Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute (MWPAI) is named for three generations of one Utica family whose philanthropic generosity supported the fundamental belief in the prominent role the arts and education play in a vibrant community. Their legacy and financial foundation established in 1919, creates an institute to serve as “an artistic, musical, and social center.” In 1936, the Munson-Williams- Proctor Institute opened to the public displaying the vast collection of fine and decorative arts objects amassed by the family, and founding in 1941, the School of Art.

The School of Art continues its tradition of excellence in its mission to enhance artistic appreciation, understanding and skill in people of all ages. The Community Arts Education Program offers a wide variety of classes for beginners through advanced students.

In 1948, the State of New York chartered the school the authority to confer the degree of Bachelor Fine Arts. From its inception, the school of art has focused on creating a program that instills the principles of a strong visual arts foundation. Established as a prominent preparatory program in art, Munson students, after completing the two year program, would continue their education at top art schools throughout the country.

In 1999, Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY decided to take full advantage of the quality students MWPAI produced, and the two organizations formed an affiliation and created PrattMWP. The alliance proved to be an easy transition recognizing both organizations inherent emphasis on foundation, and it provided MWPAI students with a clear path to their BFA degree at one of the world’s eminent art colleges.

Since the union, PrattMWP has added new studio buildings, state of the art computer labs, and new residence halls. Students now transition seamlessly from our intimate urban campus to the Brooklyn campus, and continue to contribute to the vitality of Pratt Institute.

In addition to the schools offerings, students can take advantage of our renowned MWPAI Museum of Art and our MWPAI Performing Arts program.

For more information about PrattMWP College of Art and Design.