For America: Paintings from the National Academy of Design

"Two Idlers"
Robert Frederick Blum, "Two Idlers", 1888-1889, Oil on Canvas, 29 x 40 in., National Academy of Design, New York, Courtesy of the American Federation of Arts


For America: Paintings from the National Academy of Design

Stitzer Family Gallery, Robert and Dorothy Vance Gallery, and Richard and Virginia McKernan Gallery

Founded in New York City in 1825 by artists including Samuel F.B. Morse, Asher B. Durand, and Thomas Cole, The National Academy of Design is the oldest artist honorary society in the United States. From its inception to the present, the NAD has required all Academicians 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. Over the decades, this rule has resulted in a distinctive collection of American art that today totals over 8,000 works and includes nearly every major American artist. For America: Paintings from the National Academy of Design is the first exhibition to highlight this decisive feature of the collection—the joint presentation of an artist’s portrait with his or her diploma works. Featuring over ninety paintings, the exhibition presents not only a visual document of the Academy’s membership but a unique history of American art from 1809 to present.


The exhibition is organized by the American Federation of Arts and the National Academy of Design.

For America: Paintings from the National Academy of Design is supported by the JFM Foundation, Monique Schoen Warshaw, and Steph and Jody La Nasa.

In New Britain, For America lead exhibition support is provided by the Jack Warner Foundation. Generous funding is also provided by The David T. Langrock Foundation, the Kathryn Cox Special Exhibitions Fund, and Dr. Timothy P. McLaughlin and Dr. Marian Kellner.

Additional support of For America is provided by the Special Exhibition Fund donors, including John N. Howard, Sylvia Bonney, Anita Arcuni Ferrante and Anthony Ferrante, Marian and Russell Burke, and The Aeroflex Foundation. We also gratefully acknowledge the funding of Brendan and Carol Conry, Irene and Charles J. Hamm, and Carolyn and Elliot Joseph.

NAD AFA lockup