The National Academy Museum and School of Fine Arts

New York, NY



The 175th Annual Exhibition of National Academy in Planning

February 9 ­ March 26, 2000

The National Academy of Design was the first American cultural institution to initiate annual exhibitions exclusively showcasing contemporary art. In keeping with this 175 year-old tradition, this open, juried annual exhibition will feature a cross-section of American art, presenting recent works by both Academicians (artist members) and emerging artists. The jurors will select roughly 180 paintings, sculptures, watercolors, graphic works, and architectural presentations by many of America's leading artists. The Academy has presented the work of many contemporary artists including Clinton Adams, Will Barnet, Sue Coe, Robert Cottingham, Lois Dodd, Jane Freilicher, Robert Kipniss, Wolf Kahn, Vincent Longo, Philip Pearlstein, Paul Resika, and Robert Vickrey. Most of the works in the exhibition are for sale, with a portion of the proceeds benefiting the Academy's exhibition and education programs.

Open to all artists for original work completed within the last five years, the Annual Exhibition at the National Academy of Design is America's oldest, continuously held open competition for the last 175 years. From founding members Asher B. Durand and Thomas Cole, to contemporary artists Chuck Close, Sue Coe, Robert Colescott, Robert Cottingham, Sam Gilliam, Maya Lin, Malcolm Morley, and Penelope Jencks, the Annual Exhibition has attracted America's finest visual artists in the fields of painting, sculpture, graphics, and architecture. Every other year over 2,000 artists from across the country compete for the honor of exhibiting in the National Academy's galleries, and for the over $30,000 in cash awards given to outstanding works in the show. Roughly 200 juried works -- painting, sculpture, watercolor, graphics and architecture --will be on view from February 9 through March 26, 2000, and will occupy all floors of gallery space. (See our 20th Century Living Artists section for articles concerning several of these contemporary artists)



Distinguished juries in each medium are elected by the membership of the Academy. Juries of selection are as follows: Painting: Pat Adams, Will Barnet, Harvey Dinnerstein, Lois Dodd, Yvonne Jacquette, Paul Resika, and Joseph Solman; Sculpture: Zenos Frudakis, Nathaniel Kaz, Harvey Weiss, Graphics: William Behnken, Warrington Colescott, and John Ross.



Over $30,000 in prizes will be distributed by the following Awards juries: Painting: William Bailey, Rosemarie Beck, Bernard Chaet, Janet Fish, Serge Hollerbach, James McGarrell, Nora Speyer; Sculpture: Barbara Lekberg, Bruno Lucchesi, and Robert White; Graphics: Robert Blackburn, Harvey Breverman, and Robert Kipness.

Major prizes include The Benjamin Altman Prizes for Landscape and Figure Painting ($1,500); the William P. and Gertrude Schweitzer Prizes in watercolor ($1,500 and $1,000); the Frederik C. and Eileen Monagham Whitaker Prize for Watercolor ($2,000), the Andrew Carnegie Prize ($1,000); the Emil and Dines Carlsen Award ($1,000); and the Daniel Chester French Medal for Sculpture. In addition, a number of awards are available to artists under 35 years of age.



Hanging Committee:

In order to revive the time-honored tradition upheld by academies on both sides of the Atlantic, the decision to nominate National Academicians James Bohary, Francoise Gilot and Paul Russotto to hang this year's annual marks a departure from past curator-installed annuals.

Special Invitees Chosen by Jury of Selection:

Foregoing the right to exhibit their own work, each member of this year's jury of selection will instead pre-select two artists works for exhibition, thus enriching the breadth and quality of this open Annual. Special invitees include Joel Shapiro, Louise Fishman, and George Schneeman among others.



In the early days, annual exhibitions primarily consisted of portraits and landscapes. Regularly reviewed by New York newspapers and periodicals, the National Academy's Annuals were instrumental in bringing public recognition to American art.

Asher B. Durand's Morning of Life and Evening of Life were first exhibited at the 1840 Annual. Critical response to John Frederick Kensett's submission to the 1848 Annual launched his career as a leading American landscape painter. Frederic Edwin Church's masterful Scene on the Magdalene debuted in the 1854 Annual. Eastman Johnson established his fame as one of the foremost American genre painters by exhibiting Negro Life at the South, which later came to be known as Old Kentucky Home, in the 1859 Annual.

Although submissions by progressive and uncompromising visionaries Augustus Saint-Gaudens and Thomas Eakins were initially rejected at the Academy's Annuals, both artists later exhibited and were elected to membership. Eakins protégé Henry Ossawa Tanner was one of the first African-Americans to take part in annual exhibitions, and participated from 1885-1887. Upon returning to New York, Childe Hassam first exhibited in the 1883 Annual, and was the first American Impressionist to receive a prize in 1905, (The Thomas B. Clarke Prize). Artist and art critic Kenyon Cox was honored with the prestigious Julius Hallgarten Prize at the 1889 Annual, just one year after completing his formal training.

Read more about the National Academy Museum in Resource Library Magazine


revised 11/19/99

For further biographical information on selected artists cited above please see America's Distinguished Artists, a national registry of historic artists.

rev. 11/22/10

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