spencer Penrose, the art school was housed in their former residence at 30 West Dale Street. Drawn to the idea of exploring the Wild West, artists came to Colorado Springs to experience its clear blue skies, dramatic lighting, and rugged landscape. Countless influential artists came to the school through 1935, contributing to its inspiring and creative environment. From great American Impressionists and Post-Impressionists to celebrated muralists, Regionalists, and Social Realists, the Academy was concurrently rooted in tradition and responsive to the zeitgeist of the first half of the 20th century. Built on the foundation of the prestigious Broadmoor Art Academy, the Fine Arts Center opened in 1936 with a new name and new building on the same site, perpetuating the legacy of the BAA. Elevating techniques in printmaking and embracing the language of abstraction, the mid-century was a period of innovation that progressed toward the establishment of a unique regional artistic identity. In 2019, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College continues to celebrate and embody the vision of our predecessors. We honor Colorado’s arts and cultural heritage through vibrant programming in our non-profit art museum, performing arts theatre, and arts education center. Proudly looking back on 100 years, we are inspired to continue progressing boldly toward tomorrow, creating an institution in service to our local and global communities. The FAC of 2019 is testament to our storied past, and the future will be what we dream of today. This FAC Legacy Series exhibition is a confluence of hundreds of works from dozens of local, national, private, and public collections, and interpreted by some of the finest regional art historians.
Image © 1979 Amon Carter Museum of American Art: Laura Gilpin, Untitled, Ca. 1936-1938