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The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is located on Broad Street a few blocks north of City Hall, in the heart of Philadelphia. Founded in 1805, it is the oldest museum and art school in the United States. The historic building that you see today was designed by architects Frank Furness and George Watson Hewitt and opened in 1876. The building was constructed in a style known as High Victorian Gothic, which is characterized by building materials of various colors and patterns of plants and flowers. The Academy’s museum contains American art from colonial days to the contemporary era. The Academy’s art school was the first to offer professional training for American artists. Initially, students copied casts of ancient Greek and Roman sculptures but, in 1876, the artist Thomas Eakins (1844–1916) began teaching at the Academy and encouraged students to draw from live models instead.

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