Ad for Famous Artists School with Norman Rockwell

I used to see these ads all the time and wondered “what’s the deal”. The Famous Artists School has offered correspondence courses in art since it was founded in 1948. It was conceived by Albert Dorne as a result of a conversation with Norman Rockwell (who appears in the ad). The founding faculty included John Atherton, Austin Briggs, Stevan Dohanos, Robert Fawcett, Peter Helck, Fred Ludekens, Ben Stahl, Al Parker, Norman Rockwell, Ben Stahl, Harold von Schmidt and Jon Whitcomb. Later faculty would include cartoonists Al Capp, Milt Caniff and Rube Goldberg. Not bad. The Famous Artists School still exists today, but it has been a while since I have seen one of their comic ads.

famous artists school ad


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7 thoughts on “Ad for Famous Artists School with Norman Rockwell

  1. Do you do this too? Does a pencil in your hand start you sketching on any old piece of paper? Drawing heads or figures or little scenes or maybe your dog.

    If you like to play around with a pencil, chances are you have the basic interest needed to help you become a serious art student. Here’s how you can find out: Art Instruction Schools will send you free, without cost or obligation, this simple Art Test. You take it at home in your spare time. Experts will examine and grade your test. Remember, it’s absolutely free.

    Just write or phone from your free Art Test today. Phone this number now, operators are waiting. Or write to Art Test; give your name, address, and age.

  2. I Actually learned something from it. Most of the exercises involve you copying another illustration, which as an upcoming artist you do all the time so that as easy but the last pic was a house and you were supposed to improve upon it, add elements, etc. But I missed the point and copied it exactly and so I learned to pay attention and its ok to add your own flair, not just copy. Wow, this is my longest post yet…

  3. World Class artists almost all of whom are now obscure. But Rockwell’s legacy is alive and well at and the new Rockwell Center for American Visual Studies (

    Their instruction manuals are just as vaild today.

  4. James Peterson says:

    Does anyone remember the TV infomercial done for The Famous Artists Schools in the late 1950s. It was the catalyst that influenced me to take the course.

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