National Academy Museum: “Redefining Tradition”


Located on Fifth Avenue, to the north of the Guggenheim and south of the Cooper Hewitt Museum, The National Academy (founded in 1825) is an association of artists and architects; a school; and surprisingly for many people, a museum.

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Each year the Academy Museum has an exhibit to promote the works of  a selection of their Academicians (over 300 prominent artists and architects). This year’s exhibit – Redefining Tradition – brings together multiple generations of National Academicians and “creates a constellation that illuminates affinities, connections, differences, and most importantly a relevant continuum of American art and architecture, ” according to the Academy. The exhibit includes paintings, drawings, sculpture, and architectural design from more than 60 artists and architects including Richard Serra and Carrie Mae Weems.  As a visitor, I really enjoyed the open  spaces of the exhibit areas, and the opportunity to get to know artists I was unfamiliar with, like Margaret Grimes, Barbara Grossman, and Charles Wells.

Over the year, The Academy Museum offers an eclectic selection of exhibitions. Among those on view this year was a retrospective of paintings by Swedish artist, Anders Zorn (1860-1920); “See It Loud,” seven post-war American painters whose art “grew out of abstract currents, but shifted toward representation;” and an exhibit showcasing prints from the Museum’s collection.

Redefining Traditions will be on view until September 14, 2014.

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