- READER REVIEWS
National Academy Museum and School
Wed-Sun, 11am-6pm; Mon-Tue, closed
Nearby Subway Stops
4, 5, 6 at 86th St.
Pay what you wish; free for members and children under 12
Formerly known as the National Academy of Design, this modest museum is overshadowed by its Upper East Side neighbors and falls a tad short in comparison to its Museum Mile competition. The academy showcases 19th- and 20th-century American art, but the collection isn't as breathtaking as the 20th-century works featured at the Whitney, and although it's located in a mansion that was the home of Archer Milton Huntington and his sculptor wife, Anna Hyatt Huntington, the building isn't as large or impressive as the Frick. And it can't measure up to the Cooper-Hewitt one block up or the Guggenheim one block down. The upside is that the academy offers a quiet refuge for visitors who want to avoid the long lines and crowds of the aforementioned institutions. And then there's the prestige of the art: Members of the National Academy (who are elected by their peers), each contribute a representative piece to the collection, so the Academy has amassed works from notables such as Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Frank Lloyd Wright and Jasper Johns. There are also pieces from the almost-famous, such as A. Stirling Calder, father of Alexander, and Newell Convers Wyeth, father of Andrew.
Docent-led and self-guided tours are available Wed. through Sun. from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.