Antonelli Institute was founded in 1938 in Philadelphia by internationally renowned photographer and artist Severo Antonelli.  The school’s founder, a major futurist and photographer, brought to the school his reputation as one of the leading photo-picturalists in the United States.  On two occasions, Antonelli’s photographs were exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution in the largest one-man photography exhibition ever held at that institution.  His work is also part of the permanent collection at Woodmere Art Museum.

The Institute was founded to meet the training needs of professional photographers and military photographers. Following World War II, the school’s excellent reputation attracted veterans seeking training in photography.

Severo Antonelli served as the Institute’s president until his retirement in 1974.  Subsequently, the Institute earned national accreditation and added a program of study in Graphic Design/Commercial Art.  Antonelli Institute relocated to its present location in 1996 and joined the Bradford Schools organization in 2010.