6sqft’s series “Where I Work” takes us into the studios, offices, and businesses of New Yorkers across the city. In this installment, we’re going inside the landmarked building of the Art Students League of New York in Midtown. Want to see your business featured here? Get in touch!
In 1875, a group of young students broke away from the National Academy of Design and founded the Art Students League of New York to pursue a new and more modern method of art education. What started as a small group of rebellious artists in a 20-foot by 30-foot space, turned into an internationally-recognized, landmarked institution, which continues to set the standard for art training today. In its 144th year, the Art Students League’s mission has remained unchanged since its founding: to spread the language of art to anyone interested in learning.
The nonprofit has been located in the American Fine Arts Society Building at 215 West 57th Street since 1892. A designated New York City landmark, the French Renaissance-style building was designed by Henry J. Hardenbergh, the architect behind the Plaza Hotel and the Dakota. Ken Park, the director of marketing and communication for the League, recently gave 6sqft a behind-the-scenes tour of the historic building and shared some insight into this storied establishment.