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National Academy Of Design




1083 Fifth Ave, Bet. East 89th St. and East 90th.












The National Academy is an honorary association of American artists with a museum and a school of fine arts. Founded in 1825 as the National Academy of Design by such leading artists as Samuel F. B. Morse, Asher B. Durand, and Thomas Cole to "promote the fine arts in America through instruction and exhibition," the Academy continues to play a critical role in preserving and fostering the visual arts. Through a program of exceptional exhibitions in the Museum and quality instruction in the School of Fine Arts, the Academy serves as a link to the art of our past and a bridge to that of the future.

The Academicians of the National Academy are professional artists who are elected to membership by their peers. Members both past and present include many of the country's leading painters, sculptors, architects, and printmakers. Notable among them are Frederic E. Church, Richard Diebenkorn, Thomas Eakins, Helen Frankenthaler, Frank Gehry, Horatio Greenough, Winslow Homer, Jasper Johns, Maya Lin, I. M. Pei, Robert Rauschenberg, John Singer Sargent, Frank Lloyd Wright.

The Academy houses one of the largest public collections of nineteenth- and twentieth-century American art in the country. It comprises over five thousand works in almost every artistic style of the past two centuries, from the linear portraiture of the Federal period and the naturalistic landscapes of the Hudson River School to studies of light and atmosphere that inform Tonalism and American Impressionism; from the gritty realism of the Ashcan movement to the modernist movements of Fauvism, abstraction, and photo- and magic-realism. Masterworks in these and other styles have come into the Academy's collection mainly as gifts from newly elected National Academicians in compliance with membership requirements; thereby continually enriching the collection.

The fundamental mission of the Academy has never changed-the annual exhibitions have been held every year since 1826; the School of Fine Arts has functioned almost without interruption since that date; and, in recognition of the ever-changing character of American art, over 2,000 artists have been honored with election.


This artists' institute boasts an illustrious membership, a fine arts school and an impressive collection of painting and sculpture.

The Academy was founded in 1825 by a group of artists (including Thomas Cole and Samuel F.B. Morse) to encourage the study and exhibition of American painting and sculpture. Winslow Homer taught here; Norman Rockwell took classes. Currently, the Academy comprises a museum of 19th- and 20th-century American art, an honorary artist organization, and a school of fine art.

The Collection
The galleries provide a suitably grand backdrop for mostly conservative and representational works, such as Anne Hyatt Huntington's sculpture of "Diana," a once-scandalous rendering of the goddess. Recent exhibits include one on portraiture, and another on the former 10th Street Studio Building. The Academy also boasts one of the largest collections of American art (and architectural prints and works) in the nation, and the Annual Exhibition, dating back to 1826, is the oldest juried art competition in the U.S. 
  Founded in 1825 and incorporated in 1828, the National Academy exists to instruct students in the Arts of Design. Since that time, the school has accomplished this purpose and continues today to offer the best instruction available. In addition, the Academy continues its tradition of presenting widely acclaimed exhibitions of the sort of art its students learn.

In all, the Academy's holdings include more than 8,000 paintings, sculptures, and works on paper, chronicling major styles and subjects in American art from 1825 to the present.

Public exhibitions of the collection have included the works of such worthies as Winslow Homer, Frederic E. Church, John Singer Sargent, Thomas Eakins, and Augustus Saint-Gaudens, as well as many lesser-known but very capable artists. Throughout the year, a number of changing exhibits are offered, presenting some of the finest in American art.

The Academy offers a continuing series of special programs for individuals, including lectures, artists panels, short courses emphasizing various aspects of the arts, and many other activities.

Guided Group Tours are educational and enjoyable -- a great outing for students interested in the arts. School Tours involve discussion of the current exhibition, as well as a hands-on art activity. Serious individual students should contact the Academy for an academic brochure and enrollment procedures.

Hours: Wednesday - Sunday 12 - 5pm, open Friday evenings until 8pm.

Admission: Adults $3.50, Seniors, Students & Children under 16 $2.00.
Free to public Fridays from 5 - 8 pm. School Tours: FREE.

Reservations: At least 2 weeks in advance.

Lunch: Local restaurants and fast food.

Handicapped: Mostly accessible (all but 1 gallery).

Directions: Located at 5th Ave. at 89th St.

Time: 30 minutes from the George Washington Bridge.