The Florence Academy of Art presents: 

Drawn to Life: Celebrating the Tradition of the Academic Nude

February 4, 2017 – May 5, 2017
Gallery Hours: 9:30AM – 4:30PM
Closing Reception: Sunday, April 30, 2017; 1PM – 6PM


The Florence Academy of Art at Mana Contemporary presents an exhibition of valuable 19th century original works centered on the theme of the academic nude, the basis of traditional academic art training and a key element in Western art. Classical art training required budding artists to work from live models, yet elide and erase imperfections according to a strict set of beauty ideals, transforming real-life humans into timeless, idealized figures. The 19th century saw both the popularization of the academic nude and the appearance of its challenger: the contemporary, modern nude, whose naturalistic features departed from the tradition.  

This exhibition features two fine examples of female and male academic nude studies by Abbott H. Thayer, the American artist, naturalist, and teacher, as well as works by Richard Tweedy, Augustus Vincent Tack, Louis Fancher, Victor Hecht, and Dennis Miller Bunker. Each work on display is an original from the late 19th century, on loan from various collections.

About The Florence Academy of Art
The Florence Academy of Art, a widely respected atelier renowned for its teaching of classical painting techniques, opened its first stateside branch at Mana Contemporary in January 2015. The U.S. branch is an exact replica of the original school in Florence, Italy, which also has a location in Mölndal, Sweden. Approximately 20 students work through a three-year certificate curriculum in Drawing & Painting, or as part of the intensive workshops, under natural north light in a 10,000-square-foot studio on Mana's third floor.

The Florence Academy of Art is dedicated to rigorous academic training in drawing, painting, and sculpture since its founding 25 years ago. The program's instructors and graduates include some of the most imaginative figurative and representational painters and sculptors within the contemporary art scene. For more information, please visit

Press Release

(1) Louis Fancher (1884–1944 American), Charcoal on Paper, 1902
(2) Augustus Vincent Tack (1870–1949 American), Charcoal on Paper, 1894
(3) Elena Mikhailovna Kostenko (1926–? Russian), 'Male Nude', Pencil on Paper c. 1930a