About Victor D’Amico

Victor D'Amico (1904 – 1987) was a pioneer of modern art education and the founding director of Education at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. His philosophy was based on the fundamental faith in the creative potential of every man, woman, and child. He believed "that the arts are a humanizing force and that their major function is to vitalize living." 


Victors achievements spanned nearly six decades of innovative, hands-on art classes for children, adults, families, and teachers. They included notable programs, such as:

  • The Young People's Gallery at MoMA
  • The Childrens Art Carnival
  • The War Veterans Art Center
  • The Peoples Art Center
  • The National Committee on Art Education
  • A national televised series “Through the Enchanted Gate”
  • The Victor D'Amico Institute of Art, also known as The Art Barge


Throughout his career as an educator, Victor DAmico emphatically discouraged imitation and supported individual expression. He valued the experience and process of making art over the resulting product. Modern art was central to his teaching philosophy as he believed it was intrinsically linked to lived experience. Through art making, the student would be introduced to the formal elements of art (color, line, shape) that are found in everyday objects. The motivational toys he developed to teach children and subsequent motivations employed to teach adults were seminal features of his practice.