James Liberty Tadd
Born: May 7, 1853

Died: June 9, 1917

Married: Mary Margaret Ivins Tadd

Children: Edith

James Liberty Tadd was the headmaster of the Philadelphia Public School of Industrial Art.  He founded the Adirondack Summer Art School on McKenzie Pond in 1900.  Tadds Way, leading from McKenzie Pond Road to McKenzie Pond, would appear to have been named for him.

He was born at sea to sea captan Samuel Tadd and Jane Pearce; his name was suggested to his father by a man who was freed from slavery when the captain refused to let the owner reclaim him when they were docked in New Orleans.

In 1899 he wrote a book titled New Methods In Education; Art, Real Manual Training, Nature Study; Explaining Processes Whereby Hand, Eye And Mind Are Educated By Means That Conserve Vitality And Develop A Union of Thought And Action.

From a Saranac Lake obituary for Herbert Scholfield, January 28, 1921

. . . [Herbert Scholfield] made the best of his time by studying, and under the direction and help of the late Professor J. Liberty Tadd he took up the study of arts and crafts which afterwards became his hobby and to which he devoted most of his time. Professor Tadd had a summer school near here which Mr. Scholfield attended, prying into the fascinations of arts and crafts. 

When his health became improved sufficiently for him to travel to any extent, he followed up the study of arts and crafts in Philadelphia [perhaps at the Public Industrial Art School in Philadelphia, where Dr. Tadd was director.

Oswego Daily Palladium, June 24, 1899

Miss Harriet E. Stevens, Principal of the Primary department, and her sister, Miss Grace Stevens, a teacher of Akron, O., will attend the Teachers’ State Association July 5th-8th, in Utica, afterwards going to the Summer school of Liberty Tadd in the Adirondacks.

New York Evening Post, May 23, 1903

The work of the Public Industrial Art School of Philadelphia, in which drawing, modelling, and carving were taught to 1,100 pupils during the last winter, has met with such commendation that the Board or Education has decided to increase the faculty and the rooms so that 600 more pupils may be admitted next season. The Instruction is based on the methods devised by J. Liberty Tadd.

Ogdensburg Republican-Journal, June 14, 1917

Prof. J. Liberty Tadd, owner and director of the Adirondack Summer Art School, which is situated near Saranac Lake, died in Philadelphia on Saturday night following an operation which had been performed at the Jefferson Hospital, on that day. Prof. Tadd came to Saranac Lake nearly 20 years ago and built up an interesting summer art school on the shore of McKenzie Lake; The deceased was born in England in 1854. He was educated at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, and received the degree of doctor of philosophy.

American Art Annual, Volume X, 1918, Florence N. Levy, Editor

Saranac Lake, N. Y.

Adirondack Summer Art School.

J. Liberty Tadd, Director (winter address, Public Industrial Art School, Philadelphia, Pa.); four instructors. Courses in manual training and nature study. Tuition, $100.

New York Sun, July 14, 1918

Mrs. J. Liberty Tadd has opened her camp on MacKenzie Mountain

[Probably from the Adirondack Enterprise], clipping hand-dated February 14, 1934


. . . [like the one operated here by] Professor J. Liberty Tadd of the University of Pennsylvania more than a decade ago. The buildings of that school near McKenzie Pond were destroyed by fire.

New York Times, July 19, 2006

An Exhibition About Drawing Conjures a Time When Amateurs Roamed the Earth

...A century ago it was possible for a Philadelphia educator named J. Liberty Tadd to instruct young women to stand in pigsties to learn to draw animals directly from nature. There's an illustration in the show from Tadd's "New Methods of Education" of a girl in a long, improbably immaculate dress sketching pigs on a blackboard...

From FindAGrave page for Mary Margaret Ivins Tadd

The Morean Arts Center traces its linage back to The Florida Winter Art School founded by J. Liberty Tadd in St. Petersburg in late 1916. Dr. Tadd was a leading progressive arts educator who had retired as director of the Public Industrial Art School in Philadelphia. The first full year of the Florida Art School's operation was 1917. As it happened, Dr. Tadd died in 1917, but his wife, Margaret – herself a well-established artist – and daughter, Edith, carried forth his work.

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