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Nymphs and Satyr, by William Bouguereau (Detail)
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Preface, by the ARC Editorial Staff

Lynne Barton, the Director of Angel Academy in Florence, requested that our Chairman, Fred Ross, say a few words to their 35 students as part of the event for their student exhibit and review, while making the rounds of the schools in this historic city. After word got out most of the students, faculty, and administration of all 3 Florence ARC Approved Atelier schools, showed up somewhat unexpectedly, and he wound up speaking to roughly 200 people squeezed into their main studio room, with people trailing all the way out to the street.

With everyone in standing room only, it has been reported that Mr. Ross delivered one of his most passionate and galvanizing talks ever made, which already has been referred to as the Florence Gettysburg Address for Living Realism™ and the return of standards, training and craftsmanship.



can't tell you how delighted I am to finally make it to Florence and to the Angel Academy, Cecil Academy and the Florence Academy run by Dan Graves and Susan Tintori.

You are all making us feel very welcome, and I want to thank Lynne Barton for organizing this event.


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Many friends and artists I have known are alumnae from one or the other of your schools, including our current Director of Public Relations, Kate Williams, and our former legal advisor, Juan Martinez, who was an attorney for 7 years and gave it all up to learn traditional Living Realism™ at your Toronto facility from John Angel. I'm really very happy to report that Juan has just been accepted into our Living Masters™ Gallery, as I was very excited to see the incredible progress he has made over the past 3 years. Adrian Gottlieb who won ARC's 2002 Scholarship competition graduated from the FAA and is now a featured instructor in our LA Academy.

You all have been wonderful friends and steadfast and dedicated supporters.... true believers in the undying need of humanity for well crafted, life affirming fine art, compelling, sincere, with technical excellence and imbued indelibly with humanity, beauty, and truth.

The Art Renewal Center and the ARC Approved Atelier schools, together are all doing our utmost at finding the most talented young people in our population, and the ARC website is playing an indispensable role in helping them wherever they may be, to find us, and to find their way to you, where they will be appreciated, encouraged, nurtured and if they are prepared to work very hard, where they will be able to become "Real artists", living artists, producing "Living Realism™".

The Art Renewal Center's Mission has been to protect and preserve and to advance, traditional classical, academic fine art.... well crafted images about life and humanity. Let me briefly tell you a little about the incredible success that ARC has enjoyed, in the past 3 and a half years since we went on line.

First, we scanned over 5,000 of history's greatest masterpieces and offered them to the world free of charge.

"Build it and They will come" was our thought (from Field of Dreams), and come they did, first hundreds, then thousands, tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands.

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2.5 years ago we listed 16 ateliers with roughly 220 students, as ARC Approved Atelier Art schools, the only such schools that we knew of anywhere on earth. 9 months ago, after less than 2 years, John Angel told me that since ARC listed these schools on line, enrollment had grown by roughly 400% to where you had 130 students in your two schools, and a waiting list as long as your arm. Then Dan Graves told me nearly the same thing, and we've found out since that all 16 schools have had similar growth rates ranging from 250 to 500% increases in just two years and six months. During that time, more and more schools have been clamoring to gain ARC Approval, and today we have 53 schools with nearly 3,000 students, with several schools currently under examination. Consider this! If we continue growing at half the current pace, we have now, in 5 years we'll have 30,000 students at one time studying at perhaps 500 ARC Approved schools. I can safely say that not one college or university art department in America or Europe is competent to train the next generation of artist as is the worst of these 53 ARC Approved Atelier schools.

As much as this is an indication of the great accomplishments of these schools, it is an even greater indictment of the world wide art establishment, that takes tens of thousands of dollars from parents and students, usually far more than the tuition charged by your schools, and teaches them less than nothing about the methods, techniques, discipline and training needed by any artist who wishes to realize the vision of their creativity.

In that same time we've had 3 scholarship competitions, and to date have awarded $40,000 to the training of 16 highly talented, hard working and very deserving artists studying all, at one or another of our ARC Approved schools.

Eventually we hope to offer $1,000,000 per year in scholarships.

Just a few weeks ago, ARC had its first International ARC Salon CompetitionTM, with over 1100 entries, we have learned that since announcing the winners, there has been a total to date of $126,000 in prizes, purchase awards, and purchases by collectors from the top 6 winners of the competition.

ARC's influence and prestige and so too all who are associated with us has growing faster than we can take our breath. One of the award winners, Tim Tyler, who won first prize in Still Life, and the Chairman's Choice Award... Tim just told me that within 3 days of the announcement going up, he had 15 new students, he landed a major commission in his state, and now a month later, he's struggling with the decision as to which of the 3 major galleries in Santa Fe, San Francisco, and New York City, he should permit to represent him. Similar anecdotal stories keep arriving every week.

I strongly urge all of you who are sufficiently advanced, and especially your instructors and alumnae, to enter the competition next year and every year, so that we can establish a world wide event of high merit attracting attention as the emergin focal point of a new 21st century art establishment. We hope to find a major venue in Manhattan to exhibit the finalists. We're currently in discussions with the International Fine Arts Fair, 2 museums, Sotheby's, Christie's, and other possible major venues including a couple of major galleries, for a live exhibition. You all may be interested in knowing that Hirschl and Adler, one of New York's most prestigious galleries has just initiated a policy of "Realism only." After a century of Modernist control of the NY art market, this is no small event. If any of you have not seen the current ARC Salon announcement, please go to our website at artrenewal.org and have a look. I'll be surprised if you don't all feel more than a little pleased at the qualitative level being achieved today.

ARC now has over 28,000 images of the greatest works of art in history by over 2600 artists including all of the greats.

Our services are now used by thousands of schools, universities, libraries, corporations, scholars historians, museums, publishers, and the list keep growing exponentially.


During the second half of last year I was happily telling people that we were entertaining as many visitors as America's second largest museum, the National Gallery, with 3,000,000+ yearly visitors. But in the past 6 months we sailed right past that level leaving them far behind, as we currently are clocking nearly 400,000,000 hits per year from 5,500,000 visitors which we have now learned is more even than America's number one such institution, the Metropolitan Museum in Manhattan, who has only a paltry 5,200,000 visitors come through their doors each year. But half of them are tourists and children on class trips. ARC's targeted audience is fully 100% ahead of the Met, as most of those who visit are artists, gallery owners, auction houses, educators, historians, scholars, students, curators, conservator's, and art lovers of every kind.

Our influence and reach are growing daily, and our goal is to right the wrongs of 100 years of decadence, decay and decline in the fine arts of painting and sculpture.... to expose the hoax of modernism and the destructive of empty conceptual concepts.

It is clearly impossible to fix things from within the art establishment, as those in power won't even permit a single painting by a living realist hang in their midst, and when an opening occurs on the faculty in a college art department, or on a newspaper staff in the art editorials department, or an opening for a curator or director of board member is available in most of the thousands of museum in the world, they are always filled by modern and post-modern ideologues, clones of the clowns who now run these austere institutions.

ARC is building a parallel network of our own institutions: our virtual museum; Board of Advisors and affiliated network of historians, art experts, and scholars; ARC Approved schools, and with the increasing prestige and credibility and the clear pattern of success that has emerged, we now believe we will be able to organize a network of ARC Affiliate Galleries most of whom are already representing ARC Living Masters™, whose growing success in representing our artists, is already building a viable dynamic and exploding market for traditional Living Realism™, as collectors, if given half a chance, overwhelmingly prefer that which they can recognize, and that which can tell with poetry and grace the story of what it means to be a human.

And now I hope you'll all excuse me as I go into one of my usual rants.

As I said, over two years ago, we decided to list on ARC the few ateliers that we knew of to be the last vestiges, the final and only locations on earth where the methods of the masters and the methods of how to pass their knowledge down to the next and successive generations, had been, Protected and Perpetuated. Somehow in the most inhospitable and adverse of environments, in an art world gone mad, in an art world quite literally teetering on its head, ...in an art world descending in free fall into the abyss of darkness and shadows.... into the bowels of vengeful pride down into the depths of banal self importance and vicious vanity, where excrement, blood, and urine, piled on canvases, or globs of rancid glop heaped onto our earthly plazas.... or here I suppose our Piazzas... in the hearts of our major city's.... bulldozed between office towers.... amassed within municipal apertures and corporate complexes. lacking only the smell and morbidity of their moronic portrayals.... where indeed Manzoni's actual excrement in a number 10 can is purchased for $30,000 by the brilliant acquisition committee... or Comedy of the Tate in London... who with flourish and fanfare again the following year awarded their most prestigious of all their accolades to an empty room... that's right..... Their most officious and famous of awards went to an empty room.... which had been engineered to automatically have the lights turn off and on every 5 seconds, a vapid testament to their emptiness where "conceptual" cabals building "installations" are being each and every one... celebrated by flapping journalists who flatter flatness while fawning over "fakes" .....feigning consternation and erudition.... whose asinine "creations" have been elevated by gaggles of clucking sycophants, dilettantes all..... patting each other's foolish fannies..... telling themselves how brilliant they all are and how incredibly special it is to be oh-so clever.... while in the dead of night behind closed doors they are banning, censoring and relegating to the gutter of oblivion the truly talented, the incredibly accomplished and their unique achievements which are the real genius the "real" masters along with their greatest creations. I'm talking about masterpieces with compelling inspirational themes conceived with visual beauty and compositional poetry, by the most original and artistically brilliant minds of our day.

Somehow! the Philistines of society, and the self anointed mediocrity of mindless institutional bureaucrats all of them over reaching wretches.... now run the great citadels of our culture, and the great temples to human creativity, and they do so without beauty and without sensitivity... with the subtlety of stampeding bulls, covered in accolades of dishonor, defying all logic, coherence and common sense, .. they have somehow been passed the helm, handed the keys to the city, and given the controls to the world's greatest museums, civilization's most prominent universities, as well as the editorial powers of the most influential periodicals and news organizations, with the voice and protection of a captured press by which they barricade themselves in their vaults of corrupted power.... seemingly untouchable..... while the rest of us for a century have been banned, banished, and censored, along with the hearts, the hopes the needs the dreams and the aspirations, of the human psyche as well as the moral imperative which obligates all of humanity including each and every one of us, to protect and preserve that which is dear and to nurture and sustain all that is precious, and to elevate and enshrine true excellence... for our children for future generations, and for ourselves, as an ethical duty, a sacred commitment and a sanctified covenant that we all here cherish...... to keep faith, to keep good and honorable faith, to those who have gone before who have spent their lives, their sweat and energy and have made all of us who we are, and upon whose names and souls we must dedicate our work and efforts.

The Art Renewal Center was born out of a frustration with the current art establishment, and consecrated with the determination to tell this story to the world with the faint hope that perhaps we might play some small role in waking up the conscience of a cynical culture, deadened by an endless barrage of mind numbing sound bites and vacuous commercial imagery.

I am here before you today to tell you that we are having our D Day. We've amassed a thousand ships of individual creativity, backed by the needs and dreams of 5 billion human souls who want their art back.

They want what is rightly theirs... their art.... their culture... their civilization,... their history. With ARC and with Angel Academy, Cecil Academy, Florence Academy, with the American Society of Classical Realism, with the California Arts Club, the Plein Air Society, and the American Society of Portrait Artists, and with ARC's 53 Approved schools, and with all of you, we already have our beach head. And with the continued work, dedication and perseverance of our combined forces and with the certain knowledge and conviction that we represent what is right and good and sacred and just,... and what is truly best for the human soul, we will surely prevail,... as the modernist monolith withers from the empty shell of deceit as its former supporters and apologists race hastily for the exits.

Thank you.

(I hope I didn't beat around the bush too much.)


Fred Ross is currently Executive Administrator of the Committee to write the Catalog Raisonné on William Bouguereau. He is Chairman of the Art Renewal Center®, and has been published or interviewed in the American Arts Quarterly, the California Art Club, Forbes Magazine, Artnews, New Jersey Monthly, the Victorian Society in America, and the Classical Realist Journal. He has been a featured speaker at Sotheby's, the Dahesh Museum, the Wadsworth Atheneum, and University of Memphis. He holds a Master's in Art Education from Columbia University, and along with his wife Sherry owns one of the foremost collections of 19th Century European paintings.
Table of Contents for the ARC Philosophy

  • ARC Chairman Fred Ross' Oil Painters of America Keynote Address
  • Chapter I. Why Realism?
  • Chapter II. The Great 20th Century Art Scam
  • Chapter III. Good Art / Bad Art - Pulling Back the Curtain
  • Chapter IV. Bouguereau and the "Real" 19th Century
  • Chapter V. ARC Chairman speaks at the Angel Academy of Art
  • Chapter VI. ARC Chairman Speaks at duCret School of Art
  • Chapter VII. Abstract Art is Not Abstract and Definitely Not Art
  • Chapter VIII. Oppressors Accuse their Victims of Oppression
  • Chapter IX. 2011 NTDTV Award Speech
  • Special Feature. Hockney's 'Secret Knowledge': Refuted



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    Our thanks go to Michael John Angel Studios for their assistance in providing high resolution scans of works by their faculty and students.