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“3. How to conventionalize plant-form, with analysis of Egyptian, Greek, Roman, and the best periods of ornamentation.
“4. Color, elements, contrast, harmony, &c., as applied to decorative design.
“5. How to treat ornamentation as applied to wall-decorations, paper-hangings, metal-work, stone, wood, plain and colored fabrics, modern glass windows, &c.
" The original designs exhibited this year are examples selected from a large number of draw. ings from many forms and styles, which illustrate the elementary principles of the art of ornamental design, such as straight lines, contrasted with curves and angles or used singly or in various combinations, and plant-forms, conventionalized and adapted to these forms up to a given point, for the most part simplest principles.
“ Other of these designs were made by the students of different classes from given subjects, such as table-tops, carved cabinets, book-covers, paper-hangings, clocks, &c. The examples exhibited were selected from some five hundred original designs, composed and drawn by the students.”
Of works of art for the use of pupils, the school possesses 40 casts from the antique, copies of the best statues—7 of heroic size, 8 of life-size, and 24 of reduced size ; 70 casts of busts, fragments, &c., from the antique ; paintings, 6 copies in oil, large size, from Raphael, Murillo, Vandyck, Poussin, and Titian; 9 small-sized oil-paintings, 11 crayon-drawings from antique casts, 47 autotypes from works of old masters, 75 flat examples, and lithographs. In all, 966 specimens of works of art.
This closes the list, as comprised in the information in possession of this Bureau, of special institutions for training in art as applied to industries and manufactures. It is quite probable that there may be in some of the many cities of the country private schools or classes giving this instruction, which are not yet known to this Bureau ; but, making all allowance for the existence of a few sporadic schools, the contrast is sufficiently marked between the “ four hundred similar schools” in the little kingdom of Würtemberg, with its population of two millions of inhabitants, and the few scattered schools we have enumerated, which are the only provision for industrial- and technical-art-education made in this great country for its forty millions of people.
Having recounted the provisions made for such art-education as is applicable to the industries of the country, let us see what provision is made for the training of artists.
NATIONAL ACADEMY OF DESIGN, NEW YORK.
First on this list stands the National Academy of Design, corner Twentythird street and Fourth avenue, New York.
The schools of this academy have been in operation, free for both sexes, day and evening, since 1826.
There is an antique (statuary-) school, life- (nude-) school, the painting-school, school of anatomy, and school of perspective.
“Students should have mastered the simple elementary difficulties of the art, as the academy-schools are intended for professional students, who have already acquired a certain degree of skill in the use of the crayon or pencil, rather than for mere beginners." All students must first enter the antique (or statuary-) school. “ The qualification for entering is an elementary practice in
drawing from the round, which will enable the applicant to show to the council a fair shaded crayon from a cast of a hand, foot, head, or other part of a statue of the human figure. A thorough and successful course of study from the antique is required before the student is advanced to other classes.”
Before entering the life-school, “an approved drawing of a full-length statue must be submitted to the council.
“Students of the life-school only are eligible to admission to the paintingschool at the discretion of the council.” The schools are open from 7 to 9 every evening through the autumn and winter.
The lectures of the academy, both technical and general, are open to all classes of students and to the members and fellows of the institution. An annual exhibition of selected drawings by the students is held each spring, continuing for two weeks, when the annual distribution of awards of merit is made by the president. The students for 1873 numbered 205 in the antique school, 71 in the life- and 25 in the painting-school.
The National Academy of Design is an association of artists. It consists of ACADEMICIANS, who are the body corporate. Members are elected as academicians only at the annual meetings; they must be either associates or honorary members of the academy and they must be exhibitors at the annual exhibition of the year; must be recorded by an academician at least six days before the day of the annual meeting—the second Wednesday of May. A vote of twothirds of the members present is required to elect. To confirm and legalize this election, the new academician “must, within one year thereafter, present to the academy a specimen of his art, to be preserved in the gallery of the institution.”
ASSOCIATES must be professional artists; must be nominated and elected in the same manner and under the same conditions as academicians; and must, within a year, present to the academy a portrait of themselves on canvas, 25 by 30 inches.
FELLOWS.-Friends of art may become fellows of the academy for life by payment of $100 to the fellowship-fund of the academy Fellows receive five season-tickets to the academy-exhibitions; are invited to all receptions of the society, have access to the lectures and to the library and reading-room, and can nominate two students annually to the schools.
The academy occupies a beautiful building designed and erected for its use and well adapted for its purpose, the whole upper story being occupied by galleries for the public exhibitions and the lower stories with rooms for instruction.
The academy gives each fall and spring an exhibition of fresh modern works, loaned for the occasion ; 35,000 persons visited the exhibitions in 1873. The income derived from the admission-fees furnishes the chief support of the schools, which also enjoy the income arising from the bequest of $50,000 made by the late academician and treasurer of the academy, James A. Snyder.
The academy possesses casts of 60 full-length antique statues and 100 ancient busts for the use of the antique school ; also, a few marbles, which have been presented to the library. It also has about 200 pictures by modern
American and foreign painters, half landscape and half genre, and 200 oil-portraits of artists, members of the academy. It has a library of costly art-works, numbering about 600 volumes, with a collection of fine engravings and photographs of works of the old masters.
Having shown something of the present condition of the academy, with its flourishing schools and its popular exhibitions, it will be of interest to trace its origin, and see how, from small beginnings, it has arrived at its present prosperity and has come at last to be housed in so fitting a palace.
“In the early part of the autumn of 1825, * there was formed in the city of New York, a Drawing Association,' for art-study and social intercourse, which embraced among its members the greater portion of the artists then in the city. This association prospered in such a degree that it soon became necessary to extend its field of operations. The attempt to effect this object resulted in the foundation, on the 19th day of January, 1826, of the present National Academy of Design. The 'Drawing Association,' thus remodeled and renamed, adopted a constitution and by-laws, and elected Samuel F. B. Morse, president; Henry Inman, vicepresident; John L. Morton, secretary; and Thomas S. Cummings, treasurer.
“ The new academy was chartered by the legislature of New York on the 5th day of April, 1828.
“Of the twenty-five original founders of the institution, only five are now living, (October 21, 1863:) Messrs. Morse, Cummings, Ingraham, Durand, and Evers."
The society having no hall, held its meetings in a room generously loaned by the Historical and Philosophical Societies, in the old Alms-House Building in the City-Hall Park, fronting on Chambers street. The first annual exhibition of the academy was held in 1826, in a small room, 50 by 25 feet, in the second story of a building corner of Broadway and Reade streets; lighted in the evening by six ordinary gas-burners, advertised as a notable attraction, and “really notable as the first instance on record of a public exhibition of pictures at night.” The first exhibition resulted in loss, for which the members were assessed.
The society had rooms in different places and occupied gradually-increasing accommodations till, in 1850, they purchased a property on Mercer street, in rear of Broadway, with a lease of a lot on Broadway giving them an entrance. “A suite of six fine galleries was erected here, with a total length of 164 feet and a breadth of 50 feet.” After five years, this property was sold for $120,000, netting the institution a clear return of $69,000. The academy occupied various places and gave its annual exhibitions in different buildings. Its thirty-ninth exhibition, in 1864, was held in the galleries of the building known as the Institute of Art, No. 625 Broadway.
The site of the present beautiful edifice, on the northwest corner of Fourth avenue and Twenty-third street, was purchased in the autumn of 1860 from Mr. William Niblo, at a cost of $50,000.
Numerous designs for a building were, at the request of the academy, submitted by the leading New York architects; that of Mr. P. B. Wight being, with some modifications, finally accepted. This, however, proposed so costly
* From Historical Memoranda of the Academy and its Exhibitions, compiled by Thomas S. Cummings, N. A., and deposited in the corner-stone of the present academy-building at the ceremony of laying the corner-stone, Wednesday, October 21, 1863.
a building that, after long debate upon the wisdom of discarding it and putting up a plain building within the means of the academy, it was finally decided to appeal to the “well-known and ample sympathy of the large body of connoisseurs and lovers of art outside of the academy, although it had been the boast of the society heretofore, in all its long and varied existence of nearly forty • years, to have lived and prospered without any exterior aid whatever.”
It was finally decided, January 14, 1863, by amending the constitution, to provide for the admission of a new grade of fellows, with certain stipulated privileges, on the payment of $100 for a life-interest or $500 for the same interest in perpetuity, with power, in the latter case, to transfer or to transmit the same.
That this scheme under the wise action of the committee to whose care it was committed proved a great success is shown by the list of subscribers to the fellowship-fund up to February 1, 1864.
This list numbers five hundred and seventy names, none representing less than $100, while thirty-seven persons gave $1,000 each, seventy-five persons gave $500 each, one person gave $300, and ten persons $250 each, the whole aggregating the sum of $121,950.
The corner-stone of the new building was laid with imposing ceremonies on the afternoon of Wednesday, the 21st of October, 1863. The reception-rooms of the Century Club, in Fifteenth street, were loaned to the committee as a place of rendezvous, and the procession started from there.
The president of the academy, Daniel Huntington, called the assembly to order. Prayer was then offered by the Rev. Dr. Vinton. The vice-president, Henry Peters Gray, chairman of the fellowship-fund, then gave a brief history of the academy and its former homes, from which I take the following extract:
“I said this was certainly a novel spectacle. Is it not, when we reflect that this is the first academy of fine arts this side of the Atlantic, the first instance of the building of an academy of design, not only in the United States but on this continent, governed and directed entirely by artists, carried on strictly under academic regulations, and dependent heretofore wholly on our own resources. And now, strongly wedded to public sympathy by a new order of members—its “fellows"—their subscriptions will enable the institution to appear before you in a form of elegant architecture, which, we trust, will be a characteristic feature of this locality and an ornament to the metropolis."
. Appropriate addresses were made by the following gentlemen : Parke Godwin, esq., William Cullen Bryant, Hon. George Bancroft, the Rev. Dr. Bellows, and the Rev. Dr. Chapin. The accidental absence of the venerable Professor Morse, the first president of the academy, was deeply regretted. The architect, with a few fitting words, presented to the president, on the part of himself and the builders, a silver trowel with which to lay the corner-stone. * .
The president, after returning thanks in the name of the artists and the members of the academy, proceeded to lay the corner-stone. As usual, certain com
* The trowel bore the following inscription: “Presented to Daniel Huntington, president, on the occasion of laying the corner-stone of the National Academy of Design, New York, October 21, 1863, by Alex. Maxwell & Co., marble-cutters; Geo. F. Coddington, jr., mason ; Wm. S. Hunt & Son, carpenters; S. B. Althouse & Co., iron-workers; P. B. Wight, architect."
memorative articles, relating to the academy, to the city, and to the country, were placed in the copper box which was inserted in the corner-stone.
The building whose corner-stone was thus formally laid occupies the entire lot on the corner of Fourth avenue and Twenty-third street. It is 93 feet 9 inches in length on the avenue, with 80 feet front on Twenty-third street.
[From architect's description of the Academy of Design building. I
“It is three stories high besides the cellar. The basement, entered from Fourth avenue, contains rooms for the janitor and ample accommodations for the School of Design, which has three studios on Fourth avenue, with a hall for casts and models, all well lighted; in all, a space of 47 by 68 feet. The life-school occupies a hall on the north side, 27 by 54 feet. The principal story is reached by a double flight of steps on Twenty-third street. The entrance is through a handsome arched doorway, from which a hall 18 feet wide runs nearly the length of the building. Reception-rooms, the library, and a lecture-room, (which is directly over and the same size as the life-school-hall,) occupy this floor. The whole of the upper story is given to exhibition-galleries.”
“In the center is a hall 34 by 40 feet, divided by a double arcade, supported on columns of polished marble. Around this are the galleries all opening out of it: one 30 by 76 feet; one 22 by 46; one 20 by 40; one 21 by 30, all lighted by sky-lights; also, a gallery for sculpture 21 feet square, lighted both from the roof and the side.”
The woodwork is of oak and walnut; the halls and vestibules are floored with mosaic of tiles.
“The walls of the basement-story are of Westchester County gray marble, with bands of North River graywacke; the walls of the first story, of white marble, with similar bands; and of the third story, of white and gray marble, in small oblong blocks, forming a pattern of checker-work. The building is surmounted by a rich arcaded cornice of white marble.
“The School of Design, in the basement, is lighted by wide double windows, with seg. mental arches, each pair of arches supported in the middle on a clustered column, with a rich carved capital and base, and resting on each side on a carved corbel. All the other windows in the building have pointed arches and those of the first story have their archivolts decorated by voussoirs of alternately white and gray marble. There are no windows in the upper story upon the street, but circular openings for ventilation, filled with elaborate plate-tracery. The principal entrance is very high. A broad archivolt, enriched with sculpture and varied by voussoirs, alternately white and gray, springs from columns, two on each side, of red Vermont marble, with white marble capitals and bases. Under this the tympanum above the door is filled with an elaborate pattern, in mosaic, of small tiles. The double flight of steps leading to this door makes an important feature of the building, being entirely of marble, having, under the platform, a triple arcade, inclosing a drinking-fountain, and being richly decorated with sculpture.
"As will be inferred from the above description, the style of architecture is that revived Gothic, now the dominant style in England, which combines those features of the different schools of architecture of the middle ages which are most appropriate to our nineteenth-century-buildings.”
“All the carving is carefully studied from natural forms. The flowers and leaves of our woods and fields have furnished the models for all the sculpture, which has been designed, under the direction of the architect, by the stone-carvers who have done the work. For this purpose, a special appropriation was made. The carving was not included in the contract, but paid for by the day, as it was done.
“The builders of the academy have seized upon the opportunity afforded them by the erection of their costly building to show, by actual example, the proper and only possible way of making a building rich in sculptured orna ent.
“The stone-carvers have cut these capitals and archivolts with the feeling and purpose of sculptors executing independent and original works of art. The result thus far attained has