Home > News > Daily News

Academy Creates Scholarship Fund To Honor Barbara Bradley


Barbara Bradley

“Barbara Bradley was so many things to so many people.  She was a friend, a mother, a grandmother, a teacher, a mentor.  She was also an award-winning artist in her own right.  Barbara was a gift of magic, and light, and inspiration.  She lives on through the hundreds of students she inspired during her lifetime.”


In accordance with her family’s wishes, a scholarship in the name of Barbara Bradley has been established at the Academy of Art University. Contributions made will be matched by the university. Please make your check payable to the Academy of Art Foundation. Mail to:

Barbara Bradley Scholarship Fund 
c/o Executive Office
79 New Montgomery
San Francisco, California 94105

Barbara Bradley began her professional career at the Cooper Studios in New York City, surrounded by its many great illustrators, many of whom have since been elected to the Illustrator’s Hall of Fame. In 1958, after returning to her home, the Bay Area, and having received many awards in illustration, she joined the faculty of the Academy of Art University, teaching its first class in Clothed Figure Drawing.

Through the years, she juggled teaching an increasing number of illustration courses with freelance illustration and the raising of three children. Ms. Bradley was the Academy of Art University’s first Director of Illustration, a position she held for over 25 years, which led to her receiving an Honorary Doctorate from President Elisa Stephens in the fall of 2003. In 1991, she was named “Outstanding Vocational Educator” by the College Career Association for her innovative development of the Illustration Department workshops in London, the Disney Animation Studios in Burbank and Orlando, and at Pixar. In later years, she continued to teach one honors class at the Academy of Art University in her favorite subject, drawing expressive people and drawing children. In 2007 she received the 2007 Distinguished Educator in the Arts Award from The Society of Illustrators.

Barbara Bradley has included much of what she has taught over the years in her book, “ Drawing people: How to Portray the Clothed Figure,” released in 2003 by Northlight Press. Her original work is in corporate offices, private collections, the Society of Illustrators Museum of American Illustration, and the Permanent Collection of the US Air Force.

Shortly after Barbara’s passing, Academy Director of BFA Illustration Chuck Pyle posted a comment on a blog for friends and family to share their memories.

“I am reminded of a quote that I saw on the wall at the house of an acquaintance of mine, ‘ When someone you love becomes memory, the memory becomes treasure.’ We who knew and were loved as students and friends by Barbara are rich in treasure, indeed. Rich with wisdom, rich with her nurturing and memory, and rich with our lives as artists and illustrators that her enthusiasm and instruction so helped make happen,” Chuck said.

A memorial service for Barbara will be held in the Academy of Art University Chapel (2151 Van Ness Ave.) at 7 PM on Thursday, June 5.  Please join us to celebrate the life of this accomplished artist, family member, friend and mentor.


More News & Success Stories

News Archive

Daily News