Richard Estes, NYC Parking Lot, 1969, detail

Academy Archives.

Academy Archives.
The archives of the National Academy are open by appointment to students and scholars pursuing research specific to the Academy. Basic biographical sources on artists and on American art history are available elsewhere. Every effort will be made, as time permits, to answer basic statistical questions concerning the history of the Academy, its members, and its collections.

The archives of the Academy pertain almost exclusively to the history of the institution and the day-to-day operation of its business. This includes vertical files with basic biographical information, press clippings, correspondence, and ephemera relating to artists who have been elected to membership in the Academy since its founding in 1825. The archives maintain no biographical information on artists who were not members of the Academy.

Please direct all research requests to

Primary Sources.

  • Minutes of the meetings of the Academy’s Governing Council (1826-present)
  • Registers and enrollment records of the National Academy School (1826-present) Please note: The minutes of the Governing Council (1826-1899) is available on microfilm at the Archives of American Art and must be consulted there.
  • James Carroll Beckwith Papers
  • Samuel F. B. Morse Papers
  • Papers of the Society of American Artists
  • Minutes of the New York Etching Club
  • Thomas Seir Cummings Papers
  • Henry Ward Ranger Fund Papers
  • Edwin Austin Abbey Fund Papers
  • Various Committee Minutes (1826-present)
  • Treasurer’s and President’s Reports (1826-present)
  • Exhibition Files (1888-present)
  • Oral Histories* with Will Barnet, Hyman Bloom, Richard Haas, Ellen Lanyon, Paul Resika, Jules Olitski, Bernard Olshan, Dorothea Rockburne (Note:* Publication from these materials requires written permission).

Published Sources.

  • Catalogues of the Academy’s Annual exhibitions (1826-2010) and their published indices (1826-1860, 1861-1900, 1901-1950), are available in major libraries and through interlibrary loan. These indexes are:
  • National Academy of Design Exhibition Record 1826-1860, 2 vols. New York: The New-York Historical Society, 1943.
  • Maria Naylor, The National Academy of Design Exhibition Record 1861-1900, 2 vols. New York: Kennedy Galleries, Inc., 1973.
  • Peter Hastings Falk, The Annual Exhibition Record of the National Academy of Design 1901-1950. Madison, Connecticut: Sound View Press, 1990.

Two histories of the Academy have been published. These are generally available in major libraries and through interlibrary loan:

  • Thomas S. Cummings, Historic Annals of the National Academy of Design. Philadelphia: George W. Childs, 1865.
  • Eliot Clark, History of the National Academy of Design, 1825-1953. New York: Columbia University Press, 1954.