The Butera School of Art has been eminently successful in training individuals for careers in the fields of Commercial Art and Sign Painting for more than 85 years.
The Sign Painting department was founded by Charles Wagner in 1910 as the Wagner School of Sign Art. Originally established for the instruction of sign arts, the Wagner School was the New England pioneer in sign painting training. In 1928, the school added Commercial Art to the curriculum.
The Butera School of Fine Arts was founded in 1932 by Joseph C. Butera. The major field of instruction was fine art. After World War II, the country reverted to a peacetime economy. Once again, millions of dollars were being spent on the promotion of products. The result was a revitalized boom in the field of Commercial Art. In the late 1940s, the Butera School of Fine Arts changed its name to the Butera School of Art. A new Commercial Art department was created that concentrated on training students for a career in commercial art.
In 1953, the Wagner School of Sign and Commercial Art merged with the Butera School of Art. The Wagner School's Sign Painting department was added to the Butera curriculum. The two-year program was designed to train students for work in the sign industry. Today, it is the objective of the Butera School of Art at Fisher College to provide students with a background that emphasizes a balance between imaginative and practical abilities.