City Readers Digital Historic Collections at the New York Society Library
National Academy of Design
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The National Academy Museum and School, founded in New York City as the National Academy of Design – known simply as the "National Academy" – is an honorary association of American artists founded in 1825 by Samuel F. B. Morse, Asher B. Durand, Thomas Cole, Martin E. Thompson, and others "to promote the fine arts in America through instruction and exhibition."
The Academy is a professional honorary organization, a school, and a museum. Full members of the National Academy are named from the highest ranks of American artists and architects, and are identified using the post-nominal "NA" (National Academician). Associates are designated with "ANA". One cannot apply for membership.
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.
The Academy has had several homes over the years. Notable among them was a building built during 1863-1865, designed by architect P. B. Wight in Venetian Gothic style, which was modeled on the Doge's Palace in Venice. Another locale was at West 109th Street and Amsterdam Avenue in Manhattan. Since 1942 the academy has occupied a mansion that was the former home of sculptor Anna Hyatt Huntington and Archer Milton Huntington at Fifth Avenue and Eighty-ninth Street.