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About John Gordon

Biographical Sketch | Statement of Aims | Paintings

A Brief Summary of my Educational and Teaching Experience

I graduated from St Norbert College in West DePere, Wisconsin in 1964 with a Bachelor of Science degree in art. I attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison for one semester in my junior year where I took painting and life drawing classes. At one point during that semester, my painting instructor recommended that I consider another field. When I returned as a graduate student three years later, he offered me a teaching assistantship in intermediate painting.

I entered graduate school at UW - Madison in 1964 where I studied under Dean Meeker in printmaking, Santos Zingale and Hal Lotterman in painting, and John Wilde in drawing. I also studied painting for a semester under Milton Resnik, one of the original Abstract Expressionist painters in New York City in the 1940's. I was awarded teaching assistantships in Intermediate painting under Santos Zingale in 1965 and in Beginning Drawing under John Wilde in 1966. I received my MFA degree in painting in 1966.

From 1967 to 1969 I was employed as a teacher/advisor for Operation Area Arts, a federally funded arts project under Title III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965. O.A.A's mission was to bring professional artists and performers to "culturally deprived areas", which Northeastern Wisconsin was designated to be at the time. Our job was to set up studios, take in students, lecture, give public exhibitions and performances and act as advisors to local schools and arts organizations. The faculty consisted of published writers and poets, professional dramatists, musicians, dancers, and artists.

In 1973, I took a job as an art teacher at Parkview Middle School in Ashwaubenon, a suburb of Green Bay, Wisconsin, where I worked for 25 years, retiring in June of 1998.

During this period, I became interested in the teaching methods of Shinichi Suzuki, a pioneer in the field of music education, who specialized in the instruction of very young children. I began experimenting with his methods in an effort to adapt them to my own field, eventually building the sequence of exercises and projects that became the New Masters Curriculum.

In the 1980s I started teaching a series of private classes which were successful enough to enable me to rent a permanent studio space. As more and more students were added to the original group, I started to individualize my curriculum, creating worksheets and video tapes for each skill and project in the course. This freed me from the time-consuming and inefficient practice of imparting information to whole classes at once so I could spend more time coaching and monitoring students individually.

This system provided a natural basis for the development of a home-study version of the course, which I began to market in the early 1990s. Mary Pride, one of the pioneers of the home schooling movement and one of its most prominent advocates, advised and encouraged me through this process. To date, I have instructed nearly 3000 home-study students in 20 countries.

During the same period, I taught evening classes in painting and drawing at the University of Wisconsin - Green Bay and Northeastern Wisconsin Technical Institute. I also lectured on art history and theory and conducted workshops in painting and drawing at various colleges, arts organizations, and museums -- including the University of Georgia, Andrews University, the Elvejihem Museum of Art in Madison, Wisconsin and the University of Wisconsin Art History Department in Madison.


In addition to my continuing local studio classes and home-study courses, I currently teach basic drawing and design classes at St Norbert College in DePere, Wisconsin.



John Gordon
Director, Gordon School of Art
New Masters™ Art Curriculum

For more information please visit our curriculum summary page.

N651 Norman Road, Kewaunee, WI 54216 • 1-800-210-1220

Email: gordon@newmasters.com

Home-Study and Studio Art Instruction for Children and Adults-Teacher Training