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Art Department formed in the College of Arts and Sciences
Upon its creation in 1951, the newly formed Art Department opened office, classroom, and other spaces in temporary, military-styled buildings in South Campus. In 1955, the construction of the Albert N. Jorgensen Auditorium provided the Art Department and its patrons with a modern gallery space for exhibits of all kinds. In 1959, The Art Department moved its quarters to the new Fine Arts Building (now known as Drama/Music Building) which replaced the temporary South Campus buildings known as ”Siberia.”
Fine Arts Festival an annual event during the 1950s
The Fine Arts Festival was an annual event on campus beginning in 1953. It signaled that a newly enlivened atmosphere for campus fine arts activities had been generated by the addition to the faculty of new leaders in the arts and by the construction of the new Student Union Building and, later, the Jorgensen Auditorium. Such robust growth of activity in the arts propelled the University toward the official founding of the School of Fine Arts in 1961.
Jorgensen Auditorium opened
A modern, spacious and well-equipped hall with outstanding acoustics for musical and dramatic performances of all kinds, the newly created Auditorium was initially known as the “University Auditorium.” Beneath the Auditorium is a comfortably spacious art gallery.
Early performers at the Auditorium
Performers at Jorgensen during the Auditorium’s third season, 1957.
Harriet S. Jorgensen ”Little” Theatre opened
The new Auditorium included a 500-seat, proscenium-styled theatre space originally named the Harriet S. Jorgensen Theatre, but known to later generations as the” Little Theatre,” its first production was of Arthur Miller’s
“Death of a Salesman” in November of 1956. The first productions of the Nutmeg Summer Theatre took place in this theatre in 1957. The first Nutmeg season consisted of “Tea and Sympathy,” “The Hasty Heart,” “The Cocktail Party,” “The Voice of the Turtle,” “Bus Stop,” and “Our Town.”
SFA assumed management of Jorgensen Auditorium
SFA assumed management of Jorgensen Auditorium.
Jorgensen Auditorium renamed
The Albert N. Jorgensen Auditorium was renamed the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts.
Jorgensen Center Renovated
In July of 2010, the University of Connecticut began to implement a $2.3 million dollar renovation of the interior of Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts. Renovations included the upgrading of house lighting, new seating, improved handicapped accessibility, and dramatically improved aesthetics.