Janet L. Navin

Honored by:Nancy Polster
Brick location:G:16  map

Janet Louise Navin was a member of the Iowa State University faculty from 1952 through 1978. She held the ranks instructor 1952-54; assistant professor 1954-59; associate professor 1959-65; professor 1965-78; she left ISU to join the faculty of the University of Arkansas in 1978 and retired from teaching in 1986. Professor Navin was born in Baldwinsville, NY in 1924; she was an interior design BFA cum lauda graduate of Syracuse University and received the MS degree from Iowa State in applied art with emphases in interior design furniture design and fabric design. She continued professional development while a faculty member updating her design and technical skills throughout her career. Examples include short courses in watercolor techniques with noted artists John Pike and Elliot O'Hara study in furniture design and textile design at the American School of Craftsmen light and color study at the University of Wisconsin and design drawing for professional designers at the University of Arizona. Additionally, she gained some experience in commercial interior design at the number of locations on the east coast.

During her 27 years at ISU Professor, Navin positively influenced the lives of many young women helping them gain valuable design experience as students and to set the course for productive careers in the design field. She taught a broad range of courses in the applied art curriculum - interior design textile design furniture design watercolor painting interior rendering freehand drawing and basic design. At the graduate level she directed thesis research for more than 25 Master's students serving as major professor for these advanced degree candidates. She was a long term advisor to student design organizations and led countless field trips to major cities where students became acquainted with noted design firms and visited museums and galleries seeing great works of art.

A productive artist/designer with several media Janet Navin's work was shown in state and regional group and individual exhibitions and she continually received award recognition for watercolors or printed and dyed textiles. Work was commissioned for a number of individuals and by St. Thomas Aquinas Church Ames; Guardian Angels School Rochester, NY; Christ the King Convent Chapel Rochester, NY; and Marcellus Wright Cox Cilimberg & Ladd an interior design firm in Richmond, VA.

Janet Navin held memberships in the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Interior Design Educators Council ([DEC) American Association of University Professors (AAUP) Iowa Designer Crafts Association (IDCA a charter member in 1963) National Society of Historic Preservation Delta Phi Delta (national art honorary) Tau Sigma Delta (national architecture and allied arts honorary) and Phi Kappa Phi.

Active professionally at the national level and at the university college and department levels Professor Janet Navin contributed significantly to the stature of the Applied Art (later Art and Design) Department. Her efforts account in great measure for the continued success of Iowa State University's interior design and craft design curricula.