Special Art Collection
Welcome to the Special Art Collection that lines the halls of Greater Latrobe Senior High School. We invite you to schedule a tour and see the collection. Art tours are often a highlight for class reunions.
One of the Greater Latrobe School District’s treasures is a unique art collection featuring over 200 paintings; it is the largest one in the United States that is entirely student-selected and, for the most part, student purchased. The Art Collection began in the Great Depression under the leadership of two extraordinary teachers: Mary Martha Himler and James R. Beatty.
Since 1936, the Special Art Collection has been a pioneering program for students of the Greater Latrobe School District and the citizens of the Latrobe area.
The GLSD Art Conservation Trust, founded in 1991, oversees the art collection and raises funds for its conservation, maintenance, and special projects. The Art Conservation Trust is a volunteer, broad-based community committee composed of community leaders, school district administrators, and staff and faculty representatives.
"Recess" by Mary Martha Himler
During the Great Depression, Mary Martha Himler, art teacher at Latrobe High School and a recognized regional artist, worried that her students would not be exposed to original art. She was an enterprising woman so she convinced artists exhibiting in the annual show of the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh that they should lend works to be brought to Latrobe. She joined with James R. Beatty each year to present those works as an exhibit to the student body and to the Latrobe community. The high school students then voted each year to determine what works should be added to the Special Art Collection. The practice of student voting continues today. Four of Miss Himler’s paintings are part of the permanent collection. Miss Himler's "My East View" can be seen in the Center for Student Creativity.
"Greywing Manor" by James R. Beatty
In 1936 James R. Beatty, social studies teacher at Latrobe High School, was also the Student Council Advisor and an artist in his own right. He joined with Mary Martha Himler to initiate a project that would grow to become the Special Art Collection of Greater Latrobe High School. It was at his suggestion that the student body of the high school would vote to select the art works to be added to the collection each year. With the leadership of the Student Council, funds were raised to purchase paintings.
Mr. Beatty said that one of the proudest moments of his life was when the students voted to add his painting, "Greywing Manor", to the collection. "Greywing Manor" now hangs in the Center for Student Creativity entrance way.
To learn more about the art collections of GLSD please contact:
Jessica Golden, Director of Center for Student Creativity & Development