Founded in 1825, the National Academy is the only institution of its kind that integrates a museum, art school, and association of artists and architects dedicated to creating and preserving a living history of American Art.
Modeled after the Royal Academy in London, the National Academy was founded 185 years ago with the simple yet powerful mission to “promote the fine arts in America through instruction and exhibition.” For the very first time in this country, an arts institution was conceived with artists and architects at its core. The founders of the National Academy believed that the practice and exhibition of fine art could flourish outside of the aristocratic patronage system. Their new egalitarian institution would aim for the highest echelons of artistic expression with an inclusive philosophy, enriching and educating a new generation of artists and architects and preserving and sharing their work with the public.
Today, with its museum, art school, and association of artists and architects – the National Academicians – the Academy sees its original mission realized through a contemporary lens. It is a continually evolving testament to the transformative power of art, an institution that sheds light on over 7,000 great works, a thriving forum for education, intergenerational dialogue and debate, and a source of vibrant exhibitions. The National Academy is an organization where tradition is celebrated and new visionaries embraced, connecting the past, present, and future of American art.