Institute of Classical Architecture & Art

Awards & Prizes


The Alma Schapiro Prize Application

The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art is pleased to present a biannual affiliated fellowship at the American Academy in Rome for distinguished American students or professionals with demonstrable commitment to the classical tradition and its contemporary practice in painting and sculpture.

Alma Schapiro Prize The centerpiece of the Alma Schapiro Prize for the selected American painter or sculptor recipient will be a three-month affiliated fellowship at the American Academy in Rome, the premier overseas center for independent study and artistic pursuit in the arts and humanities.

Its purpose is to advance the career of the artist recipient and to foster the continuity of knowledge of the classical tradition as a vital aspect of contemporary culture around the globe.

Room, board, and a working studio will allow the winner to participate fully in the rich intellectual milieu of the Academy along with the great Eternal City it calls home. Besides the Academy fees, the Prize includes round-trip airfare from the United States as well as a modest expense stipend. Due to space limitations, we can only provide Affiliated Fellows with single room accommodations. We are unable to host spouses/partners or children of Affiliated Fellows.

Selection will be made by a jury gathered by the Institute at the national headquarters office in New York. It will consist of five individuals whose combined experience will allow fair and well-informed consideration.


The Alma Schapiro Prize is the result of an endowment grant from the Morris and Alma Schapiro Fund of New York City. The Schapiro family was eager to create this fitting prize in Alma Schapiro’s name. Proceeds from this restricted endowment will allow its award every other year beginning in 2007 and continuing on a permanent basis. Fund trustees Linda Schapiro Collins and painter Jacob Collins were guiding advocates and the Institute acknowledges them gratefully.


A formal Bachelor of Fine Arts or Master of Fine Arts degree is not required, although some rigorous training and above all career accomplishment in painting or sculpture tied in expression and technique to contemporary classicism are essential for competitive applications. The prize will be limited to citizens of the United States of America. Candidates must be at least 21 years of age.


The proposed three-month stay must begin between September of the prize year and May of the following year. The 2016 application deadline is Friday, December 9, 2016, so the proposed three-month stay would be between September 2017- July 2018. It’s important to note that fellowships begin and end on Mondays.


Winners are expected to join the great legacy of artists finding the classical tradition in Rome. The fellowship provides an opportunity for the winner to advance his or her art by drawing from the unique milieu of the American Academy and its host city as inspiration and interlude.

The ICAA reserves the right to publish, electronically post or display at its national headquarters a representative sampling of the work(s) of art produced at the Academy within one year of the fellowship’s completion. One image may be used in future promotion of the Alma Schapiro Prize for subsequent application rounds. Such work results will remain the property of the artist but permission to so reproduce or display must be granted by the artist recipient prior to departing; decisions about where and how to so show will be made by Institute staff in partnership with the Prize jury. It is the responsibility of the ICAA to cover any and all related display costs such as digital photography or transport as deemed most appropriate.


2016 Application Deadline: Friday, December 9, 2016

Please submit the application form online and pay a processing fee. The application fee is $25 for ICAA members, and $40 for non-members.

Submit your payment online here.

Or to pay by check, please make it payable to “ICAA” and mail to:
ICAA, Alma Schapiro Prize
20 West 44th Street, Suite 310
New York, NY 10036

Please submit the following application materials online, here.

• A biography in resume or curriculum vitae format.
• A written essay not to exceed 500 words describing how a stay at the American Academy in Rome will enrich your career at this time.
• No more than 7 images of work done in the last two years. Images must be in jpeg format, and no larger than 1600 pixels in either direction. Image resolution must be between 72 and 100 dpi, and each file must be no larger than 1MB. Include your name and corresponding slide number in the jpeg title. Also send a slide sheet detailing the title, date, media and dimensions of each piece.
• Two letters of recommendation. The letters can come from teachers, peers, patrons, journalists, or any others well placed to elucidate the applicant’s talent, accomplishment, and the timely appropriateness for a stay in Rome at the American Academy.

For further information or to inquire about applying, please contact


In addition to the merits of the applicant’s career accomplishment, whatever its respective length along with persuasive expression of interest in living and working in Rome as an affiliated Academy Fellow, the jury will look for exceptional artistic talent and technical skill as measured by the submitted samples of past work. The jury will judge such talent by both its conception and its manual execution. Evidence of strong theoretical underpinnings as expressed in the accompanying essay will enhance the application.