National Academy of Design

National Academy of Design

Coordinates: 40°47′02″N 73°57′32″W / 40.784°N 73.959°W / 40.784; -73.959

National Academy Museum and School

National Academy of Design (1863-65), one of many Gothic Revival buildings modeled on the Doge's Palace, Venice
Formation 1863
Type Museum and school
Purpose/focus To promote the fine arts in America through instruction and exhibition
Headquarters New York City, U.S.A.
Location Fifth Avenue and 89th Street
President Richard Haas, NA

The National Academy Museum and School of Fine Arts, founded in New York City as the National Academy of Design – known simply as the "National Academy" – is an honorary association of American artists founded in 1825 by Samuel F. B. Morse, Asher B. Durand, Thomas Cole, Martin E. Thompson, and others "to promote the fine arts in America through instruction and exhibition." Its museum houses a public collection of over 7,000 works of American art from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries.

The Academy has had several homes over the years. Notable among them was a building built during 1863-1865, designed by architect P. B. Wight in Venetian Gothic style, which was modeled on the Doge's Palace in Venice. Another locale was at West 109th Street and Amsterdam Avenue in Manhattan.[1] Since 1942 the academy has occupied a mansion that was the former home of sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington and Archer Milton Huntington at Fifth Avenue and Eighty-ninth Street.

The school offers studio instruction, master classes, intensive critiques, various workshops, and lunchtime lectures. Scholarships are available.

Members of the National Academy may be identified using the post-nominal "NA" (National Academician). One cannot apply for membership.[2]



The Academy's current location

The original founders of the National Academy of Design were students of the American Academy of the Fine Arts. However, by 1825 the students of the American Academy felt a lack of support for teaching from the Academy, its board composed of merchants, lawyers, and physicians, and from its unsympathetic president, the famous American Revolutionary War artist Colonel John Trumbull. Samuel F. B. Morse and other students set about forming "the drawing association" to meet several times each week for the study the art of design. Still, the association was viewed as a dependent organization of the American Academy, from which they felt neglected. An attempt was made to reconcile the difference and maintain a single academy by appointing six of the artists from the association as directors of the American Academy, however, when four of the nominees were not elected, the frustrated artists resolved to form a new academy and the National Academy of Design was born.[3]

Notable instructors

Among the teaching staff were numerous artists, including Will Hicok Low who taught from 1889-1892. The famous American poet William Cullen Bryant also gave lectures. Architect Alexander Jackson Davis (A.J. Davis) taught at the Academy. Painter Lemuel Wilmarth was the first full-time instructor[4] Gulian C. Verplanck, a Congressman and a man of letters, gave an address at the school in 1824.[5] and Silas Dustin was a curator.[6]



A few members in 1850 L to R.: Henry Kirke Brown, Henry Peters Gray and founding member Asher Brown Durand
Annual Reception at the National Academy of Design, New York, 1868, a wood engraving from a sketch by W. S. L. Jewett

Notable members

Some of the better-known members have included:

See also


  1. ^ Cassell, Dewey, with Aaron Sultan and Mike Gartland. The Art of George Tuska (TwoMorrows Publishing, 2005), ISBN 978-1893905405, p. 10
  2. ^ Artist Membership], National Academy Museum & School
  3. ^ Dulap, William (1918). A History of the Rise and Progress of the Arts of Design in the United States (Vol. 3). C. E. Goodspeed & Co.. pp. 52–57. Retrieved 2008-02-17. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b Verplanck, Gulian C. An Address, Delivered at the Opening of the Tenth Exhibition of the American Academy of the Fine Arts (Charles Wiley : New York, 1824) "Officers and Directors for 1824". List of academicians, p. 59
  6. ^ "Painting by Dustin". Retrieved 19 October 2010. 
  7. ^ Erin Corley (2007). "American Watercolor Society records, 1867-1977, bulk 1950-1970". Archives of American Art Oral History Program. Retrieved 17 Jun 2011. 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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