SchoolArts magazine originated in 1901 in Massachusetts when Henry Turner Bailey (state agent for the Promotion of Industrial Drawing), Fred Daniels (supervisor of drawing in the city of Worcester), James Hall (supervised drawing in Springfield), and Gilbert Gates Davis (a printer) collaborated to produce The Applied Arts Book, now known as SchoolArts. They believed art teachers needed a periodical to help them develop and use emerging art curricula. Contributing writers have included Arthur Wesley Dow, Viktor Lowenfeld and John Dewey. SchoolArts articles have been used for movements such as Picture Study, the Arts and Crafts movement, and multiculturalism. SchoolArts grew and started publishing books. In 1958, Davis Publications was incorporated as a separate company that continued to publish SchoolArts. The publisher, Wyatt Wade, is married to Erika Davis Wade who is Gilbert Davis' great granddaughter.
The magazine is published nine times per year with an August–September issue to begin the traditional school year, them monthly from October through April and ending with the May–June issue, omitting July. As of the 2012-2013 scholastic year, circulation of the print edition of SchoolArts was about 20,000. The publisher's media kit reports another 11,000 subscribers to the on-line digital edition.
Its articles include ideas, industry trends, lesson plans, and classroom resources. Each year the magazine features fine art from museums, contemporary works from the PBS series Art:21 Art In the twenty-first century, guides for new or pre-service art teachers, lessons for early childhood, elementary, middle and high school, online art resources, and techniques for working with special needs in the classroom.