Royal Bailey Edit Profile
He graduated from the Massachusetts Normal Art School in 1906 and took a job as the Director of the Normal Department of the Cleveland School of Art, while simultaneously teaching art in the Cleveland Public School District.
In 1909, he became the Director of Art Education for the State of New York. Farnum was initially hired to be the Superintendent of the Department of Applied Arts at the Rochester Athenæum and Mechanics Institute in 1918, but rose to the presidency the next year, serving until 1921. Farnum, faced with state-mandated raises for secondary school teachers and enrollment swollen with veterans of World War I, embarked on a fund-raising campaign to boost the compensation of the Institute's faculty.
He also considered proposals to merge with the University of Rochester or to take over the University's old buildings as it moved to its River Campus, ideas that were opposed by both George Eastman and Carl Lomb. Farnum also served on the Memorial Art Gallery Board of Managers from 1920 to 1924. In 1921, he returned to the Massachusetts Normal Art School to serve as its Principal and as Director of Art Education for the state of Massachusetts.
In 1929, he took a job as Educational Director for the Rhode Island School of Design and was subsequently promoted to Executive Vice President in 1937. He served as president of the National Association for Art Education from 1936–1938, the National Association of Schools of Design from 1925–1936, and the Federal Council on Art Education from 1925–1936. During World War II, he helped the war effort by assisting in the development of color schemes for optimal camouflage.
RISD's Farnum Hall is named after him. He retired from RISD in 1946 and died in Plainfield, Connecticut in 1967.