The Cooper Union is a science and art college situated in Lower Manhattan, New York City. It is a privately financed college and one of the few institutions in America that offer a full tuition scholarship to all the students that are admitted.
History of Cooper Union:
The Cooper Union was established in 1859 by Peter Cooper, an American industrialist. In the beginning the institute provided night classes on applied sciences and architectural drawing. During the day, free classes for women were held on photography, telegraphy, typewriting and shorthand. The Cooper Union prohibited discrimination on grounds of race, religion or sex. The free classes provided by Cooper Union were a landmark in American History. Those classes gradually evolved into three eminent schools. The School of Art, the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture and the Albert Nerken School of Engineering are jointly known as the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.
Curriculum of Cooper Union:
Cooper Union does not have the traditional curriculum followed by other art schools. The students at Cooper Union do not choose a major. The institute believes in a generalist approach to studies. The students have to go through a foundation year. At the completion of the foundation year, they are free to choose classes from any of the art departments. A student can focus on a particular subject and yet is free to explore other interests. The unusual curriculum creates an affluent cross pollination.
Modern Cooper Union:
The Cooper Union has evolved into its present state with three other schools. The education at Cooper Union is still free. A new Art Studio and Engineering Lab facility has replaced the old Hewitt Building on Cooper Square. The creative energy of the School of Art is drawn from the East Village. Cooper Union is rated as the most prestigious art school in North America and has produced many of the most renowned artists in today’s world. Saskia Bos is the current Dean of the School of Art.