The Academy courtyard, with fountain by alumnus Paul Manship

Before they were called upon to advise the McMillan Commission, Charles F. McKim, Daniel Burnham and Saint-Gaudens, along with other leading artists of the day, enthusiastically translated the success of the 1893 Fair collaborations into a program of study for future artists.  The World's Columbian Exposition was the birthplace of the American Academy in Rome, a training-ground for American artists which still exists today. Dedicated to teaching both the classic disciplines and the pleasure of collaboration, the Academy was initially conceived as a school for architects, but soon incorporated a course of study for other artists. The first students began study in 1894.