who we are

About the League

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The Art School Designed by Artists

Founded in 1875 by a group of art students, and designed to serve the needs of independent artists, the Art Students League of New York is an art school whose democratic values are more important now than ever. 

Our tradition of inclusivity has made high-quality fine art education available to countless artists throughout our history, and our atelier-style approach has been instrumental in shaping the trajectory of American art. Our alumni include some of the most influential artists in modern history, iconoclasts, and visionaries whose artistic careers may not have flourished had they not had access to an environment free from the constraints of dogma.  

Today, the Art Students League is home to anyone who seeks to explore diverse artistic practices, methodologies, and mediums while developing a mastery of traditional techniques. 

Our Mission
The Art Students League of New York is committed to making fine art education accessible to all.
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Legacy of the league

Where American Art Was Born. Where American Art Lives.

In the summer of 1875, a small group of tenacious art students left the National Academy of Design to found the Art Students League of New York, a member-run art school designed as an antidote to the Academy’s conservative traditions. Influenced by the work of their European contemporaries, these young, revolutionary artists gave birth to what would become the most influential art school in America—an independent, egalitarian institution that played an important role in developing and defining the nation’s future prominence on the international art scene.   

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Permanent Collection

The Art Students League of New York is home to a permanent collection that traces the history of American art since the League’s founding in 1875. Featuring more than 2,000 works of art, the collection includes works by some of the most famous names in American art, many of which were produced by the artists during their formative years at the League.

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The Art Students League was founded in June 1875 and incorporated in February 1878.

The Art Students League was founded in June 1875 and incorporated in February 1878. The League’s Constitution was adopted on March 26, 1878. It was last amended in April 2022.

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The Art Students League of New York’s founding was inspired by a yearning for creative freedom and inclusivity. Today, the League continues our commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, and access.

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In 1878, League members voted to incorporate and to obtain a charter from the State of New York. With incorporation came the formation of a constitution with by-laws establishing a Board of Control. 

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Board & Staff

View a full list of the League’s Board of Control, elected by the body of members, and the administrative staff of the Art Students League of New York.