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Here's the National Academy of Design Just as it Was in 1959

Welcome back to Monochromes, a Friday mini-series wherein Curbed delves deep into the Library of Congress's photographic annals, resurfacing with an armful of old black-and-white photos of architecture and interior design. Have a find you want to share? Hit up the tipline; we'd love to hear from you.


Compared to what the glossy, contemporary space of today looks like, these 1959 shots of NYC's National Academy, a historic incubator of aspiring professional artists, look pretty antiquarian—though these shots were actually taken some 134 years after the place opened. With a single mission of promoting fine arts through instruction and exhibition, the interior of the institution was and is a hybrid of a school and and a museum. In the '50s the grand halls were lined with paintings and busts like a gallery of art, while some more modest exhibition rooms included fireplaces. Tour it all for yourself, below.

· National Academy of Design, School of Fine Arts [Library of Congress' Gottscho-Schleisner Collection]
· About the National Academy [official site]
· All Monochromes posts [Curbed National]
· All Dwelling posts [Curbed National]