What does the “N.A.” mean after Eric Sloane’s signature?

   I recently received an inquiry concerning the ‘N.A.’ that often appears after Eric’s signature on paintings and illustrations.  Here an is an excerpt from Symbols of American Spirit: 50 Years of the Eric Sloane Museum:

     The “N.A.” after Eric’s signature denotes that has was voted as a Full Member of the National Academy of Design (founded in 1825), a prestigious honor in the world of fine arts.  Members have included Andrew Wyeth and Winslow Homer.  Prospective candidates must be nominated by the Academy for admission.  If admitted, the artist is considered an Associate Member (designated by A.N.A. after a signature) until the death of a Full Member, when the full membership can vote to have and Associate Member fulfill the vacancy.

     Eric Sloane became a full member in 1967 and, in my experience, used the N.A. designation in each work he completed after that date.  I have worked with paintings by Sloane with an “A.N.A.” after his signature and presume these to be done in the early to mid-1960s (it can take a long time – and sometimes not happen at all – for an Associate Member to rise to Full Member).  A signature that reads “Eric Sloane, N.A.” helps to identify the date of creation for the work as between 1967 and 1985.  Further examination of style, brushwork, palette choice, and dozens of other important details help to narrow considerably the probable date of creation.

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