In Memorium: Al Hurwitz (1920-2012)

Image courtsey Alice Arnold - Al with Alice at the NAEA Conference 2011, Seattle, USA

Dr. Albert Hurwitz was born in 1920 in Westminster, Maryland. At the age of 11, his keen interest in art led him to Baltimore for Saturday classes at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Later he studied art education under Leon Winslow and Margaret Glace. His teaching career began in the Dade County School in Miami. He first taught at the elementary level, then in junior high school, later in high school. His final post in the district as a supervisor, led him to a supervision post in the Newton Public Schools where he worked until his retirement. During his tenure in Massachusetts, he earned his doctorate in Art Education from the Pennsylvania State University, served as an education associate for Harvard's Graduate School of Education, and directed Continuing Studies for the Mass College of Art. He published ten books including the classic text for primary art education ‘Children and Their Art’. He also served as president of both the National Art Education Association (NAEA) and International Society of Education through Art (INSEA), lecturing around the world, receiving numerous professional awards, participating in symposiums and keeping his own studio work active until the week of his passing. Dr Hurwitz also enlisted in the Marines following Pearl Harbour and made several wartime drawings, which he donated to the National Marine Corps Museum in Quantico, USA (see article Combat artist Al Hurwitz donates sketches to Marine Corps museum’ in MVTimes). Dr Hurwitz died late in the afternoon of March 24, 2012 in Los Angeles, California, aged 91 (see article Albert Hurwitz in MVTimes).

Images by Ralph Stewart: Source -Article 'Combat artist Al Hurwitz donates sketches to Marine Corps museum’

Reflection - Alice Arnold: "I joined NAEA and USSEA in 1979. Each year at the InSEA-USSEA International Luncheon at NAEA, Al would begin the ceremony by introducing everyone from another country. I have always had an interest in folks from other countries and Al would so graciously introduce each table and go around introducing each special guest. He set the tone of caring and concern that was so much InSEA and USSEA. It was an unconditional caring and I will always remember his spirit. Al was a leader and a friend. He was a very special person in my life".

Reflection - Rita Irwin: "It is with great sadness that I share with you the passing of one of InSEA's past presidents, Dr. Al Hurwitz. As Dr. Karen Carroll, Dean of MICA describes: Al passed away Saturday March 24, in Los Angeles, "in an art gallery gazing into a pastoral landscape with his daughter, Tamara, at his side. He was 91. He lived his last years as fully and joyfully as he did all the rest - and the support of his friends reignited his passion to live to the fullest after the loss of Helen just two years ago." Dr. Hurwitz served as president of the International Society for Education through Art from 1975-78 and was well known for helping teachers from developing countries secure funding to attend international conferences. He travelled widely, always visiting local schools and art educators and often giving drawing workshops with children. Many will remember his tours for art educators to Russia, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Israel, Egypt, Turkey, and China. Many others will remember his keynote addresses and lectures in US, Korea, Qatar, South Africa, Israel, Egypt, Spain, Brazil, and Taiwan. Dr. Hurwitz's personal collection of international student artwork is archived in the library at the Pennsylvania State University. While Dr. Hurwitz was very involved with InSEA, he was also the Chair Emeritus of the Center for Art Education at MICA, Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. MICA now has "The Hurwitz Study Center", a tribute to a remarkable art educator.

Dr. Hurwitz, himself or in collaboration with other authors, wrote numerous books in art education. These include: (i) Memory and Experience: Thematic Drawings by Qatari, Taiwanese, Malaysian, and American Children with Karen Carroll (2008); (ii) Pathways to Appreciation: A Sourcebook for Media and Methods with Stanley Madeja and Eldon Katter (2003); (iii) Children and Their Art with Michael Day (7 editions, latest 2001); (iv) Art Education in America with O. Scholz (1994); (v) Collaboration in Art Education (1993); (vi) Teaching Drawing from Art with Brent and Marjorie Wilson (1986); (vii) International Art Education with Robert Ott; (viii) The Gifted and Talented in Art (1983); (ix) The Joyous Vision: A Sourcebook for Elementary Art Appreciation with Stanley Madeja (1977); (x) Programs of Promise (1973). Dr Hurwitz also received many awards and honours during his lifetime. For InSEA members, the following will stand out as highly significant: (i) 1989 Viktor Lowenfeld Award, National Art Education Association (USA); (ii) 1987 Edwin Ziegfeld Award, US Society for Education through Art; (iii) 1981 Sir Herbert Read Award, International Society for Education through Art; (iv) 2011 Eisner Lifetime Achievement Award, National Art Education Association (USA). Dr. Hurwitz has left a lasting legacy in so many ways. We will miss him terribly. On behalf of InSEA, I wish to extend my heartfelt sympathy to Al's family and his very extensive network of friends and colleagues".