Children's Art Centre
The Children's Art Centre (CAC) was built in 1918 at 36 Rutland Street through the efforts of settlement-house administrator, Albert Kennedy and FitzRoy Carrington, curator of prints at the MFA. The building was designed by Alexander Emerson, and the first president of the CAC was the renowned architect, Ralph Adams Cram. In the early years, young people of the South End enjoyed exhibits of art prints organized by Mr. Carrington. As time went by, children started to express interest in copying what they saw on the walls. Art classes for boys and girls were started as a result. In the 1930s, the director of the CAC realized that South End children might grow to adulthood without ever seeing original art – the exhibits at the CAC featured only prints - and she began soliciting local artists and galleries for loans for rotating shows. The CAC gained the reputation as being a "museum" for children. It was at this time that the director put an end to the copying of the art on display and started more sophisticated art classes that allow the children to use their imaginations to the fullest. Among the notable artists who received their start at the Children's Art Centre is the South End's own Allan Rohan Crite. The most active period for the CAC was the 1930s through the 1960s. Photographs from those decades show dozens of children drawing and painting at cramped tables, the young artists literally bursting through the French doors. Other early photos depict dramas being staged in the CAC courtyard and live music being enjoyed while the children painted or modeled with clay. Children from all different backgrounds and ethnicities attended the CAC. Viewing photographs of CAC children through the years gives one an idea of the many immigrant groups that called the South End "home".