Dear CIA Community,
I am sad to share the news of the passing of Faculty Emeritus Franny Taft at the age of 95. Franny taught here for 62 years, and truly has been a pillar at CIA.
Franny discovered art history at Vassar College, where she graduated in 1942. After college, she joined the first officer class of the U.S. Naval Reserve’s Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service, or WAVES. She was discharged with the rank of lieutenant in 1945 and went on to Yale, where she earned a master’s degree in art history in 1948.
She began teaching at CIA in 1950, and was key to the creation of the college’s Liberal Arts department. She was known as both a taskmaster and a warm, affectionate faculty member who wanted the best from her students, and aimed to fuel their curiosity.
In 1995, she was honored by the Cleveland Arts Prize
with its Special Citation for Distinguished Service to the Arts. In 2001 Vassar bestowed on her its first Award for Outstanding Service. And CIA gave Franny its Award for Excellence in 1994 and its Schreckengost Teaching Award in 2010. She retired from CIA in 2012. I invite you to visit her page
on our website, where you can learn more about her career and the impact on the college.
A service will take place July 22 at the Cleveland Museum of Art. We will share more details as we get them.
As we extend our condolences to Franny’s family, we remember the gifts of her sharp intellect and devotion to her CIA students and colleagues.