A Greek word meaning ???garden??? and specifically the garden where philosopher Plato did his teaching. From that time, the term has come to reference a variety of state-sponsored teaching institutions. During the Renaissance, art academies began to form in Europe beginning with Italy in the late 16th century, France in the 17th, England in the 18th and the United States in the 19th century. With these entities, the word Academy took on the meaning of a formal body of artists associated with unified purposes. These shared goals included the promoting of their national art, certain tenants of creating and exhibiting that art, and the conferring of special distinction with election to Academy membership---hence the word, academician. Academies are often rebelled against by innovative artists because of tendencies of academy members to embrace status quo or traditional work. Before the early 20th century, artists rebelling against the academies in America and Europe had few places to exhibit their work because museums and galleries were seldom open to rebellious movements. However, the advent of modernist galleries and museums provided venues for experimental art. In New York City, places welcoming modern art included Gallery 291 operated by Alfred Steiglitz, the Whitney Museum and the Museum of Modern Art. Today there is coexistence with modernist venues and the more conservative academies including the National Academy of Design in New York, the Royal Academy in England and the Ecole des Beaux Arts in France. Sources: Ralph Mayer, "A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques"; "Illustrated Dictionary of Art Terms" by Kimberley Reynolds and Richard Seddon. <br><br>A learned group accepted as authoritative in its discipline (subject area), or a school in which art is taught. Originally the school of philosophy founded by Plato in the garden of Academe, a district in the vicinity of Athens. It was closed by the Byzantine emperor Justinian I, with the other pagan schools, in 529 CE. The term usually refers to a recognized society established for the promotion of one or more of the arts or sciences. The earliest such organization was the Museum of Alexandria, founded by Ptolemy Soter in the third century BCE. The first such academy following the classical era in Europe was the Florentine Academy of Design (Accademia di Designo), founded by Giorgio Vasari (1511-1574) in 1560. Michelangelo was elected an officer in 1563, one year before he died. Numerous academies flourished in Italy, France, Germany, Austria, and Britain during and since the Renaissance. By 1729 there were more than five hundred in Italy alone. Academies specifically for art instruction Among the several academies in France, the one concerned with the visual arts is the French Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture, founded in 1648 by Colbert and King Louis XIV, and later known as the Acad?mie des Beaux-Arts. Because the French academies dictated elaborate conventions and aesthetic doctrines for the manufacture of works of art, the term "academic" came to imply derivative rather than creative work. In England, the Royal Academy of Arts was established in 1768. Today it serves primarily as an art school and exhibition facility. The first art museum and art school in the U.S. was the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, founded in 1805 by Charles Willson Peale (1741-1827). Because they've generally supported the aesthetic tastes of their elders, academies have often been the targets of innovators in the arts. An academy figure.Also see academic, academician, academy figure, American Academy of Arts and Letters (AAAL), avant-garde, Salon, and teacher.