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


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 and under the Collection menu option on the NAD’s website – 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.


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.


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