Art students have studied the methods of observation and depiction of realist art for centuries by working closely with master teachers in workshops, schools and ateliers in Europe and the Americas.

Students who enrolled in French Art Academies during the 1700s-1900s were trained in "Academic Art" which in turn was based on the techniques developed by artists to create realistic masterpieces during the Renaissance in Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Germany and France.

Ambitious students would travel from their home countries to study with master teachers and polish their own talents in the hopes of gaining lucrative commissions and work from the well to do, govenment, business, royalty and religious sponsors.

Impressionists, early Abstract and Modernist artists in Europe and America often studied at European Academies and Ateliers and used the tools of academic art to create powerful, personal and unique art. 

With the success of the Abstract and Expressive art movements in the 20th century, schools abandoned the tradition of academic education, and much of the methods and knowledge of powerful realistic art creation was lost. A few schools and ateliers continued to practice and teach traditional methods, and in the late 20th century and early 21st, a new interest and revitalization of realist art has gained a foothold in ateliers in Italy, Spain, Sweden, Russia and the US.

The Mass Academy of Art offers students the opportunity to study with teachers who have mastered academic methods and use them to create modern realistic art.