Animal-based Art | The Dahesh Museum of Art

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A selection of animal-based art from the collection The Dahesh Museum of Art.

The Dahesh Museum of Art is the only institution in the United States devoted to collecting, exhibiting, and interpreting works by Europe’s academically trained artists of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Dahesh serves a diverse audience by placing these artists in the broader context of 19th-century visual culture, and by offering a fresh appraisal of the role academies played in reinvigorating the classical ideals of beauty, humanism, and skill.

The Dahesh Museum of Art opened to the public in 1995 on Fifth Avenue with a unique mission—to provide the public with a fresh look at European academic art of the 19th and early 20th centuries, and to assess the impact of the academic tradition—training, style, subject matter, and ideals—on the world of art. Cultural authorities had long relegated this tradition to the margins of art history, so only a few American museums exhibited academic works or explored the achievements of these artists and their legacies. In the nearly 20 years since that 1995 opening, the Museum has led an astonishing revival of interest in academic art. In addition to the Museum’s publications, individual scholars and institutions have produced many important monographs and studies of the period, and collectors have discovered a rewarding field that still offers significant works on the market.

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