Founded in 1825, the National Academy of Design promotes art and architecture in America through exhibition, education, and research. As an honorary society for visual artists and architects in the United States, NAD advocates for the arts as a tool for education, celebrates the role of artists and architects in public life, and serves as a catalyst for cultural conversations that propel society forward.
At the core of its mission are the National Academicians, a vibrant community of 450 artists and architects selected by their peers in recognition of their extraordinary contributions to art and architecture in America. Representing a wide cross-section of practice, the Academicians embody NAD's shared belief in the power of art and architecture to change society and enrich lives. Through their individual work and collective initiatives, the Academicians support their communities, their peers, and the next generation of creative thinkers.
In September 2021, NAD announced the induction of eight new National Academicians: the artists Julie Mehretu, Rashid Johnson, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Joanne Greenbaum, Joanna Pousette-Dart, Gary Simmons, and Peter Halley, and the architect Andrew Freear.
The number of living Academicians is limited to 450, and more than 2,400 artists and architects have been elected since 1825. Upon election, Academicians are asked to donate a representative sample of their work—called the Diploma Work—to the National Academy’s collection, which over 195 years has become one of the most significant collections of American art and architecture in the world.