Art Renewal Center

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Art Renewal Center
Art Renewal Center (emblem).jpg
Founded1999 [1]
MethodARC Salon Competition, ARC International Scholarship
Key people
Fred Ross, Brian Yoder

The Art Renewal Center (ARC) is a non-profit, educational organization, which hosts an online museum dedicated to realist art.[2] The ARC was founded by New Jersey businessman and art collector Fred Ross.[3]

Classical Beauty, by John William Godward, (collection of Sherry and Fred Ross)

Particular emphasis is given to nineteenth-century Salon painting.[2] William-Adolphe Bouguereau, who is represented by more than 226 images on the site; Ross says that Bouguereau's work is accessed twice as often as any other artist on the site.[3]


The Art Renewal Center is devoted to the rehabilitation of late nineteenth-century academic painting.[4] Ross feels that there has been a "concerted and relentless effort to disparage, denigrate and obliterate the reputations, names and brilliance of the academic artistic masters of the late 19th century." The Art Renewal Center is intended as a platform for Ross and his supporters to "extol the virtues of academic artists and castigate nearly everything associated with modern art."[3] The ARC describes itself as offering "responsible views opposing that of the current art establishment".[2]

Ross is a strong admirer of Adolphe Bouguereau's work. In 2002 he spoke to the New York Society of Portrait Artists and described the impression made on him in the Clark Art Institute (Williamstown, Massachusetts) by Bouguereau's 8.5-foot-tall (2.6 m) painting, Nymphs and Satyr:

Frozen in place, gawking with my mouth agape, cold chills careening up and down my spine, I was virtually gripped as if by a spell that had been cast. Years of undergraduate courses and another 60 credits post-graduate in art, and I had never heard [Bouguereau's] name. Who was he? Was he important? Anyone who could have done this must surely be deserving of the highest accolades in the art world.[3]


Artist and blogger Mark Vallen stated on his web site that the ARC assertions "are not incorrect when noting the follies of modern art, but their total rejection of it is beyond the pale and thoroughly reactionary." Vallen was critical of Bouguereau: "Bouguereau's strength was his dedication to the craft of painting, and his technical mastery of oil painting can't be denied. If today's artists knew but a fraction of the painting skills possessed and employed by Bouguereau, they would be better off. Nevertheless, Bouguereau was also imprisoned by his extremely conservative vision of what painting could be—and that was his greatest weakness."[3]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ "Art Now Gallery Guide: International, Volume 23, Issues 9-10".
  2. ^ a b c Elkins, James (2013). Master Narratives and their Discontents. Routledge. p. 128. ISBN 9781135872571.
  3. ^ a b c d e Roth, Mark (August 20, 2007). "Gifted artist? Bouguereau's work controversial more than a century after his death". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved November 21, 2018.
  4. ^ Kresser, Katie (2017). The Art and Thought of John La Farge: Picturing Authenticity in Gilded Age America. Routledge. p. 22. ISBN 9781351546461.