The Story in Brief


In 1952, a multimedia presentation debuted in Athens, Georgia. The designer, George Nelson named his project, “Art X.” This project which began as an evaluation of a college curriculum garnered enthusiastic attention in its day and has made a considerable impact on the contemporary world. The production was a use of film and other tools to create an automated lesson. This prototype is cited as an important milestone in the fields of education, the design of the graphic interface, and even virtual reality.  The technical achievements of Art X are by themselves worthy of in depth critique. The concepts, structure, and spirit of the Art X project demand even more investigation.

Click on the links below to begin, use the moon icon on the upper right to proceed in a linear fashion.


Chapter 1: Art South Expands

There are four domains that overlap in this research: art, education, technology, and industry. Concurrently, five different storylines all converge in the 1952 Art X demonstration. CONTINUE

Chapter 2: Lamar Dodd Makes His Mark

Lamar Dodd’s Rockefeller grant allowed him to spend $10,000 without any oversight and he used the opportunity to reevaluate their efforts from the ground up. CONTINUE

Chapter 3: Research and Creativity

The solution was simple; the team decided on a topic for their lesson and then divided the work into separate packages. The topic would be “Communication,” a suitable yet complex test. CONTINUE

Chapter 4: The Future Visits Athens

A few months later, the advisory committee would return to Athens, Georgia transporting multiple film projectors, slide projectors, reels of audio tape, bottles of synthetic smells, and exhibitions materials. CONTINUE

Chapter 5: A Traveling Tour

Following a series of demonstrations in Athens there was a public outcry for repeat performances in other parts of the country. The University of California in Los Angeles teamed up with a few local institutions to subsidize another showing of Art X.CONTINUE

Chapter 6: The New Curriculum

The art classes at UGA prior to Lamar Dodd’s arrival were tentative in their goals. There was little money, no equipment, few students and fewer faculty members. Perhaps Dodd’s first contribution to the program was an expectation of greatness. CONTINUE

Chapter 7: Good Design and
The Tale of a Room

Unlike Hoyt Sherman, Dr. Breithaupt had the opportunity to present his research to the general public instead of only to the hard-line educators of his day. Breithaupt and Dieball produced an exhibition for the, “Good Design” exhibition jointly hosted by the Museum of Modern Art and the Chicago Merchandise Mart. CONTINUE

Chapter 8: An Eight and
Thirty-Three Year Experiment

A series of grants allowed the University of Georgia to grow and produce an art department of the highest caliber. In the beginning, a series of contributions by the General Education Board culminated in lump sum of $13,750 in 1950 towards the expansion of the art program. CONTINUE
Chapter 9: Hoyt Sherman and
Drawing By Seeing
Despite the considerable influence Hoyt Sherman’s teachings had on the University of Georgia, Sherman’s only published book, “Drawing by Seeing” remains very difficult to find. An artist, himself, Sherman devised ways of teaching students how to see. CONTINUE

Chapter 10: The 1959 National Exhibit
in Moscow

When looking for a climax to American Modernism the National Exhibition in Moscow in 1959 is a satisfying choice. The exhibition grounds in Sokolniki Park were gigantic and it hosted every modern appliance and comfort that the United States Industrial complex could muster. CONTINUE

Chapter 11: George Nelson:
Designer of Modern Design

George Nelson oversaw both the Art X demonstration and the Moscow Exhibition, while acting as director of Herman Miller. Nelson often described himself as an unwilling administrator, preferring to write. CONTINUE

Chapter 12: The Eameses:
Practical Innovators

While Nelson was an unwilling administrator, Charles Eames was a reluctant innovator. His motto was, “Innovate as a last resort,” yet he found a good reason to innovate both industrial design and film. CONTINUE

Chapter 13: The Ever Changing Art School

As soon as Charles Eames, George Nelson, and Alexander Girard left Athens, Georgia, the University of Georgia staff resumed their jobs, too. Although the Art X demonstration excited people around the country their example seemed almost impossible to duplicate. CONTINUE

Chapter 14: An Interpretation of Events

There are a extensive amount of third party endorsements of both Art X and the subsequent Basic Art Courses designed by Breithaupt. Despite the public’s continuing interest these programs were eventually discontinued. CONTINUE

Chapter 15: The Logical Progression

The purpose of Nelson, Eames, and Dodd in their 1952 meeting was to explore the means by which teaching might be improved and even be perfected. The result was not a traditional report; it was research as an example. CONTINUE

Chapter 16: A Next Step for Georgia

The Art X program at The University of Georgia today is quite different from the structure envisioned in either the original show or the subsequent classes. CONTINUE

This website is a prototype. For more information about this project or contact information click here.