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The Minerva Foundation for Figure Drawing Inc.

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The Minerva Foundation for Figure Drawing Inc.
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The Minerva Foundation for Figure Drawing is a nonprofit organization with the mission to perpetuate and preserve artist Minerva Durham’s method of figure drawing and anatomical study while providing art education and a community space for creative expression open and accessible to all. We provide the public with affordable figure drawing courses almost every day of the year on a walk-in basis with many scholarship opportunities as well as a multitude of free events exhibiting local and international artists.



A Studio for Figure Drawing

Considered by many artists to be the best place to draw in New York City, The Minerva Foudation for Figure Drawing is a professional art studio offering ongoing life drawing sessions 7 days a week. Located in downtown Manhattan on the the Lower East Side, in a historic 1823 building, the studio will celebrate its 28th anniversary of year-round sketch classes in February 2020. Started by artist Minerva Durham in 1992, Spring Studio is known for its excellent models, its prompt starting times, its participants' gracious manners, and for its spirit of artistic tolerance. It attracts artists and students from all over the world who may draw from the model all day, every day, and six evenings a week in NYC.

In a city so changed by real estate developers and corrupt governement officials, it is a wonder that such a space has been able to survive so long. The Minerva Foundation for Figure Drawing Studio is a NYC staple. It is also one of the many that is consistantly endangered. As rents raise, MFFD looks towards those who love a city full of art and curiosity for support. It is places like the studio where one may find a glimpse of the neighborhood, of the vibrant community of kindred spirits who might continue an arts education out of love. 

Minerva Durham's dream to continue the studio on long into the future is rivaled only by her desire to make such an education as accessible as possible to the community. Contribute today to keep the studio alive and help us expand all of our scholorship opportunities so all may enjoy and learn traditional figure drawing from the live model.


"The is the place to be if you are an artist who studies the figure. I studied figure drawing and artistic anatomy under Minerva and learned what the schools and universities won't teach you. She is simply the best." - Tim Milk

"The models are great, the ambience is spirited even spiritual, the sense of history and importance of drawing the figure evident always, Minervas example and commitment ever moving --- and it is the only place anywhere where you can draw every day of the week even most holidays. True devotion." - Kaitilin Griffin 

"A precious jewel in this sea of cultural destruction by real estate developers. Long live Minerva's Drawing Studio!!" - Kenny Ross

"An absolutely wonderful and unique environment that is nurturing and non-judgmental for individuals of all artistic levels who want to learn to draw figuratively or want to improve their skills." - Janny Branciforte


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