The academic year is divided into three 11-week trimesters:
- 36 hours per week of instruction; students receive one critique in the morning and one critique in the afternoon from course instructors
- Students work half day on Bargue drawings, the cast, still life and portraiture; students spend the other half of the day in the model room working from the figure
- Students attend weekly classes in Anatomy, Art History and copying from the Old Masters and technical demonstrations on methods and materials, paint grinding, the properties of individual pigments, oils and varnishes and canvas preparation
Students must complete successfully all required exercises as listed in the Drawing & Painting curriculum in order to graduate.
- Beginning, intermediate and advanced students draw, paint or sculpt from the model 3-6 hours per day, five days per week
- Poses range from one hour pencil drawings emphasizing line, to long poses lasting three hours per day for four or five weeks to obtain a fully finished, accurate drawing or painting
- Students in Advanced Painting work from the portrait model a minimum of six hours per week
- All students attend additional life drawing classes in the evenings
- Students work under natural north facing light with sufficient space between the artist and subject to work in sight-size
- Enrollment is kept to 27 students and all instructors work in studios on school premises. This close proximity and access to the instructors allows students to benefit not only from daily direct instruction and critique, but from watching the professional artist at work
- Students have access to a small lending library and an archive of over 10,000 images, and access to ArtStore, a database of over 500,000 images operated by the Mellon Foundation. All studio locations are equipped with wireless service.
End of Term Critique
At the end of term each student receives an individual and personalized critique conducted by the course instructors, in which they are graded on a scale of one to three in five areas (attendance, performance, effort, attitude and progress), and awarded final score. The Academy thus monitors the student’s progress through the curriculum’s established set of exercises. A student’s promotion to the next trimester is determined by the instructors only after the final critique.