National Academy of Design

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

National Academy of Design
18970403.NYC.Academy of Design at the corner Twenty-Third St.&FourthAve.d.RMHunt.jpg
National Academy of Design (1863-65), one of many Gothic Revival buildings modeled on the Doge's Palace, Venice.This building was demolished in 1901.
Formation1863
TypeHonorary organization, museum, and school
PurposeTo promote the fine arts in America through instruction and exhibition
HeadquartersManhattan, New York City
Location
President
Bruce Fowle, NA
Websitehttp://www.nationalacademy.org

The National Academy of Design – known simply as the "National Academy" and abbreviated "NA" or "NAD" – is an honorary association of American artists founded in New York City in 1825 by Samuel Morse, Asher Durand, Thomas Cole, Martin E. Thompson, Charles Cushing Wright and others "to promote the fine arts in America through instruction and exhibition."[1]

History[edit]

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 painter John Trumbull.

Samuel Morse and other students set about forming "the drawing association" to meet several times each week for the study of 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. When four of the nominees were not elected, however, the frustrated artists resolved to form a new academy and the National Academy of Design was born.[2]

Morse had been a student at the Royal Academy in London and emulated its structure and goals for the NAD.[3]

Official names[edit]

After three years and some tentative denominations, in 1828 the Academy found its longstanding name "National Academy of Design" under which it was known for one and a half centuries. In 1997, newly appointed director Annette Blaugrund rebranded the institution as "National Academy Museum and School of Fine Art" to reflect "a new spirit of integration incorporating the association of artists, museum, and school" and to avoid confusion with the now differently understood term "Design".[4] This change was reversed in 2017.[5]

  • 1825 The New York Drawing Association
  • 1826 The National Academy of The Arts of Design
  • 1828 The National Academy of Design
  • 1997 The National Academy Museum and School of Fine Art
  • 2017 The National Academy of Design

Locations[edit]

The Academy occupied several locations in Manhattan over the years. Notable among them was a building on Park Avenue and 23rd Street designed by architect P. B. Wight and built 1863-1865 in a Venetian Gothic style modelled on the Doge's Palace in Venice. Another locale was at West 109th Street and Amsterdam Avenue.[6]

Since 1942 the academy has occupied a mansion at Fifth Avenue and Eighty-ninth Street, the former home of sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington and philanthropist Archer M. Huntington who donated the house in 1940.[7]

Organisation and Activities[edit]

The Academy is a professional honorary organization, a school, and a museum.

One cannot apply for membership which since 1994, after many changes in numbers, is limited to 450 American artists and architects. Instead, members are elected by their peers on the basis of recognized excellence. Full members of the National Academy are identified by the post-nominal "NA" (National Academician), associates by "ANA".[8]

The school offers studio instruction, master classes, intensive critiques, various workshops, and lunchtime lectures. Scholarships are available. The museum houses a public collection of over 7,000 works of American art from the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries.

Currently (November 2018), the NAD's Board of Governors consists of 18 board members with Bruce Fowle as President (since 2010) and James Siena as Chairman of the Abbey Council.[9] Maura Reilly serves as Executive Director since 2015.[10]

Notable instructors[edit]

Among the teaching staff were numerous artists, including Will Hicok Low, who taught from 1889 to 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[11] Gulian C. Verplanck, a Congressman and a man of letters, gave an address at the school in 1824.[12] and Silas Dustin was a curator.[13]

In 1824, the instructors at the National Academy of the Fine Arts included:[12]

Notable members[edit]

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

Some of the Academy's better-known members include:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes
  1. ^ "Charles Cushing Wright (1796-1854)". Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  2. ^ Dunlap, 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.
  3. ^ Historical Overview, National Academy of Design.
  4. ^ Annette Blaugrund as quoted in Traditional Fine Arts Organization, News: National Academy Clarifies Identity with Change of Name and New Visual Identity.
  5. ^ Historical Overview, National Academy of Design.
  6. ^ Cassell, Dewey, with Aaron Sultan and Mike Gartland. The Art of George Tuska (TwoMorrows Publishing, 2005), ISBN 978-1-893905-40-5, p. 10
  7. ^ New York Times, January 11, 1998
  8. ^ Artist Membership, National Academy of Design
  9. ^ NAD Board
  10. ^ NAD, Biography of Reilly
  11. ^ History of the School Archived 6 July 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ 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
  13. ^ "Painting by Dustin". fineart.ha.com. Retrieved 19 October 2010.
  14. ^ Board of Governors. "National Academicians". The National Academy. Archived from the original on 16 January 2014. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
  15. ^ 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[edit]