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Daniel Garber · As Art Instructor

Formerly a star pupil at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Daniel Garber returned in 1909 as a member of the faculty. For forty-one years he instructed students in drawing from antique casts andpainting en plein air.
Renowned for his strictness, Garber evoked in his students a nervous silence as he passed among them, correcting the flaws in their work. The gruff severity of his remarks often reduced his students, especially women, to tears. "Can you cook?" he snapped. "You sure can't draw, so you'd better learn how to cook!" Garber's students respected his harshness, recognizing the high expectations and dedicated concern underlying it.
During the early decades of the twentieth century, an increasing number of art instructors and students favored innovative aesthetics and teaching methods, thereby dividing the Pennsylvania Academy community. Although Garber staunchly defended the methods that had shaped his own education at the turn of the century, he insisted upon treating all students fairly. When he retired in 1950, the entire community of the Academy lamented the loss of one of America's best loved art teachers.

Image: Garber teaching at Chester Springs,c. 1935, photo courtesy of the Garber family


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