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 Jacob Collins  (1965 - )

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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: classical realist portrait, figure and still life painting

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Ad Code: 4
Jacob Collins
from Auction House Records.
Afternoon Interior II
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born and raised in New York City, Jacob Collins is a champion of Classical Realism, a return to the 19th-century Academic technique that is counter to abstraction.  Among his portrait commission subjects are U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger, J. Paul Getty Jr., and George H.W. Bush.

As a child, he showed the tendencies on which he has based his art career.  He began sketching Old Master pictures in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where his grandmother used to take him.  She was Alma Binion Schapiro, who had trained as an artist in Paris, and Collins' great uncle was Meyer Schapiro, a renowned art historian.

He enrolled New York Studio School and Columbia University, and in 1987 to learn the Old Masters Techniques, he attended the New York Academy of Art.  He went on to study at the Ecole Albert Defois in France.

In 1990, he had his first solo show, which was held at the Union League in New York City, and from that time has had over 20 solo exhibitions.

He has taught at the New York Academy of Art and the National Academy School of Fine Arts in New York City.  In 1997, he leased space in a Brooklyn industrial building and formed the Water Street Atelier to teach classical art methods, and later moved that Atelier, which has about 12 students enrolled at a time, to the Upper East Side attached to his home.  Another educational project is his Grand Central Academy of Art, which he and several others started in cooperation with the Institute of Classical Architecutre & Classical America.  This Academy has 2,700 square feet of studio space on the sixth floor of the Institute building at 20 West 44th Street in Manhattan. 

In his teaching, Collins looks to classical Greek culture as well as the Renaissance and the 19th Century and pursues a rigorous course that begins with students drawing from plaster casts and careful study of anatomy and figure drawing.

He "regards the contemporary art world almost as if its practitioners, isolated from each other, are wandering in a sort of cultural diaspora." (Wolf 69)

Sources include:
Rachel Wolf, "Jacob Collins", Fine Art Connoisseur, Oct. 2006, pp. 64-69
M. Stephen Doherty, "The Water Street Atelier", American Artist, Aug. 1998, p. 68

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