Cornish College of the Arts
Cornish College of the Arts was founded in 1914 as the Cornish School of Music, by
As Cornish developed the idea of her school, she initially turned to the Montessori-based pedagogical method of
Evelyn Fletcher-Copp, but turned at last to the progressive musical pedagogy of
Nellie Cornish recruited opportunistically where she saw talent, and the school soon offered classes as diverse as
In 1920, in recognition that music was no longer the school's central focus, the school's name was simplified to The Cornish School. By this time, too, the school had expanded its age range, and was offering classes and lessons from early childhood to the undergraduate level. The school gathered a board of trustees from among Seattle's elite, who funded the school through the hard economic times during and after
The Cornish Trio of the 1920s—Peter Meremblum,[
Through the 1920s, the school was often on the edge of financial failure, but was of a caliber that prompted
While there were difficult years for the school after 1939, in the long run Cornish did much more than "tread water." With support from local arts organizations and a core of dedicated faculty and staff, the school ultimately "reinvented" itself many times, and in 1977 earned full accreditation as a degree granting college from the Northwest Commission on Colleges. That was one year after the establishment of the Theatre Department as the fifth fully fledged academic department. In 1982, the college received a large Title III grant which was instrumental in establishing the Video Art program in the Art department, and in the genesis of the Performance Production Department, which was granted full departmental status with the graduation of its first class in 1986. The BFA in Performance Production added concentrations in Costume, Lighting, Scenic and Sound Design, Stage Management and Technical Direction. Performance Production was established as an independent department so that it would be able to provide support to major productions of the Theatre, Dance and Music departments and provide its students with experience in all three. Recognizing the vital importance of liberal arts studies as a part of the education of an artist, Cornish established its seventh department, Humanities and Sciences, some years later. Humanities and Sciences had been an important part of the Cornish education even before the accreditation process of the '70s, but the important step of granting department status reaffirmed the commitment to "whole person" education.
Miss Aunt Nellie: The Autobiography of Nellie C. Cornish, was published by the University of Washington Press in 1964, largely with funds from the Cornish School Alumni Association. Produced a decade after Nellie Cornish's death, the book was co-edited by Ellen Van Volkenburg and Edward Nordhoff Beck.