A society of American painters and sculptors, whose headquarters is in
New York City. The first Academy of Arts in New York City was founded in
1802 by prominent citizens, among whom was only one professional artist,
Trumbull, but it excited little interest until 1825, when a secession of the
younger artists occurred.Dissatisfied with the character of the old society,
they formed a new association, called the New York Drawing Association,
directed by practical artists. The present name was adopted in 1828, and the
society, composed of thirty members, was incorporated. Prof. S.F.B. Morse
(q.v.) was the chief organizer of the movement, and was twice president of
the National Academy, in 1827-45 and again in 1861-62. In this capacity he
delivered the first lecture on the fine arts ever given in America. The
Sketch Club, formed by C.C. Ingham, one of the original members of the
National Academy of Design, afterwards became the Century Club (1846).
  The National Academy is founded on the plan of the Royal Academy of
London, and its active members are divided into academicians and associates,
the number being limited to one hundred, the only qualification that they be
professional artists. There are also honorary members and fellows of the
Academy who have certain privileges. The society is governed by a council
consisting of its officers and six members, and the instructors in the
school of design are chosen from among its ranks. The Academy stands for the
conservative, traditional element in art, as opposed to the more modern
sentiments which were represented in the earlier work of the Society of
American Artists (q.v.). It held its seventy-eighth annual exhibition in
1903. At these exhibitions the Clarke prize of $300, and the Hallgarten
prizes of $300, $200, and $100, respectively, are distributed, and the
Inness gold medal for the best landscape. The school of design connected
with the Academy has been in existence since 1825, and the instruction
includes classes in the antique, life, still life, anatomy, painting,
perspective, composition, etching, and medal and coin engraving. These
classes are open from October until May, and are free to students admitted
on the evidence of the school committee. The average attendance of pupils is
about 300.Consult: Cummings, Historic Annals of the National Academy of
Design (Philadelphia, 1865).

Source:  The New International Encyclopaedia
Copyright:  1902, 1903, 1904, 1905
Publisher:  Dodd, Mead and company--New York
Volumes:  Total of 21 volumes
Transcribed by Miriam Medina