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“For America” Launches National Tour Presenting 100 Artworks and 200 Years of American Art From the National Academy of Design

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 23, 2019

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Samuel F. B. Morse,  Self-Portrait , c. 1809 Watercolor on ivory, 3 ¼ x 2 ⅝ in.  National Academy of Design, New York Gift of Samuel P. Avery, John G. Brown, Thomas B. Clarke, Lockwood de Forest, Daniel Huntington, James C. Nicoll, and Harry W. Watrous, 1900.

Samuel F. B. Morse, Self-Portrait, c. 1809
Watercolor on ivory, 3 ¼ x 2 ⅝ in.
National Academy of Design, New York
Gift of Samuel P. Avery, John G. Brown, Thomas B. Clarke, Lockwood de Forest, Daniel Huntington, James C. Nicoll, and Harry W. Watrous, 1900.

Peter Saul,  Self-Portrait , 2013,  Acrylic on canvas, 60 × 55 × 1 3/4 in., National Academy of Design, New York

Peter Saul, Self-Portrait, 2013,
Acrylic on canvas, 60 × 55 × 1 3/4 in.,
National Academy of Design, New York

(NEW YORK, NY)—The National Academy of Design (NAD) is pleased to announce the national tour of For America: Paintings from the National Academy of Design, an exhibition created in collaboration with the American Federation of Arts (AFA). For America is the first exhibition to highlight the fundamental characteristic of the National Academy’s collection: the joint presentation of an artist’s portrait with her or his representative work. The exhibition’s 100 extraordinary paintings present not only a visual document of the Academy’s membership but a unique history of American painting from 1809 to the present. The eight-venue tour will commence on February 20, 2019  at the Dayton Art Institute, Ohio, and then travel to the following institutions across the United States: New Britain Museum of American Art, CT (October 16, 2019 to January 26, 2020); The Society of the Four Arts, Palm Beach, FL (February 15 to April 26, 2020); Dixon Gallery & Gardens, Memphis, TN (July 19 to September 27, 2020); New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe (October 22, 2020 to January 17, 2021); Figge Art Museum, Davenport, IA (February 20 to May 9, 2021); Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA (June 6 to September 12, 2021); and one additional museum. The exhibition is curated by Diana Thompson, Director of Collections and Curatorial Affairs, NAD; and Jeremiah William McCarthy, Associate Curator, AFA.

For America offers a nuanced story of American art,” says Pauline Willis, Director and CEO of the American Federation of Arts. “The exhibition’s national tour will bring these important paintings to audiences across the country, enriching the dialogue of scholars, students, and artists of all ages with the first-hand experience of American masterpieces.”

From its founding in 1825 to the present, the NAD has required all Academicians elected to donate a representative work to the Academy’s collection, and from 1839 to 1994, the Academy also required Associates to present a portrait of themselves, whether painted by their own hand or that of a fellow artist. Exhibition co-curator Jeremiah William McCarthy, Associate Curator for the American Federation of Arts says: “Essentially, this exhibition presents the way artists see the world alongside the way they see themselves inhabiting that world. It’s an unprecedented look at the history of American painting written by its makers.”

“This is the largest traveling exhibition of the Academy’s painting collection we have ever undertaken,” says Diana Thompson, exhibition co-curator and the NAD’s Director of Collections and Curatorial Affairs. “It allowed us to include beloved icons, such as William Merritt Chase’s The Young Orphan, alongside lesser-known gems like Charles White’s Matriarch, which has recently undergone conservation and will be on view to the public for the first time in decades, as well as new gifts like Peter Saul’s Self-Portrait, the only one he’s made up to this point.”

Charles White,  Mother Courage II , 1974, Oil on canvas, 49 ¾ × 39 ⅞ in.;  National Academy of Design, New York

Charles White, Mother Courage II, 1974,
Oil on canvas, 49 ¾ × 39 ⅞ in.;
National Academy of Design, New York

Charles White,  Matriarch,  1967, Oil on canvas, 20 × 17 in.  National Academy of Design, New York

Charles White, Matriarch, 1967,
Oil on canvas, 20 × 17 in.
National Academy of Design, New York

Exhibition Details

The first of five exhibition sections, Founding an American School, explores the origins of the Academy and    the accompanying rise of the Hudson River School and American genre painting. Asher B. Durand’s impressive Self-Portrait (ca. 1835) and Landscape (1850) provide an exceptional lens through which to view one of the Academy’s founders: the figures depicted in the latter work speak to the importance of artists’ relationships, one’s place in the natural world, and the power of interpretation. Other featured works include portraits of polymath and explorer Eliza Greatorex and noted landscapist Worthington Whittredge, as well as superb examples of this native school of painting from Albert Bierstadt, Frederic Edwin Church, and John Frederick Kensett. This section also provides the opportunity to view the earliest of Eastman Johnson’s self-portraits (ca. 1859-60) alongside a scene drawn from his series devoted to the American South.

A New Internationalism reveals the impact of contemporary European art and art education on the pedagogy of the Academy and its associated school of fine arts. William John Whittemore’s striking portrait, Charles Courtney Curran (1888-89), provides an archetypal representation of the American artist in Paris, depicting the painter sketching from a classical statue at the Louvre. This section traces artists’ friendships and social networks abroad, with the intimate friendship of Robert Frederick Blum and William Merritt Chase as a telling case study. The two traveled throughout Europe together in the first half of the 1880s, frequently depicted one another, and were elected Associate National Academicians in the same year. While some of Chase’s critics perceived an aloofness in his figures, the artist’s emotionally stirring portrait of Blum forges a deeper connection between the duo’s well-known paintings The Young Orphan and Two Idlers, framing each in a new light.

Painting America explores the Academy’s nascent role in the early twentieth century as the purveyor of artistic tradition in the United States. Strongly rejecting European modernism, the Academy compensated by widening its national base. This resulted in a geographically diverse and highly representative collection of landscapes    and scenes of American life, from Daniel Garber’s New Hope School of Pennsylvania Impressionism to Ernest L. Blumenschein’s interpretations of the American Southwest. This section also explores the importance of intergenerational mentorship within the Academy, recorded visually in two works from the same year by the influential and important teacher Robert Henri and his student George Wesley Bellows, one of the most celebrated artists of his generation. Bellows’s Three Rollers (1911) was created alongside his mentor Henri on a trip the two took together to Maine.

Postwar Realisms outlines how realism in its various incarnations remained a viable alternative to American abstraction, which dominated the postwar period. Highlights include Ivan Albright’s otherworldly Self-Portrait  (1948), a melancholic yet visionary Self-Portrait (1945) from Andrew Wyeth, and Richard Estes’s photorealistic NYC Parking Lot (1969). Although women had been admitted to the Academy since its inception, at mid 20th century, the Academy broadened its membership to encompass a diversity of American experiences including artists of color. For example, the exhibition includes Charles White’s diploma portrait Matriarch (1967)—a portrayal of his great-aunt Hasty Baines, born into slavery in 1857 on the Yellowby plantation in Ridgeland, Mississippi. Painted 110 years after her birth, in the thick of a decade rife with political and social unrest, the deeply personal work  stood for White as a symbol of wisdom and courage—universal themes also explored in his mature work Mother Courage II (1974).

The exhibition’s final section, For America, presents paintings from living National Academy members whose    work addresses contemporary concerns while harkening back to America’s storied past. This section shows that one of the most vital artistic legacies within American art is an undaunted commitment to realism, especially the figurative tradition, which has been championed by artists across centuries. The Academy is a living institution that counts 460 of today’s leading artists and architects as members, and paintings by Emma Amos, David Diao, Jaune Quick–to–See Smith, and Peter Saul provide mirrors for the present, ways of imagining and grappling with the past, and, finally, dreams for a possible future.

Ferdinand Thomas Lee Boyle,   Eliza Greatorex , 1869, Oil on canvas, 30 × 25 ¼ in. National Academy of Design, New York

Ferdinand Thomas Lee Boyle,
Eliza Greatorex, 1869,
Oil on canvas, 30 × 25 ¼ in.
National Academy of Design, New York

Will Barnet,  Self-Portrait , 1981 Oil on canvas, 31 ⅛ × 45 ½ in. National Academy of Design, New York

Will Barnet, Self-Portrait, 1981
Oil on canvas, 31 ⅛ × 45 ½ in.
National Academy of Design, New York

Artists in the exhibition: Samuel F. B. Morse, Asher B. Durand, Frederic Edwin Church, John Frederick KensettAlbert Bierstadt, Emanuel Leutze, Ferdinand Thomas Lee Boyle, Edward Harrison May, George Henry Hall, Daniel Huntington, Eastman Johnson, Oliver Ingraham Lay, Winslow Homer, Elihu Vedder, George Inness, Wyatt Eaton, William J. Whittemore, William Merritt Chase, Robert Frederick Blum, John Singer Sargent, Cecilia Beaux, Kenyon Cox, Maxfield Parrish, Thomas Eakins, Robert Reid, Childe Hassam, Frederick Carl Frieseke, J. Alden Weir, Albert Pinkham Ryder, Richard E. Miller, Henry Ossawa Tanner, George Bellows, Robert Henri, Daniel Garber, Gertrude Fiske, Mary Shepard Greene Blumenschein, Ernest L. Blumenschein, Walter Ufer, Ellen Emmet Rand, Guy C.  Wiggins, Paul Sample, Isabel Bishop, Peter Hurd, John Steuart Curry, N. C. Wyeth, Reginald Marsh, Aaron Bohrod, Andrew Wyeth, Ivan Albright, Jules Kirschenbaum, Philip Pearlstein, Jane Freilicher, Hughie Lee-Smith, George Tooker, Richard Estes, Lois Dodd, May Stevens, Charles White, Will Barnet, Wayne Thiebaud, Reuben Tam, Rosemarie Beck, Paul Resika, Gretna Campbell, William Clutz, Louisa Matthíasdóttir, Altoon Sultan, W. Lee Savage, James McGarrell, Emma Amos, Benny Andrews, David Kapp, Jacqueline Gourevitch, David Diao, Walter Hatke, Albert Kresch, Ann Gale, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, and Peter Saul.

Publication

For America: Paintings from the National Academy of Design
Edited by Jeremiah William McCarthy and Diana Thompson

This exhibition will be accompanied by a richly-illustrated scholarly catalogue. Essays by a roster of distinguished historians and art historians, curators, artists, and architects delve into single artworks or pairs of paintings, while others explore themes such as the representation of landscapes and the figurative tradition in American art. Further contextualizing works in the exhibition, 18 current Academicians—such as Catherine Opie and Fred Wilson—contribute personal responses to individual artworks. 

In addition to the exhibition’s co-curators, essayists include writer and critic Jarrett Earnest; Jennifer A. Greenhill, Associate Professor of Art History, University of Southern California; Kenneth Haltman, H. Russell Pitman Professor of Art History, University of Oklahoma; Patricia Hills, Professor Emerita of American Art & African American Art, Boston University; Alexander Nemerov, Carl and Marilynn Thoma Provostial Professor in the Arts and Humanities, Stanford University; Susan Rather, Professor of Art History, University of Texas, Austin; Akela Reason, Associate Professor of History & Director of the Museum Studies Certificate Program, University of Georgia; Kimia Shahi, PhD candidate in art history, Princeton University; Elizabeth A. Spear, PhD candidate in art history, University of Iowa; Jonathan F. Walz, Director of Curatorial Affairs & Curator of American Art, The Columbus Museum; and Alona C. Wilson, Director of Collections and Exhibitions and Chief Curator, Museum of African American History, Boston and Nantucket.

Curators

Diana Thompson is Director of Collections and Curatorial Affairs at the National Academy of Design. Presently, she is leading a major initiative to document and digitize the Academy’s entire permanent collection for the creation of a comprehensive online database devoted to the institution’s collection and membership. This educational resource is available to a global audience at nadatabase.org.

Jeremiah William McCarthy is Associate Curator at the American Federation of Arts, specializing in American art. Most recently, he served as one of the three curators of Women Artists in Paris 1850-1900, a travelling exhibition presented at the Denver Art Museum, the Speed Art Museum in Louisville, and the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts.

Credit

For America: Paintings from the National Academy of Design is organized by the American Federation of Arts    and the National Academy of Design. Support for the national tour is provided by the JFM Foundation, Monique Schoen Warshaw, and Steph & Jody La Nasa.

About the National Academy of Design

The National Academy of Design has a simple yet powerful mission: “to promote American art and architecture through exhibition and instruction.” Founded in 1825 by a group of forward-thinking artists and architects who believed themselves to be the best agents for the advancement of the field, the NAD is an honor society of America’s top artists and architects—the National Academicians. Becoming a National Academician is a lifetime honor and one that cannot be applied for or solicited. New members are elected annually, totaling over 2,300 since our founding. 

National Academicians serve as ambassadors for the arts in America. They show work in our exhibitions, foster the next generation through our educational programs, and, in keeping with an almost 200-year-old tradition, contribute a work to our collection. The NAD permanent collection of nearly 8,000 works—unlike any other in the United States, shaped by the National Academicians themselves—represents one of the nation’s most significant and unique holdings of American art and architecture.

Today, the National Academy of Design is in the midst of an exciting transformation—with newly-launched online resources, a reinvigorated Board and membership, and the establishment of our first-ever permanent endowment, we are re-envisioning what an Academy can be in the 21st century. Learn more at nationalacademy.org.

ABOUT THE AMERICAN FEDERATION OF ARTS

The American Federation of Arts is the leader in traveling exhibitions internationally. A nonprofit institution founded in 1909, the AFA is dedicated to enriching the public’s experience and understanding of the visual arts through organizing and touring art exhibitions for presentation in museums around the world, publishing scholarly exhibition catalogues, developing innovative educational programs, and the fostering of a better understanding among nations through the international exchange of art. 

Press Contact

Diana Thompson
dthompson@nationalacademy.org
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National Academy Inducts Largest Class in 25 Years, Fifth Largest Class in History

For Immediate Release

November 13th, 2018

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NEW YORK, NY—The National Academy of Design (NAD) proudly announces its newest class of National Academicians (NAs), the fifth largest in the organization’s nearly 200-year-old history. 

Elected by current NAs in recognition of their exceptional contributions to American art and architecture, the Class of 2018 represents a commitment to preserving the cultural heritage of the United States and pushing creative boundaries.

Back row, left to right: James Timberlake, Stephen Kieran, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Margrit Lewczuk, Cora Cohen, Merrill Elam, Hermine Ford, Jane South, Patricia Cronin, Judy Glantzman, Fred Tomaselli, Jennifer Guthrie, Martha Diamond, Sarah Walker, Marlon Blackwell, Bruce Fowle (ANA 1991, NA 1994, PNAD 2011 - Present), and Don Porcaro    Front row, left to right: Kay WalkingStick, Jimmy Wright, Lisa Hoke, Peter Williams, Joyce J. Scott, James Wines, Petah Coyne, Judith Linhares, Deborah Luster, and Deborah Kass    Not pictured: Shimon Attie, Mel Chin, Dawn Clements, Angela Dufresne, Kathryn Gustafson, Byron Kim, Fumihiko Maki, Vik Muniz, and Shannon Nichol, and Hank Willis Thomas

Back row, left to right: James Timberlake, Stephen Kieran, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Margrit Lewczuk, Cora Cohen, Merrill Elam, Hermine Ford, Jane South, Patricia Cronin, Judy Glantzman, Fred Tomaselli, Jennifer Guthrie, Martha Diamond, Sarah Walker, Marlon Blackwell, Bruce Fowle (ANA 1991, NA 1994, PNAD 2011 - Present), and Don Porcaro

Front row, left to right: Kay WalkingStick, Jimmy Wright, Lisa Hoke, Peter Williams, Joyce J. Scott, James Wines, Petah Coyne, Judith Linhares, Deborah Luster, and Deborah Kass

Not pictured: Shimon Attie, Mel Chin, Dawn Clements, Angela Dufresne, Kathryn Gustafson, Byron Kim, Fumihiko Maki, Vik Muniz, and Shannon Nichol, and Hank Willis Thomas

Visual Art

Njideka Akunyili Crosby
Shimon Attie
Mel Chin
Dawn Clements
Cora Cohen
Petah Coyne
Patricia Cronin
Martha Diamond
Angela Dufresne
Hermine Ford
Judy Glantzman
Lisa Hoke
Deborah Kass
Byron Kim
Margrit Lewczuk
Judith Linhares
Deborah Luster
Vik Muniz
Don Porcaro
Joyce J. Scott
Jane South
Hank Willis Thomas
Fred Tomaselli
Sarah Walker
Kay WalkingStick
Peter Williams
Jimmy Wright

Architecture

Marlon Blackwell (Marlon Blackwell Architects)
Merrill Elam (Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects)
Kathryn Gustafson, Jennifer Guthrie, + Shannon Nichol (GGN)
Stephen Kieran + James Timberlake (KieranTimberlake)
Fumihiko Maki (Maki and Associates)
James Wines (SITE)

The NA Class of 2018 joins a roster of over 400 living members, with more than 2,300 artists and architects elected since our founding in 1825. NAs include leaders in their respective fields today, such as David Adjaye, Marina Abramović, Chuck Close, Frank Gehry, Ann Hamilton, Joel Shapiro, Cindy Sherman, Shahzia Sikander, Robert A. M. Stern, Carrie Mae Weems, Nick Cave, Andres Serrano, and Annabelle Selldorf; seminal figures like Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, and Louise Bourgeois; and early pioneers such as Thomas Cole, Ithiel Town, Frederic Church, Winslow Homer, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Cecilia Beaux, Thomas Eakins, and John Singer Sargent. 

Election as an NA is the culmination of a thorough, substantive vetting process. Candidates are nominated confidentially by a current NA who presents an in-depth proposal that is supported by two other NAs. After weeks of study, deliberation, and discussion, votes are cast at the institution’s Annual Meeting, held each spring. Only NAs may participate in the process, and a minimum of 60% of the votes cast must be in favor of the candidates in order for them to be elected, making the election a unique, peer-driven honor that cannot be applied for or solicited. 

As members, National Academicians serve as ambassadors for the arts in America. They show work in NAD exhibitions, foster the next generation through our educational programs, and, in keeping with an almost 200-year-old tradition, contribute a work to our collection. The NAD permanent collection of nearly 8,000 works—unlike any other in the United States, shaped by the National Academician members themselves—represents one of the nation’s most significant holdings of American art and architecture.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF DESIGN

The National Academy of Design has a simple yet powerful mission, “to promote American art and architecture through exhibition and instruction.” Founded in 1825 by a group of artists that included Thomas Cole, Samuel F. B. Morse, and Asher B. Durand, the NAD is an honor society of America’s top artists and architects – the National Academicians – as well as a presenter of arts and an agent of arts education. Over the decades, the NAD has enriched and educated countless generations of artists and architects, while preserving and sharing the work of the National Academicians with the public. 

NATIONAL ACADEMY OF DESIGN

5 East 89th Street
New York, NY 10128
nationalacademy.org
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NATIONAL ACADEMICIAN COMMUNICATIONS

Auzelle Epeneter
212.369.4880
aepeneter@nationalacademy.org

PRESS CONTACT

press@nationalacademy.org

NAD NOW, A Dynamic Online Journal Featuring America's Leading Artists and Architects, Launched Today

For Immediate Release

October 30th, 2018

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James Siena,  Spoolstone , 2017, acrylic on canvas, 36 x 48 in., photograph by Mark Waldhauser and Kerry Ryan McFate, courtesy Pace Gallery

James Siena, Spoolstone, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 36 x 48 in., photograph by Mark Waldhauser and Kerry Ryan McFate, courtesy Pace Gallery

New York, NY – The National Academy of Design (NAD) is proud to announce the launch of our new online journal, NAD NOW (nadnowjournal.org). A free and globally accessible platform for American art and architecture, NAD NOW is most importantly a showcase and celebration of our National Academician members (NAs), the remarkable group of artists and architects who make up the NAD’s exclusive honor society.

“The National Academicians are an incredible wealth of inspiration, and we are thrilled to showcase their creativity, ideas, and accomplishments,” noted

Auzelle Epeneter, Director of NA Communications and NAD NOW’s editor-in-chief. “Today’s launch is just the start of an ongoing, many-layered conversation about the impact of the NAs’ work on our culture.”

NAD NOW’s content is exclusively by and about the NA members, past and present. It reflects their diverse interests and is positioned to make a significant contribution to contemporary dialogue about art and architecture.

Highlights of NAD NOW’s first release include:

  • An intimate conversation between architect Wendy Evans Joseph (NA 2012) and artist Alan Michelson about Studio Joseph’s exhibition design of Americans, a permanent installation at the National Museum of the American Indian.

  • Nick Cave (NA 2015) offers a behind-the-scenes look at The Let Go, his immersive installation at Park Avenue Armory in a review penned by Niama Safia Sandy.

  • James Siena (NA 2011) shares a new painting for “Centerfold,” a column that showcases recent works by NAs.

  • Director of Collections and Curatorial Affairs Diana Thompson reveals a newly restored work by Charles White (ANA 1971; NA 1974), Matriarch. The painting pictures White’s great aunt, a former slave, and was a remarkable choice for the artist to give to the NAD as his diploma portrait — a membership requirement dating back to 1839.

  • And Marilyn Minter (NA 2017) shares her recent creative inspirations.

The launch is just the beginning. Stay tuned for more stories and the expansion of our columns in the weeks and months to come.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF DESIGN

The National Academy of Design has a simple yet powerful mission, “to promote American art and architecture through exhibition and instruction.” Founded in 1825 by a group of artists that included Thomas Cole, Samuel F. B. Morse, and Asher B. Durand, the NAD is an honor society of America’s top artists and architects – the National Academicians – as well as a presenter of arts and an agent of arts education. Over the decades, the NAD has enriched and educated countless generations of artists and architects, while preserving and sharing the work of the National Academicians with the public.

NATIONAL ACADEMY OF DESIGN

5 East 89th Street

New York, NY 10128

nationalacademy.org

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NAD NOW

nadnowjournal.org

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“Social Justice and Unity” Mural, Featuring Master Artist Dread Scott, NA, and Students, Unveiled and Dedicated at East Flatbush Brooklyn Middle School

For Immediate Release

August 15, 2018

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mural.png

New York, NY – The National Academy of Design celebrated the unveiling and dedication of the organization’s 2018 summer mural project at the East Flatbush Community Research School IS K581 in Brooklyn on Friday, August 10. Master artist Dread Scott, NA mentored and provided professional development to the participating NYC students, all of whom are aspiring artists. The students got to conceptualize, design, and paint the public artwork with the themes of “social justice and unity.”

For the kids, this was their first professional artistic undertaking and they learned what it was like to be a professional artist. About the artistic process, student participant Jemila shared, “Dread was a creative force to help push our barriers.” Yana, the hands-on teaching artist who served as the Lead Artist on the project, reflected on the idea of public art relating to the community, “How do we talk about social justice in a way that is accessible to everyone?”

Since 1940, the National Academy has had a history of commissioning murals. In 2018, the National Academy renewed its mural projects program with a focus on commissioning public art in economically-disadvantaged neighborhoods where local students are engaged to paint the designs under the mentorship of one of the Academy’s National Academicians. The National Academy’s mural projects program is underwritten by an endowment formed through a bequest of Gertrude Abbey that was established through a deed of trust in 1931.

Moving forward, the National Academy plans to sponsor mural projects every year in areas across the United States and in partnership with different non-profit organizations. For 2019, a mural project in Los Angeles focused on immigration is being planned. The National Academy’s 2018 mural project was developed in partnership with Groundswell, a NYC-based organization that brings together youth, artists, and community organizations to use art as a tool for social change.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF DESIGN

Founded in 1825 by a group of artists that included Thomas Cole, Samuel F. B. Morse, Asher B. Durand, and others, the National Academy of Design is an arts organization with a simple yet powerful mission “to promote American art and architecture through exhibition and instruction.” Consisting of three components, the National Academy is an honor society of America’s top artists and architects, as well as a presenter of arts, and an agent of arts education. Over the decades, the Academy has enriched and educated countless generations of artists and architects, while preserving and sharing their work with the public.

NATIONAL ACADEMY OF DESIGN

5 East 89th Street New York, NY 10128 | nationalacademy.org

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PRESS CONTACT

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New Online Database Showcases Collection and Membership - Free and Open to The Public

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 3, 2018

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Frederick Carl Frieseke (1874-1939),  Hollyhocks , by 1911  Oil on canvas, 25 ½ × 32 in.  NA diploma presentation, November 2, 1914

Frederick Carl Frieseke (1874-1939), Hollyhocks, by 1911

Oil on canvas, 25 ½ × 32 in.

NA diploma presentation, November 2, 1914

New York, NY - The National Academy of Design (NAD) is thrilled to announce the launch of a dynamic and unique online resource dedicated to the NAD’s preeminent permanent collection of American art. This significant new educational resource can be found at NADatabase.org and under the Collection menu option on the NAD’s website – NationalAcademy.org. It is interactive, free, globally accessible and features the NAD’s collection dating back to the organization’s founding in 1825, while highlighting the extraordinarily talented group of artists and architects who make up the NAD’s exclusive National Academician honor society.

The NA Database project is part of a multi-year initiative that is scheduled for continued development through 2022. The end result will be a comprehensive online resource featuring information about the NAD’s entire membership, permanent collection, and distinctive history, which have intersected with and catalyzed the development of American art and architecture from the 19th through the 21st centuries.

The launch of the NA Database showcases 100 American artists and architects ranging from our founder, Samuel F. B. Morse, to living members like Jaune Quick-to-See Smith. Over the next few years, database entries will expand significantly to include the entirety of the NAD permanent collection and membership, which represents more than 2,300 artists and architects, spans 200 years of history and includes nearly 8,000 works of art, including paintings, drawings, sculptures, watercolors, prints, photographs, videos, mixed-media works, and architectural drawings, renderings, and models.

“Today, when so much of visual culture is explored through digital platforms, we felt it was imperative to open the National Academy of Design’s online doors to the public to share and enlighten all audiences about the importance and richness of the history of American art and the NAD’s place within it,” explains Diana Thompson, who spearheads the NA Database project and serves as Director of Collections and Curatorial Affairs. “Now is the prime opportunity to develop ways to share our history and collection with the world. Indeed no history of American art can be told without invoking our storied institution, and it is our goal to provide the public with more information and greater access to this cultural treasure. We are the country’s oldest honorary artist society and our story belongs to all of us.”

The NA Database project involves our partnership with Google Cultural Institute to digitize the collection, as well as the NAD’s new research on the permanent collection that includes scholarly catalogue entries, updated biographies, video documentation, materials culled from the Academy’s unique in-house object files, as well as correlating materials from the NAD Historic Archives housed at the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art. Extensive research was conducted to publish the 2004 permanent collection catalogue entitled Paintings and Sculpture in the Collection of The National Academy of Design, Volume I, 1826- 1925 (David Dearinger, General Editor). The NAD is thrilled to highlight and share the work done for this scholarly endeavor with a larger audience by incorporating it into the online database.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF DESIGN

Founded in 1825 by a group of artists that included Thomas Cole, Samuel F. B. Morse, Asher B. Durand, and others, the National Academy of Design is an arts organization with a simple yet powerful mission “to promote American art and architecture through exhibition and instruction.” Consisting of three components, the National Academy is an honor society of America’s top artists and architects, as well as a presenter of arts, and an agent of arts education. Over the decades, the Academy has enriched and educated countless generations of artists and architects, while preserving and sharing their work with the public.

NATIONAL ACADEMY OF DESIGN

5 East 89th Street New York, NY 10128 | nationalacademy.org

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PRESS CONTACT

press@nationalacademy.org