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J. P. WILSON, The Academy by Moonlight, Oil on canvas, 28.25 x 34.25 inches, 1925.

The Academy by Moonlight

Draftsman James Perry Wilson (1889-1976) was an associate of architect Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue during the design and construction of the National Academy of Sciences building. He was also a self-taught plein air painter, well known for painting backdrops such as the ones in the American Museum of Natural History’s Hall of North American Mammals. This painting is unusual because Wilson combined his architectural rendering skills with his fascination in capturing the quality of moonlight.

The NAS building, which has been closed for extensive restoration, is now open to the public.