The School of Visual Arts is located in the New York City borough of Manhattan and is one of the leading colleges of art and design. The school has two campuses in Manhattan. It was founded in the year 1947 by co-founders Silas H. Rhodes and Burne Hogarth and was named as the Cartoonists and Illustrators School. It was renamed as School of Visual Arts in the year 1956 after Rhodes realized that there is more to art than just technique. In 1960, the school moved to its present location. In 1967, a building was acquired for photography. In 1969, the Virtual Arts Museum was established. In 1981, the Visual Arts Gallery opened in Soho. It is a member of Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design. In 1997, School of Visual Arts celebrated its golden jubilee year.
In the year 1972, School of Visual Arts got the authority to grant the bachelor degrees in film, fine arts, media arts and photography. In 1983, it started its graduate program. Presently, School of Visual Arts offers undergraduate courses in animation, advertising, computer art, photography, graphic design, illustration, interior design, fine arts, film & video and visual and critical studies. The undergraduate program is a four year full time course. The School of Visual Arts offers master degrees in painting, drawing and sculpture, computer art, art therapy, design, digital photography, illustration as visual essay, photography, video and related media and art criticism and writing.
The main objective of School of Visual Arts is to educate students who aspire to become professional artists. The School aims to serve the greater good through community services.
The School of Visual Arts has an amphitheater, a digital imaging center, a cafeteria, animation studio, illustration studios, cartooning studio, Design Department gallery, Design Department studio, visual arts library, film lab, black-and-white photography darkroom and a digital imaging lab. It also has a photography studio, student-run radio station, painting studios, print shop, digital lab, green-screen room, sculpture center, visual arts gallery and writing resource center.