For America

Paintings from the National Academy of Design

Edited by Jeremiah William McCarthy and Diana Thompson

View Inside Price: $60.00

April 30, 2019
304 pages, 8 1/4 x 11
200 color illus.
ISBN: 9780300244281
HC - Paper over Board

Distributed for the American Federation of Arts

A sweeping look at the ways American artists have viewed themselves, their peers, and their painted worlds over two centuries

This stunning book provides an unprecedented glimpse into the past two centuries of American art, tracing artistic tradition and innovation at the National Academy of Design from its 19th-century founding to the present. The nation’s oldest artist honorary society has maintained a unique collecting principle: each member gives a self-portrait (or, until 1994, a portrait by a contemporary Academician) as well as an example of their work. By presenting artists’ portraits in tandem with their self-selected representative works, this book offers a unique opportunity to explore how American artists have viewed both themselves and the worlds they depicted.
The diverse selection of artists whose work is showcased here includes Frederic Edwin Church, Eastman Johnson, Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Thomas Eakins, Cecilia Beaux, Isabel Bishop, Andrew Wyeth, Charles White, Wayne Thiebaud, Louisa Matthíasdóttir, David Diao, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, and Peter Saul. Essays by a stellar roster of distinguished historians and art historians, curators, artists, and architects delve into single artworks or pairs of paintings, while others explore themes such the representation of landscapes and the figurative tradition in American art. Additionally, 17 current Academicians—visual artists and architects including Walter Chatham, Catherine Opie and Fred Wilson—contribute personal responses to individual artworks.

Jeremiah William McCarthy is associate curator at the American Federation of Arts. Diana Thompson is director of collections and curatorial affairs at the National Academy of Design.


Dayton Art Institute, Dayton, OH

New Britain Museum of American Art, CT

Society of the Four Arts, Palm Beach, FL

The Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis, TN

New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe

Figge Art Museum, Davenport, IA

Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA

The American School
Artists and Status in the Late Colonial and Early National Era

Susan Rather

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Danny Lyon
Message to the Future

Julian Cox; With Elisabeth Sussman, Alexander Nemerov, Dani

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Rachel Harrison

David Joselit and Elisabeth Sussman; With essays by Johanna

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