Eugene F. Dana Biography

Eugene F. Dana




Eugene F. Dana (educator, painter, designer, and film maker) was born in Marengo, Illinois on July 7, 1912. After receiving his B.S. degree in art from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1936, he went on to study at the St. Paul School of Arts in Minnesota and the University of Michigan, and with Josef Albers, Cameron Booth, and Leroy Turner.

Dana had a long career as an educator. He taught art in Minnesota, was the head of the Art Department at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa between 1945 and 1946, and also taught at Brooklyn College in New York, Pratt Institute in New York, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the Yale University School of Art and Architecture. From 1947 to 1963 he was a professor at the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology before moving on to the University of Illinois at Chicago where he taught from 1966 to 1985.

The Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology is a school of design founded in 1937 in Chicago by László Moholy-Nagy, a Bauhaus teacher (1923–1928). After a spell in London, Bauhaus master Moholy-Nagy, at the invitation of Chicago's Association of Art and Industry, moved to Chicago in 1937 to start a new design school, which he named the New Bauhaus. The philosophy of the school was basically unchanged from that of the original, and its first headquarters was the Prairie Avenue mansion that architect Richard Morris Hunt, designed for department store magnate Marshall Field. Colleagues included: Archipenko, John Cage, Harry Callahan, Buckminster Fuller, Aaron Siskind and Hugo Weber, to name a few.

Dana exhibited widely throughout the Midwest and, with his friend Glenn Allen, funded the Dana-Allen Dissertation Fellowship in the Humanities Award. This fellowship is awarded to doctoral dissertation students in the humanities at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Eugene Dana died in Harvard, Illinois on September 9, 1996.