Art Students League of New York
Art Students League of New York is an art school located on West
57th Street in Manhattan, New York City, New York. The League has
historically been known for its broad appeal to both amateurs and
professional artists and for over 130 years has maintained a tradition
of offering reasonably priced classes on a flexible schedule to
accommodate students from all walks of life.
Although artists may study full-time, there have never been any degree
programs or grades, and this informal attitude pervades the culture of
the school. From the 19th century to the present, the League has
counted among its attendees and instructors many historically
important artists, and contributed to numerous influential schools and
movements in the art world.
The League also maintains a significant permanent collection of
student and faculty work, and publishes an online journal of writing
on art-related topics, entitled LINEA. The journal's name refers to
the school's motto Nulla Dies Sine Linea or "No Day Without a Line,"
traditionally attributed to the famous Greek painter
Apelles by the
historian Pliny the Elder, who recorded that
Apelles would not let a
day pass without at least drawing a line to practice his art.
2 Other facilities
3 Notable instructors and lecturers
4 Notable alumni
5 See also
7 External links
Founded in 1875, the League's creation came about in response to both
an anticipated gap in the program of the National Academy of Design's
program of classes for that year, and longer-term desires for more
variety and flexibility in education for artists. The breakaway group
of students included many women, and was originally housed in rented
rooms at 16th Street and Fifth Avenue.
When the Academy resumed a more typical, but liberalized, program, in
1877, there was some sentiment that the League had served its purpose,
but its students voted to continue its program, and it was
incorporated in 1878. Influential board members from this formative
period included painter
Thomas Eakins and sculptor Augustus
Saint-Gaudens. Membership continued to increase, forcing the League to
relocate to increasingly larger spaces.
In 1889, the League participated in the founding of the American Fine
Arts Society (AFAS), together with the
Society of American Artists and
the Architectural League, among others. The American Fine Arts
Building at 215 West 57th Street, constructed as their joint
headquarters, has continued to house the League since 1892.
Designed in the French Renaissance style by one of the founders of the
Henry Hardenbergh (in collaboration with W.C. Hunting
& J.C. Jacobsen), the building is a designated New York City
Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic
In the late 1890s and early 1900s an increasing number of women
artists came to study and work at the league many of them taking on
key roles. Among them was a young Miss
Wilhelmina Weber Furlong
Wilhelmina Weber Furlong and
eventually her husband Thomas Furlong (artist). The avant-garde couple
served the league in executive and administrative roles and as student
members throughout the American modernism movement. Alice Van
Vechten Brown, who would later develop some of the first art programs
in American higher education, also studied with the league until
prolonged family illness sent her home.
Edith Dimock described her classes at the Art Students League:
In a room innocent of ventilation, the job was to draw Venus (just the
head) and her colleagues. We were not allowed to hitch bodies to the
heads——yet. The dead white plaster of Paris was a perfect inducer
of eye-strain, and was called "The Antique." One was supposed to work
from "The Antique" for two years. The advantage of "The Antique" was
that all these gods and athletes were such excellent models: there
never was the twitch of an iron-bound muscle. Venus never batted her
hard-boiled egg eye, and the Discus-thrower never wearied. They were
also cheap models and did not have to be paid union rates.
— Edith Dimock
In his official biography, My Adventures as an Illustrator, Norman
Rockwell recounts his time studying at the school as a young man,
providing insight into its operation in the early 1900s.
The League's popularity persisted into the 1920s and 1930s under the
hand of instructors like painter Thomas Hart Benton, who counted among
his students there the young
Jackson Pollock and other avant-garde
artists who would rise to prominence in the 1940s.
In the years after World War II, the
G.I. Bill played an important
role in the continuing history of the League by enabling returning
veterans to attend classes. The League continued to be a formative
influence on innovative artists, being an early stop in the careers of
Abstract expressionists, Pop Artists and scores of others including
Lee Bontecou, Helen Frankenthaler, Al Held, Eva Hesse, Roy
Lichtenstein, Donald Judd, Knox Martin, Robert Rauschenberg, James
Cy Twombly and many others vitally active in the art
The League's unique importance in the larger art world dwindled
somewhat during the 1960s, partially because of higher academia's
emergence as an important presence in contemporary art education, and
partially due to a shift in the art world towards minimalism,
photography, conceptual art, and a more impersonal and indirect
approach to art making.
As of 2010[update], the League remains an important part of New York
City art life. The League continues to attract a wide variety of young
artists; and the focus on art made by hand, both figurative and
abstract, remains strong; its continued significance has largely been
in the continuation of its original mission - to give access to art
classes and studio access to all comers, regardless of their financial
ability or technical background.
From 1906 until 1922, and again after the end of
World War II
World War II from
1947 until 1979, the League operated a summer school of painting at
Woodstock, New York. In 1995, the League's facilities expanded to
include the Vytlacil campus in Sparkill, New York, named after and
based upon a gift of the property and studio of former instructor
Notable instructors and lecturers
See also: Category:
Art Students League of New York
Art Students League of New York faculty
Since its inception, the Art Students League has employed notable
professional artists as instructors and lecturers. Most engagements
have been for a year or two, and some, like those of sculptor George
Grey Barnard, were quite brief.
Others have taught for decades, notably
Frank DuMond and George
Bridgman, who taught anatomy for artists and life drawing classes for
some 45 years, reportedly to 70,000 students. Bridgman's successor was
Robert Beverly Hale. Other longtime instructors included the painters
Frank Mason (DuMond's successor, over 50 years), Kenneth Hayes Miller
(forty years) from 1911 until 1951, sculptor
Nathaniel Kaz (50 years),
Peter Golfinopoulos (over 40 years),
Knox Martin (over 45 years),
Martha Bloom (30 years) and the sculptors
William Zorach (30 years),
and Jose De Creeft,
William Merritt Chase
William Merritt Chase (over
20 years), and
Will Barnet (50 years) from the 1930s to the 1990s.
Robert Cenedella took over the
George Grosz Chair and
presently teaches three courses.
Other well-known artists who have served as instructors here include
Lawrence Alloway, Charles Alston, Will Barnet, Robert Beauchamp,
George Bellows, Thomas Hart Benton, Isabel Bishop, Arnold Blanch,
Louis Bouche, Robert Brackman, George Bridgman, Alexander Stirling
Calder, Naomi Andrée Campbell, Robert Cenedella, William Merritt
Chase, Dionisio Cimarelli, Timothy J. Clark, Kenyon Cox, Jose De
Creeft, John Steuart Curry, Stuart Davis, Edwin Dickinson, Sidney
Dickinson, Frederick Dielman, Harvey Dinnerstein, Arthur Wesley Dow,
Frank DuMond, Frank Duveneck, Thomas Eakins, Daniel Chester French,
Dagmar Freuchen, Wilhelmina Weber Furlong, Michael Goldberg, Stephen
Greene, George Grosz, Lena Gurr, Philip Guston, Robert Beverly Hale,
Lovell Birge Harrison, Childe Hassam, Robert Henri, Eva Hesse, Charles
Hinman, Hans Hofmann, Harry Holtzman, Jamal Igle, Burt Johnson, Wolf
Kahn, Morris Kantor, Rockwell Kent, Walt Kuhn, Yasuo Kuniyoshi,
Gabriel Laderman, Ronnie Landfield, Jacob Lawrence, Hayley Lever,
Martin Lewis, George Luks, Paul Manship, Reginald Marsh, Fletcher
Martin, Knox Martin, Jan Matulka, Mary Beth Mckenzie, William Charles
McNulty, Willard Metcalf, Kenneth Hayes Miller, F. Luis Mora, Robert
Neffson, Kimon Nicolaïdes, Maxfield Parrish, Jules Pascin, Joseph
Pennell, Richard C. Pionk, Larry Poons, Richard Pousette-Dart, Abraham
Rattner, Peter Reginato, Frank J. Reilly, Henry Reuterdahl, Boardman
Robinson, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Nelson Shanks, William Scharf, Susan
Louise Shatter, Walter Shirlaw, John Sloan, Hughie Lee-Smith, Isaac
Soyer, Raphael Soyer, Theodoros Stamos, Anita Steckel, Harry
Sternberg, Augustus Vincent Tack, George Tooker, John Henry Twachtman,
Vaclav Vytlacil, Max Weber, J. Alden Weir, and William Zorach.
See also: Category:
Art Students League of New York
Art Students League of New York alumni
The school's list of notable alumni includes: Edwin Tappan Adney, Ai
Weiwei, Gladys Aller, William Anthony, Nela Arias-Misson, Milton
Avery, Elizabeth Gowdy Baker, United States Congressman Thomas R.
Ball, Hugo Ballin, Will Barnet, Saul Bass, C. C. Beall, Romare
Bearden, Brother Thomas Bezanson, Thomas Hart Benton, Isabel Bishop,
Dorothy Block, Leonard Bocour, Abraham Bogdanove, Lee Bontecou, Henry
Botkin, Louise Bourgeois, Stanley Boxer, Louise Brann, D. Putnam
Brinley, James Brooks, Jennie Augusta Brownscombe, Feliza Bursztyn,
Theodore Earl Butler, Paul Cadmus, Alexander Calder, Chris Campbell,
John F. Carlson, Paul Chalfin, Margaret Covey Chisholm, Kate Freeman
Clark, Henry Ives Cobb, Jr., Claudette Colbert, Willie Cole, John
Connell, Allyn Cox, Ellis Credle, Richard V. Culter, Mel Cummin,
Frederick Stuart Church, Andrew Dasburg, Adolf Dehn, Dorothy Dehner,
Sidney Dickinson, Burgoyne Diller, Ellen Eagle, Marjorie Eaton, Sir
Jacob Epstein, Marisol Escobar, Joe Eula, Philip Evergood, Peter Falk,
Ernest Fiene, Irving Fierstein, Louis Finkelstein, Wilhelmina Weber
Furlong, Helen Frankenthaler, Frederick Carl Frieseke, Wanda Gág, Dan
Gheno, Charles Dana Gibson, William Glackens, Elias Goldberg, Michael
Goldberg, Shirley Goldfarb, Peter Golfinopoulos, Adolph Gottlieb,
Blanche Grambs, John D. Graham, Enrique Grau, Nancy Graves, Clement
Greenberg, Stephen Greene, Red Grooms, Chaim Gross, Lena Gurr, Bessie
Pease Gutmann, Minna Harkavy, Marsden Hartley, Ethel Hays, Gus Heinze,
Al Held, Eva Hesse, Al Hirschfeld, Itshak Holtz, Lorenzo Homar,
Winslow Homer, Thomas Hoving, Paul Jenkins, Alice Sargent Johnson,
Burt Johnson, Donald Judd, Torleif S. Knaphus, Belle Kogan, Lee
Krasner, Ronnie Landfield, Adelaide Lawson, Arthur Lee, Alfred Leslie,
Roy Lichtenstein, Tom Loepp, Michael Loew, John Marin, Reginald Marsh,
Knox Martin, Donald Martiny, Mercedes Matter, Louisa Matthiasdottir,
Peter Max, John Alan Maxwell, Eleanore Mikus, Emil Milan, Lee Miller,
F. Luis Mora, Walter Tandy Murch, Reuben Nakian, Louise Nevelson,
Barnett Newman, Isamu Noguchi, Sassona Norton, Elizabeth Nottingham,
Georgia O'Keeffe, Lyn Ott, Tom Otterness, Clara Weaver Parrish, Betty
Parsons, Phillip Pavia, Roger Tory Peterson, Bert Geer Phillips,
I. Rice Pereira, Alain J. Picard, Jackson Pollock, Fairfield Porter,
Robert Rauschenberg, Man Ray, Charles M. Relyea, Frederic Remington,
Norman Rockwell, Louise Emerson Ronnebeck, Herman Rose, Leonard
Rosenfeld, James Rosenquist, Sanford Ross, Mark Rothko, Glen Rounds,
Morgan Russell, Abbey Ryan, Sam Savitt, Louis Schanker, Mary
Schepisi, Katherine Schmidt, Emily Maria Scott, Ethel Schwabacher,
Joan Semmel, Maurice Sendak, Ben Shahn, Nelson Shanks, Nat Mayer
Shapiro, Henrietta Shore, Jessamine Shumate, David Smith, Tony Smith,
Robert Smithson, Louise Hammond Willis Snead, Armstrong Sperry, Otto
Stark, William Starkweather, Frank Stella, Joseph Stella, Inga
Stephens Pratt Clark, Harry Sternberg, Clyfford Still, Soichi Sunami,
Katharine Lamb Tait, Patty Prather Thum, George Tooker, Kim
Tschang-yeul, Wen-Ying Tsai, Cy Twombly, Jack Tworkov, Edward Charles
Volkert, Alonzo C. Webb, Davyd Whaley, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney,
Adolph Alexander Weinman, J. Alden Weir, Stow Wengenroth, Anita
Willets-Burnham, Ellen Axson Wilson, Gahan Wilson, Alice Morgan
Wright, Russel Wright, Art Young, Philip Zuchman, and Iván
National Academy of Design
Society of American Artists
Ten American Painters
List of art schools
American Fine Arts Society
^ "LINEA". Asllinea.org. Retrieved 2013-07-23.
^ Cotter, Holland (2005-09-09). "CRITIC'S NOTEBOOK - A School's
Colorful Patina - NYTimes.com". New York Times. Retrieved
^ Christopher Gray (2003-10-05). "Streetscapes/Art Students League at
215 West 57th Street; An 1892 Limestone-Fronted Building That
Endures". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-07-23.
^ "Neighborhood Preservation Center - PDF of original 1968 NYC LPC
ruling of landmark status" (PDF).
^ "NYC DOB page for the property indicating Landmark status".
^ Clint Weber, Sr. (19 July 2012). The Treasured Collection of Golden
Heart Farm: A Biography of Wilhelmina Weber Furlong. Weber Furlong
Collection. In the foreword by Professor Emeritus James K. Kettlewell:
Harvard,Skidmore College,Curator The Hyde Collection.
ISBN 978-0-9851601-0-4. Retrieved 23 July 2013.
^ Brent Wilson; Harlan Hoffa; Pennsylvania State University. School of
Visual Arts; National Art Education Association (1987). The history of
art education: proceedings from the Penn State Conference. National
Art Education Association.
^ Marian Wardle. American Women Modernists: The Legacy of Robert
Henri, 1910-1945. Rutgers University Press; 2005.
ISBN 978-0-8135-3684-2. p. 105.
^ Stephanie Cassidy, Linea, Art Students League Staying Power
^ "History". The Art Students League. Retrieved 2013-07-23.
^ "Residency". Theartstudentsleague.org. Archived from the original on
2010-09-13. Retrieved 2013-07-23.
^ "The Art Students League - Instructors". theartstudentsleague.org.
Retrieved 25 January 2015.
^ "Instructors and Lecturers - Past & Present". The Art Students
League. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved
^ Sisario, Ben (2005-04-15). "Arts > Art & Design > Philip
Pavia, 94, an Avant-Garde Sculptor, Is Dead". The New York Times.
^ Life After the League, compiled by Julia Montepagani Archived March
4, 2016, at the Wayback Machine., Lines from the League, Student and
Alumni Newsletter, Winter 2011-2012
^ Prominent former members of the Art Students League, Art Students
League website. Retrieved online, December 26, 2011
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Art Students League of New
Art Students League of New York
"Brief History of The League's Early Years"
PBS American Masters documentation including some notable alumni
Information on the ASL at the Traditional Fine Arts Organization web
site, retrieved December 14, 2007
"Linea, Journal of the Art Students League of New York" available for
download in PDF form; four issues per year (free)
"On the Front Lines: Military Veterans at The Art Students League of
Art Students League records, 1875-1955 from the Smithsonian Archives
of American Art
ISNI: 0000 0001 2163 2