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National Academy Re-Opens on the Upper East Side

After being closed for 18 months, the doors to the National Academy Museum & School are back open on the Upper East Side.

The renovations to the Beaux Arts townhouse include a redesigned lobby, revitalized museum galleries and two new galleries in the National Academy School.

Lee Rosenbaum, who blogs on arts and culture as Culturegrrl at ArtsJournal.com, said the academy was worth checking out for its self-portraits of the American painters Thomas Eakins, John Singer Sargent and Cecilia Beaux.

"There's a whole room of these self-portraits with those three right next to each other," said Rosenbaum, "and to me that was the power wall in the whole place."

The renovation is part of the National Academy’s effort to bring in more visitors and income. In a controversial move in 2008, the academy deaccessioned two works from its collection to cover operating expenses.

Check out what's on view at the newly renovated academy in the slideshow below.

After being closed for 18 months, the doors to the National Academy Museum & School are back open on the Upper East Side. The renovations to the Beaux Arts townhouse include a redesigned lobby, revitalized museum galleries and two new galleries in the National Academy School.

This oil "Self-Portrait" in the academy's collection was made by Cecilia Beaux in 1894.
This oil "Self-Portrait" in the academy's collection was made by Cecilia Beaux in 1894. ( National Academy Museum & School )
Jacob Lawrence painted his self-portrait with gouache and tempera on off-white wove paper in 1977.
Jacob Lawrence painted his self-portrait with gouache and tempera on off-white wove paper in 1977. ( National Academy Museum & School. Copyright Jacob Lawrence. )
Chuck Close made this self-portrait, a spit-bite aquatint and soft-ground etching, in 1988.
Chuck Close made this self-portrait, a spit-bite aquatint and soft-ground etching, in 1988. ( National Academy Museum & School. Copyright Chuck Close. )
A self-portrait of John Singer Sargent from 1892 is also part of the academy's collection.
A self-portrait of John Singer Sargent from 1892 is also part of the academy's collection. ( National Academy Museum & School )
Thomas Eakins created this self-portrait in 1902.
Thomas Eakins created this self-portrait in 1902. ( National Academy Museum & School )
This work in the academy's "An American Collection" exhibition called "The Conversation" was made by Abraham Leon Kroll in 1938.
This work in the academy's "An American Collection" exhibition called "The Conversation" was made by Abraham Leon Kroll in 1938. ( National Academy Museum & School )
Also in that exhibition, "Charles C. Curran," which was painted by William John Whittemore from 1888 to 1889.
Also in that exhibition, "Charles C. Curran," which was painted by William John Whittemore from 1888 to 1889. ( National Academy Museum & School )
"The Lake" by Ernest Leonard Blumenschein is an oil on canvas made in 1923.
"The Lake" by Ernest Leonard Blumenschein is an oil on canvas made in 1923. ( National Academy Museum & School )
"The Young Orphan" was painted by William Merritt Chase in 1884.
"The Young Orphan" was painted by William Merritt Chase in 1884. ( National Academy Museum & School )
Richard Estes' "NYC Parking Lot" was made in 1969. It's oil on masonite.
Richard Estes' "NYC Parking Lot" was made in 1969. It's oil on masonite. ( National Academy Museum & School )
"Three Share-Croppers" by Richard Gwathmey is also in the academy's collection. It was painted in 1974.
"Three Share-Croppers" by Richard Gwathmey is also in the academy's collection. It was painted in 1974. ( National Academy Museum & School )
Will Barnet, who turned 100 years old this past May, painted this self-portrait in 1981. It's part of the "Will Barnet at 100" show at the National Academy.
Will Barnet, who turned 100 years old this past May, painted this self-portrait in 1981. It's part of the "Will Barnet at 100" show at the National Academy. ( National Academy Museum & School. Copyright Will Barnet. )
Another painting by Barnet in the show, "The Blue Robe," from 1962.
Another painting by Barnet in the show, "The Blue Robe," from 1962. ( National Academy Museum & School. Copyright Will Barnet. )
"Canon" by Stephen Westfall (2002) is part of the academy's "Contemporary Selections: Aligning Abstractions" exhibition.
"Canon" by Stephen Westfall (2002) is part of the academy's "Contemporary Selections: Aligning Abstractions" exhibition. ( National Academy Museum & School )
This 1962 gelatin silver print of New York's TWA Terminal designed by Eero Saarinen is part of the "Parabolas to Post-Modern: Architecture from the Academy’s Collection" exhibition.
This 1962 gelatin silver print of New York's TWA Terminal designed by Eero Saarinen is part of the "Parabolas to Post-Modern: Architecture from the Academy’s Collection" exhibition. ( National Academy Museum & School )
This computer generated print shows the Westin New York Hotel in Times Square that Laurinda Spear designed (1994-2002).
This computer generated print shows the Westin New York Hotel in Times Square that Laurinda Spear designed (1994-2002). ( National Academy Museum & School )
Joan Snyder's "Woman with Two Babies" from 1988 is part of the academy's "National Academicians: Then and Now" show.
Joan Snyder's "Woman with Two Babies" from 1988 is part of the academy's "National Academicians: Then and Now" show. ( National Academy Museum & School )
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