American Academy in Rome [AAR]
- Andrea Olmstead
American artists’ colony. The AAR was founded by Charles F. McKim in 1894 for architects and classicists. In 1920, the AAR added composers, urged by Edward MacDowell before his death and administered from 1920–40 by Felix Lamond. The AAR is modeled on the French Academy that awards the Prix de Rome (to Hector Berlioz and Claude Debussy, for example). The Rome Prize is awarded through a national juried competition. Winning Fellows, 30 American artists and scholars, are given a year in Rome supported by a stipend, room, board, travel expenses, and a studio at the 11-building complex atop the Janiculum hill. The Academy’s mission is “to foster the pursuit of advanced research and independent study in the fine arts and humanities.” Resident and Visiting Artists and Scholars also contribute to the interactive artists’ colony atmosphere, which includes communal living, eating, and traveling, and twice weekly trips with AAR members lecturing on the history, archeology, or architectural or art history of various Roman, Vatican, and nearby sites....