The Modern Atelier began as an exhibition conceived of by artist, Todd Casey, that consisted of alumni from the Grand Central Atelier in NYC and the Florence Academy in Italy.  The show has become a traveling exhibition in galleries across the country whose primary purpose is to inform the art-going public about the modern influence of historic atelier training practice in contemporary private art studios.

This blog is meant to be a further exploration of that purpose as well as a source for rumination on art theory, practice and the historical precedent of artwork created from the modern atelier system that has been labeled, ‘classical realism’.

It is the intent of this blog, and its musings, to find relevance and perhaps offer legitimacy to the effort of the contemporary artist who finds inspiration in the classical artwork of centuries past but yet seeks to connect that tradition to the sensibilities of the modern age.  

Atelier training is a form of private art education that began in the Middle Ages and reached its highest expression in 18th and 19th Century Europe.  The word ‘atelier’ translates in French to “workshop” and usually consists of a professional painter or sculptor and a small number of students that act as apprentices.

After a hundred year mainstream abandonment of its practice, the atelier methodology is enjoying a cultural resurgence brought about in part by increasing sentiment towards the past, the ‘artisanal’ and ‘slow’ movements, and by individual artists seeking a traditionally organized program of study.

The Modern Atelier represents a development in artistic training that attempts to revitalize some of the theories and practices of the original ateliers whose guiding aesthetic is the pursuit of beauty through truthful depiction of nature.


Carol Broman

Carol Broman (b.1977) is a graduate of the Water Street Atelier and Grand Central Academy in New York, currently running a private atelier in Southwest Florida. She has exhibited nationally and has taught classes and workshops for private ateliers in NY and Florida. She was the recipient of the 2008 Art Renewal Center Scholarship and has been recognized with numerous awards. 

Carol began her career as a mural painter and portrait artist, but looking for a more thorough contemplation of nature than these disciplines allowed, the artist sought training with Tony Ryder, Douglas Flynt and Jacob Collins.  

The artist has always been drawn to representational work, as a means of intimately connecting with a subject in the least ambiguous visual language possible. The human form is of special interest to the artist, as both a psychological and metaphysical creative focus.

Todd Casey

Todd M. Casey (b. 1979) was born and raised in Lowell, Massachusetts. His artistic education includes a BFA in Communication Design from Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, MA.

After receiving his degree in 2001, he moved to New York City where he worked as a Graphic Designer. He then moved to San Francisco to pursue a Masters in Animation at the Academy of Art. While taking the foundation classes for his MFA, he found a true passion in painting, and returned to NYC to the studio of Jacob Collins at the Water Street Atelier and began his classical painting training in 2007. In addition to his training, he has studied extensively with Max Ginsburg, Camie Davis, and Carlos Madrid.

His paintings have won many awards, most recently the Aileen and Manuel de Torres Award for Still Life from the Salmagundi Club. His work can be found in collections throughout the United States.

Being raised in Massachusetts has been most influential for Casey as he loves history and the richness of vintage objects in historical cities as well as incorporating the Narrative into his paintings. He also finds inspiration throughout his travels and paints the items he collects.

He is represented by 2 Galleries throughout the Northeast and East Coast. 

Angela Cunningham