David W.Ecker

Submited to the NAEA (National Art Education Association)

            David W. Ecker, 82, a highly regarded scholar in the fields of art education and aesthetic education, a member of the National Art Education Association and the American Society for Aesthetics for over fifty years, succumbed to cancer on December 31, 2013 while in residence at his New Hampshire home.

            Professor Emeritus of Art and Art Education at New York University since his retirement in1998, he was a faculty member there from 1967-1997, having been on the faculty of Art Education at Ohio State University for the previous nine years.

            A decided influence on the course of art education throughout the second half of the twentieth century, Dr. Ecker's accomplishments may be found summarized on the website established in his honor:

            David Ecker gave the earliest argument for aesthetics in public school art teaching in an article, "Aesthetics in Public School Art Teaching," published in the Summer 1958 issue of the College Art Journal. That article signaled a major theme of much of the theoretical writing in art education in following years. Another influential theory, his often republished work 'The Artistic Process as Qualitative Problem Solving," first appeared in The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism in the Fall of 1963.  As David states in his autobiography, “My interest in art theory has been central to my development as an art educator.”  He was interested in bridging the two fields of aesthetics and art education before the NAEA officially recognized aesthetics as a component of art education (along with studio, art history and art criticism.)

            His professional achievements include founding, and becoming Executive Director, of the International Society for the Advancement of Living Traditions in Art (ISALTA) from May 1981 to 2005; receiving the Lowenfeld Award in 1986, which is given to “an individual who over the years has made significant contributions to art education;” being elected Distinguished Fellow by the Board of Directors of NAEA, 1987; conducting field research as an artist-blacksmith in India which resulted in an international symposium in Damascus steel held in New York City on  June 27-28, 1985 (co-sponsored by New York University, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and ISALTA); Presidency of the Ohio Art Education Association, 1963-1964; Convention Chairman of the American Society for Aesthetics 1963 and 1989; Contributing Editorship of School Arts, 1963-1966; Co-editorship of Studies in Art Education, the Research Journal of the NAEA, 1963-1967; and many other significant and influential positions in the field of Art and Art Education.

            Persons interested in commemorating and honoring Dr. David W. Ecker by submitting personal, historical and biographical material, are invited to participate in the "Book of Friends," and/or "Congratulatory Tablet" sections of his website as described at the foot of the homepage at http://www.davidwecker.net