For America, Paintings from the National Academy of Design
On view through January 26, 2020
New Britain Museum of American Art
New Britain, Connecticut

“For America, Paintings from the National Academy of Design” showcases works from the oldest artist honorary society in the United States, the National Academy of Design. Founded in New York City in 1825, the National Academy of Design has, from its inception to the present, required all Academicians to donate a representative work; from 1839 to 1944 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,” serves as an exploration and celebration of American art from the 1800s to present day, and is the first exhibition to highlight the joint presentation of an artist’s portrait with her or his diploma work. 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.

Image credits: George Tooker, Voice II, 1972 Egg tempera on gessoed panel, 17 ½ × 11 ½ in. National Academy of Design, New York © Estate of George Tooker Courtesy DC Moore Gallery, New York and American Federation of Arts