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Other Names - Ivan Wilson Fine Arts Center
Date Built - 1970-1973
Dedication - Oct. 13, 1973
Cost of Construction - $4 million
Architects - Ryan Associated Architects
Size - 174,000 square feet

Ivan Wilson, a native of Hazel, Kentucky, came to Western in 1920 and served 25 years was the first head for the Department of Art. He was employed by Western for a total of four decades. Some of his works have been shown in New York, New Orleans, Kansas City, and even Paris. He retired in 1958. He received his Bachelors from Western and got his Master's from George Peabody College.

The theater was named for Russell Miller, born in Water Valley, Mississippi and died at the age of 63 in 1968. He was a professor for speech and dramatic arts. He received his Bachelor's and Masters from the University of Mississippi. He came to Western in 1947 after being employed by the Bowling Green College of Commerce and Business University.

The Fine Arts Center has provided housing for the Departments of Art, Foreign Language, Music, History, English and Speech and Theatre. The 174,000 square feet building includes a 4 story central portion, 41 class and lecture rooms, an art gallery, 85 faculty offices, 30 studio offices, 5 seminar rooms, art studios, language and music labs, and music practice rooms. The 2-story east wing contains a 320 seat Russell Miller Theatre. The 1 story west wing contains includes a 230 seat recital hall and a band rehearsal room. FAC was built on the site of the old stadium. The building was dedicated on Oct. 13, 1973.

A fire in 1978 caused an estimated $30,000 in damage to a room on the fourth floor. The cause of the fire was undetermined. In 1984 an arsonist set fires on the third and fourth floors of Ivan Wilson Hall. The two fires caused an estimated $325,000 in damages.

College Heights Herald

Bronze Bust of Former Art Teacher on Display in Fine Arts Center, Mar. 6, 1980

Former Art Department Head Dies, Feb. 2, 1981

Ivan the Terrible Makes Trouble . . . But Masters Art, Oct. 30, 1942

Ivan Wilson Has Exhibition in Kentucky Building, Nov. 18, 1955

Ivan Wilson Has New Exhibition, Oct. 7, 1955

Ivan Wilson Has Works Displayed at Peabody, Mar. 19, 1954

Ivan Wilson Possesses Great Love of Painting, Apr. 18, 1958

Ivan Wilson to Exhibit Work at Nelson Institute, Nov. 24, 1944

Ivan Wilson's Work on Display, Feb. 2, 1945

Mr. Ivan Wilson Has Water Colors on Exhibition, Nov. 5, 1943

Mr. Ivan Wilson Receives International Recognition, Mar. 31, 1961

Mr. Ivan Wilson Speaks at Amigo Club Meeting, Mar. 20, 1953

Mr. Wilson Does Sketches While Visiting Rockies, Nov. 3, 1950

Mr. Wilson Sees Art Exhibition, Apr. 6, 1956

Museum Exhibits Works of Wilson, Oct. 28, 1967

The Ivan Wilsons Are Featured in L&N Magazine, Nov. 22, 1957

Water Colors Being Displayed by Ivan Wilson, July 1, 1955

Watercolor Exhibit Begins Next Week, Oct. 8, 1954

What's in a Name? Ivan Wilson is Much More than Glass, Steel and Concrete, Oct. 12, 1973

Wilson Exhibit Now on Display, Nov. 22, 1940

Wilson Holds Exhibition, May 11, 1954

Wilson Will Present Demonstration, Mar. 11, 1955

Park City Daily News:

1970 July 1
1972 Sep. 24
1973 Feb. 15; Sep. 10; Oct. 10, 12, 14
1984 March 25, 27, 28, 29, 30; April 6, 15, 16; May 24, 30; July 25, 26, 28, 30; Sep. 6
2003 July 7
2005 Feb. 6

Louisville Courier-Journal:

1970 July 18
1973 Sep. 23; Oct. 14

Revised by Sean Feole, Spring 2018


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