Size: 65.9 Linear feet
Summary: The records of the American Academy in Rome measure 65.9 linear feet and date from 1855 to 2012. The collection documents the history of the institution from its inception in 1894 as the American School of Architecture in Rome, through the end of World War II, and chronicles the contributions the academy has made to America's cultural and intellectual development. Nearly one-half of the collection consists of an unprocessed addition received in 2014 containing records that mostly post-date World War II and include correspondence and subject files of officers and executives based in the New York office of American Academy in Rome.
While in Chicago to advise and work on the fine arts section of the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, architects Charles F. McKim, Daniel Burnham, and Richard Howland Hunt, painters John La Farge and Frank Millet, and sculptors Augustus Saint-Gaudens, and Daniel Chester French, among others, met regularly. From their collaborative experience and discussions came the idea for an American school for artists in Europe. Charles F. McKim was especially enthusiastic. He strongly believed that collaborative experience should be available to future American artists, and perceived a real need for an American school in Europe--preferably in Rome, the very best place to study art, in his opinion.
The material on reels ITRO 2-3 and ITRO 11-13 were lent to the Archives of American Art for microfilming by the American Academy in Rome in 1965. Records of predecessor institutions, the Board of Trustees, and the New York office, including photographs and personal papers, were donated in 1982 by the Academy president, Calvin G. Rand. In 1990, Rand also gifted the Rome office records and the personal documents of Gorham Phillips Stevens. An addition of New York office records was donated in 2014 by the Academy director, Adele Chatfield-Taylor.
Papers of a number of former fellows, trustees, and other individuals associated with the American Academy in Rome are among the holdings of the Archives of American Art.
Chaloner Prize Foundation records, 1915-1974 (microfilm reels 5664-5669) were received with the American Academy in Rome records. They have been arranged and described as a separate collection.
Valentine, Lucia and Alan Valentine. The American Academy in Rome, 1894-1969. Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1973. The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming (reels ITRO 2-3, and ITRO 11-13) including annual reports, exhibition catalogues, a history of the American Academy in Rome, the American Academy in Rome at the World's Fair, and the Golden Gate Exposition and newsletter. Loaned materials were returned to the lender and can be found at the American Academy in Rome, Italy. This material is not described in the collection container inventory.