American Academy in Rome
|American Academy in Rome|
New York City, United States
|Director||Adele Chatfield-Taylor, CEO & President|
In 1893, a group of American architects, painters and sculptors met regularly while planning the fine arts section of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition. The group discussed the idea of forming an American school for artists in Europe as a place for American artists to study and further their skills. Led by Charles K. McKim, they decided that Rome - due to the city's being a veritable museum of masterpieces of painting, sculpture, and architecture throughout the ages - would be the best location for the school. The program began with institutions such as Columbia University and University of Pennsylvania, who would provide scholarships to artists to fund their travel to Rome. In October 1894 the American School of Architecture opened temporarily at the Palazzo Torlonia; directed by Austin W. Lord, it had three fellows, one visiting student, and a library with one volume. In July 1895, the program moved into the larger Villa Aurora. Renting space out to the American School of Classical Studies and the British & American Archeological Society Library, and financial contributions from McKim, allowed for the school to remain open.
In 1895, the American School of Architecture in Rome was incorporated in New York state and 10 shares of capital stock were issued. Despite fund-raising efforts and the American School of Classical Studies pulling out of Villa Aurora, the organization struggled financially. McKim made up for the financial loss with his personal funds. These struggles would cause the American School of Architecture to restructure and base their program on the French Academy. In June 1897, the institution dissolved itself and formed the American Academy in Rome. Among its incorporators was Charles Moore
The Academy introduced bills to the U.S. Congress to make it a "national institution," which was successful. In 1904, the Academy moved into Villa Mirafiore, which was soon purchased and renovated. They formed an endowment, which raised over a million dollars, designating those having donated over $100,000 as founders. These founders included: McKim, Harvard College, The Carnegie Foundation[disambiguation needed], J.P. Morgan, J.P. Morgan, Jr., John D. Rockefeller, Jr., The Rockefeller Foundation, William K. Vanderbilt, Henry Walters, and others.
In 1912, the American School of Classical Studies in Rome merged with the Academy, giving the Academy two wings: one that focuses on fine art and one, classical studies. Women were a part of the School of Classical Studies, but were not permitted participation in the School of Fine Arts until after World War II.
The Academy serves as a "home" to visiting U.S. scholars, and artists having been awarded the Rome Prize. The Rome Prize is awarded for work in the following fields: classical studies, ancient studies, medieval studies, modern Italian studies, architecture, design, historic preservation, art conservation, landscape architecture, musical composition, visual art, and literature. The latter is the only field that is awarded by nomination through the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
In addition to Rome Prize Fellows, visiting scholars and artists live and/or work at the Academy for varying periods.
The Academy is housed in several buildings. The main building was designed by the firm of McKim, Mead, and White and opened in 1914. Located under the floor of the basement of the main building lies a segment of the Aqua Traiana that was discovered in 1912-1913. The courtyard has a fountain designed by sculptor Paul Manship. Architect Michael Graves designed the rare books library in 1996.
The Academy also owns the Villa Aurelia, a country estate built for Cardinal Girolamo Farnese in 1650. The building served as Giuseppe Garibaldi's headquarters during the French siege of Rome in 1849. The villa was heavily damaged during the assault, but it was restored. It was then purchased by Philadelphia heiress Clara Jessup Heyland. Heyland died in 1909, bequeathing the villa to the Academy in her will.
See also 
- American Academy in Berlin
- American School of Classical Studies at Athens
- American Schools of Oriental Research
- British School at Rome
- Académie de France Rome
- Deutsches Archäologisches Institut Rom
- Villa Massimo
- John Russell Pope
- "American Overseas Research Centers". Council of American Overseas Research Centers. Retrieved 2012-03-28.
- "Finding Aid". American Academy in Rome records, 1855-[ca.1981], (bulk dates 1894-1946). Archives of American Art. 2011. Retrieved 17 Jun 2011.
- Caemmerer, H. Paul. "Charles Moore and the Plan of Washington." Records of the Columbia Historical Society. Vol. 46/47 (1944/1945): 237-258, 254.
- Glenn Brown 1860-1930: Memories (Washington DC, 1931), pp. 425-28)