After attending the School of Art, Bronx-native Bob Kane (1915–98) trained as an illustrator in the studio of another Cooper alumnus, Max Fleischer, cartoon royalty who created Betty Boop. Kane himself went on to create no less a figure than Gotham City’s own dark knight – Batman. Kane’s creation was, in part, a reflection of his art training: he cited Leonardo da Vinci’s drawings of flying machines with bat wings as one of his inspirations. Co-created with Bill Finger, Batman grew out of DC Comic’s schemes to capitalize on the company’s extraordinary success with Superman. Though both were motivated by their unwavering belief in justice, Batman, whose methods were sometimes more sinister than his older counterpart, presaged the post-war anti-hero. Kane, who was also a painter, continued to work on various Caped Crusader projects throughout his career, including newspaper comic strips and the wildly successful movie franchise. 

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  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.