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American Academy in Rome records, 1855-2012

American Academy in Rome

Collection Information

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.

Biographical/Historical Note

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.

Provenance

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.

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