The Art Students' League has been fortunate enough to obtain the services of Mr. Howard Pyle for the coming winter. His class will not be of the usual academic order, as Mr. Pyle particularly wishes to help young artists as well as students. The course will consist of a series of critical lectures on Composition, the class meeting on alternate Saturdays and lasting two hours, from four to six o'clock. The first hour there will be a general talk on composition, and the second hour will be devoted to criticising the work of those who pass Mr. Pyle's standard. The less advanced pupils will, however, have the benefit of his criticisms as well as his lectures. The first lecture will be held on Saturday, December 3. The tuition fee for this class will be $2.00 a month.This arrangement was very much like the one Pyle had during his first year as an instructor at the Drexel Institute in 1894-95. What puzzles me is that there were plenty of League members and artists who attended these lectures and had their work criticized by Pyle, but unless they subsequently went to Wilmington for further Pylean guidance they do not appear on the many lists of Pyle students that have been assembled over the years. On the other hand, even those who had only fleeting contact with Pyle at the Drexel Institute (or in Wilmington, for that matter) are considered Pyle students.
But Pyle himself looked on those he instructed in New York as his students - at least if what he wrote to Hugo Ballin on March 8, 1905, is any indication: “I have a few pupils at home and abroad to whom I like to apply when I find myself in need of help, and you see I include you in that limited category.” The American Art News of March 25, 1905, also said, “Mr. Pyle was especially interested in the compositions of Hugo Ballin and Remington Schuyler; their work he considers to be of great promise.” As far as I know, however, Ballin has been conspicuously absent from the “Pyle student” rolls - and I don’t think he’s an isolated case.