Municipal Art Commission


In response to the City Beautiful Movement, NY established a commission to regulate public art and architecture originally known as the Municipal Art Commission in 1898. The organization was renamed to the New York City Public Design Commission, legally known as the Art Commission. It is the agency of the New York City government that reviews permanent works of architecture, landscape architecture, and art proposed on or over city-owned property.The City Beautiful Movement was inspired by the 1893 World`s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, with the message that cities should aspire to aesthetic value for their residents. It was a reform philosophy of North American architecture and urban planning that flourished during the 1890s and 1900s with the intent of introducing beautification and monumental grandeur in cities. It was a part of the progressive social reform movement in North America under the leadership of the upper-middle class concerned with poor living conditions in all major cities. The movement, promoted beauty not only for its own sake, but also to create moral and civic virtue among urban populations. Advocates of the philosophy believed that such beautification could promote a harmonious social order that would increase the quality of life, while critics would complain that the movement was overly concerned with aesthetics at the expense of social reform; Jane Jacobs referred to the movement as an "architectural design cult."