The American Academy in Rome is one of the leading American overseas centers for independent study and advanced research in the arts and humanities. Each year through a national juried competition, the Academy offers up to 30 Rome Prize fellowships in architecture, design, historic preservation and conservation, landscape architecture, literature, musical composition, visual arts, and in humanistic approaches to ancient studies, medieval studies, Renaissance and early modern studies, and modern Italian studies. These Fellows are joined by a select group of senior scholars and artists-in-residence invited by the Academy and international affiliate program members.
In addition to its residential programs, the Academy maintains a research library of over 135,000 volumes in the fields of classical studies and the history of art and architecture, a photographic archive, and an archaeological study collection. It also sponsors exhibitions, concerts, lectures, symposia and other events, as well as a number of summer programs, and publishes scholarly works and exhibition catalogs.
Founded in 1894, the American Academy in Rome was chartered as a private institution by an act of Congress in 1905. On the occasion of the Academy's centennial, the president of the United States signed a joint resolution of Congress in recognition of the Academy's contributions to America's intellectual and cultural life.
The Academy remains a private institution supported by gifts, grants, and membership fees of individuals, foundations, corporations and the country's leading colleges, universities and other organizations concerned with the arts and humanities, including the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The American Academy in Rome was founded in 1894 by Charles Follen McKim (architect of the Boston Public Library) and other artists, most with Boston connections. An initial focus on allowing American artists to conduct research and share ideas amid the cultural wonders of Rome expanded to include other disciplines, including Musical Composition, in which two annual Rome Prizes are currently awarded. Rome Prizes are awarded for periods of from six months to two years. The Academy also invites visiting artists for residencies of two to four months.