|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
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
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)
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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