MEETING INDIVIDUAL NEEDS
The Art Students League of New York (ASL) is one of the oldest art schools in the United States. It was organized and founded in 1875. At ASL,
there is no strict sequence of course
curriculum; students decide themselves in what sequence of classes to
enroll in order to further their development as artists.
There are no entrance requirements
or examinations; there is no prior
experience in the visual arts required.
Students can take classes in the
morning, afternoon, or evening, part-time or full-time. ASL requires both
women and men members to be a part
of the Board of Control to oversee the
management of the art school.
Gillian J. Furniss
A Tradition of Aesthetic Practice
Many great American artists were students and instructors at ASL, including Will Barnet, Georgia O’Keeffe,
Cy Twombly, and William Merritt
Chase. ASL’s curriculum is based on
the French atelier tradition of a mentor instructor with students as disciples in training to continue a school
of intellectual thought and aesthetic
practice. ASL is currently housed in a
landmark building in Midtown Manhattan, near Carnegie Hall.
One objective of ASL is the “
cultivation of a spirit of fraternity” among
art students. Emphasis is on learning
in the fine arts based on the European
tradition: studying painting, life
drawing from a
and mixed media
lecture and give
one-on-one instruction, but can have a
laissez-faire approach to teaching and
must remain “popular” to secure high
enrollment. Today, international students come from all over the world to
study at ASL.
The Art Students League of New York.
Celebrating Artistic Diversity
ASL offers scholarships for children,
youth, and adults including those
with physical disabilities. Students
with physical disabilities enjoy full
inclusion enrollment in most studios
in student group
shows at the Phyl-
Students with dis-
abilities are not
from other stu-
dents in terms of their ability to learn
and grow as artists, or where they take
ASL’s Nabeela George Memorial
Scholarship is awarded to physically
disabled students. The Prescott Fund
Students with disabilities
are not treated differently
from other students in terms
of their ability to learn and
grow as artists, or where
they take classes.
is awarded to children and youth summer scholarships. The Susan Mitnick
Memorial Art Scholarship is awarded
to young people. There is also the
Seeds of the League program, that
“utilizes the skills of ASL students
to benefit underserved students in
public schools and communities . . . to
encourage self-expression, confidence,
and innate creativity.” ASL is a model
for all art schools to encourage self-assessment in terms of learning in and
through the visual arts.
Gillian J. Furniss, Ed.D. is adjunct professor of art education at Kean University in
New Jersey. She has been a student of ASL
since 1989, and a member since 2009.