Academy of Art University

Academy of Art University is the largest accredited private art and design university in the nation. Founded in 1929, the school offers accredited AA, BA, BFA, B.Arch*, MA, MFA, and M.Arch degree programs in 26 areas of study, as well as continuing art education, pre-college art experience programs, and teacher grants. Classes are available in Acting, Advertising, Animation & Visual Effects, Architecture, Art Education, Art History, Art Teaching Credential, Fashion, Fashion Journalism, Fashion Styling, Fine Art, Game Design, Graphic Design, Illustration, Industrial Design (Transportation & Product Design), Interior Architecture & Design, Jewelry & Metal Arts, Landscape Architecture, Motion Pictures & Television, Multimedia Communications, Music Production & Sound Design for Visual Media, Photography, Studio Production for Advertising & Design, Visual Development, Web Design & New Media, and Writing for Film, Television & Digital Media. Students can also enroll in flexible online degree programs in most areas of study.

  • 1928 Isotta-Fraschini Tipo 8 Cabriolet
  • 1934 Packard 12 Dual Windshield Phaeton
  • 1936 Hispano-Suiza J12 Convertible Victoria
  • Silver Arrow Ironstone 2016
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Lovers of classic cars will have the opportunity to get close-up views of some of the most revered automobiles ever built when the 60th Annual San Francisco International Auto Show opens Nov. 18.

Cars personally selected by Curator Wayne Barnes from the San Francisco Academy of Art University collection will be showcased at the Moscone Convention Center for the entire run of the auto show.

“We are proud to be able to exhibit vehicles that represent the elegance, style, craftsmanship, technology and innovative spirit of automotive designers of the past and the future,” said show Director Kevin Diamond. “We appreciate the opportunity provided by Elisa Stephens, president of the university.”

The university was founded in 1929 by her grandfather, Richard S. Stephens, a painter and creative director of Sunset Magazine, and his wife, Clara, in a rented loft on Kearny Street. His son, the late Richard A. Stephens, who began the car collection, served as president until 1992, when he was named chair emeritus. He was succeeded as president by his daughter.

More than 9,000 undergraduate students are enrolled in the university’s 19 degree or certificate programs, including the industrial design department, home to the car collection. Department head Tom Matano uses the collection on the Van Ness Avenue campus to inspire for his students.

“The collection is also open to the public by appointment,” said Barnes. “Proceeds from the admission fee are donated to the Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco and Rotary,”

Graduates of the industrial design program have been hired by an impressive list of companies, including BMW Design Works, GM, Mazda, Toyota, Fox Racing, Black & Decker, Camelback, Hasbro, Mattel, Tigo, LG Electronics, Microsoft, Nike, VIDIA, Palm Inc., Samsung, Tony, Sketchers, North Face and Timbuk 2 Designs.

The university also offers majors and continuing education programs in acting, advertising, animation and visual effects, architecture, art education, art history, fashion, fine art, game design, graphic design, illustration, interior architecture and design, jewelry and metal arts, landscape architecture, motion pictures and television, multimedia communications, music production and sound design for visual media, photography, visual development, and web design.

Students can also enroll in flexible online degree programs in most majors.

Academy of Art University is an accredited member of Western Association of Schools and Colleges, National Association of Schools of Art and Design, Council for Interior Design Accreditation and NAAB (M-ARCH).

For more information, visit or call 800.544.2787 (U.S. only) or 415.274.2200.

For the decades part of the display the following cars are expected:

1959 Edsel Corsair Convertible
1965 Pontiac Grand Prix Hardtop – Allan McCrary
1972 Chevrolet Corvette – Pat Pirone
1981 Delorean DMC-21 – Bob Fegerighi
1999 Ford Mustang GT Convertible
2000 Mercedes-Benz 500 SC Coupe
2017 Ford Mustang GT350R Coupe – Scott Stephens

Other cars expected:

1928 Isotta-Fraschini Tipo 8 Cabriolet
1929 Packard Model 640 Convertible Coupe
1931 Rolls-Royce P1 Regent Convertible
1932 Duesenberg J Torpedo Berline
1932 Packard Light Eight Model 900 Coupe Sedan
1933 Chrysler Imperial Custom Phaeton
1933 Pierce-Arrow Silver Arrow
1934 Packard 12 Model 1107 Dual Windshield Phaeton
1938 Buick Limited Opera Brougham
1936 Hispano-Suiza J12 Convertible Victoria
1941 Cadillac Fleetwood 60S Sedan
1947 Chrysler Town & Country Sedan
1948 Chrysler Town & Country Convertible
1948 Lincoln Continental Coupe
1950 Jaguar XK120 Alloy
1955 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Coupe
1959 Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Roadster
1961 Lincoln Continental Sedan
1963 Buick Riviera
1963 Volkswagen Convertible
1964 Jaguar XK-E Coupe
1967 Cadillac El Dorado – Pat Pirone
1969 AMC AMX – Ed Gunther
1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28
1969 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am – Mike McGee


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