National Art Day – October 25, 2020

Sun Oct 25

What is National Art Day?

We celebrate National Art Day on October 25 — the birthday of Spanish artist Pablo Picasso. Art as a creative human expression encapsulates myriad things. It portrays the beauty of life or a bitter reality. It records history, revolutions, rebellions, and sometimes is a means to escape them. In short, there is no history or culture without art. This day celebrates all forms of art — paintings, sculpture, photography, architecture, music, and more. Through this celebration we show our respect for the passion and creativity in all artists.


History of National Art Day

In the summer of 1961 President Kennedy made an effort to settle a salary dispute between the Metropolitan Opera and the American Federation of Musicians. He succeeded. Kennedy’s actions signaled his passion for the arts. Congress, in the mid 60s, designated the National Cultural Center, launched in 1958, as a “living memorial” to President Kennedy and authorized $23 million to begin construction. It’s now simply known as the Kennedy Center.

The following year President Johnson signed the National Foundation on the Arts & the Humanities Act, which created the National Endowment for the Arts. 
By 1970 focus on the arts increasingly spread to television and cinema. Mobil Oil committed more than $1 million to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for presentation of Masterpiece Theatre on PBS — and for 5 million copies of new Sesame Street magazine to be given free to preschool children in low-income neighborhoods. This was the largest gift to CPB from the business community to date.
A decade later President Reagan, himself a former actor appointed a Presidential Task Force on the Arts & Humanities to review the purposes of the National Endowments; broaden private support; engage more non-government professionals, private groups & individuals; & recommend ways to strengthen the overall structure of both agencies.
Still another president would show his support as well. Bill Clinton, in his 1997 State of the Union Address, asked Congress to maintain support for the arts — and urged citizens to make the year 2000 a national celebration “so that we can remain the world’s beacon not only of liberty but of creativity, long after the fireworks have faded.”
Recently the Museum of Modern Art in New York City reopened after a $400 million renovation — adding over 40,000 square feet for galleries (including two at the street-level)— inside the new West 53rd St. tower. They are free to the public.


National Art Day Related Holidays

Get creative with paper and crayons, colored pencils or markers. Try oil pastels and paint. On National Coloring Day, let your imagination fly into a colorful world and brighten up your day!
Legendary jazz pianist and composer Herbie Hancock (along with the UN) helped create International Jazz Day in 2011. So join with people around the world as this day promotes jazz’s roots and intercultural influence. 
National Dance Day is now a national celebration that takes place on the third Saturday in September. It commemorates dance as an art form, a creative outlet, and a way to dance yourself to good health.

National Art Day timeline


Soup’s on

Andy Warhol makes the famous Campbell's Soup Cans that were considered to be a breakthrough in Pop Art. The set consists of 32 silk-screened canvases, one for each of the 32 soup varieties that Campbell's sold at that time.


Jack the Dripper

​Jackson Pollock was called "Jack the Dripper" for his famous drip paintings. "No. 5, 1948" is the most expensive and renowned abstract work by this American artist.


​The Metropolitan Museum of Art opens in New York City

America's most famous and diverse art museum was incorporated. It opened to the public and was located at Dodworth Building at 681 Fifth Avenue in New York.


​Oil paint was discovered

Credit goes to the Flemish painter Jan van Eyck but in truth, oils were used before his time. Oil paint can be mixed more easily and applied in big strokes. This revolutionizes the art scene.

​38,000-33,000 BC

​Venus of Hohle Fels

This small ivory carving of a female figure was discovered in southwestern Germany and is believed to be one of the oldest pieces of art discovered so far.

National Art Day FAQs

What qualifies as “art”?

One could make a case that any creative endeavor is “art.” However, culture, tradition and, in some cases that push boundaries, laws will ultimately determine what happens next.

What’s the best paint to use on canvas?

Acrylic. It’s easy to work with and it dries quickly. Plus, all you need to paint with acrylic is a primed canvas and a brush or palette knife.

What’s the world’s most expensive painting?

Leonardo da Vinci’s depiction of Jesus Christ holding a crystal orb is the most expensive painting in the world. Experts value the piece, known as Salvator Mundi, (savior of the world) at over $450 million.

National Art Day Activities

  1. Buy a piece of art

    Dress up a wall and encourage a local artist on this special day.

  2. Wine and paint

    Take a painting lesson and make some friends sipping wine. You can likely frame the result!

  3. Visit an art museum

    You don't have to be an art lover or critic to spend a few hours in an art museum. Pay a visit and let the art speak to you.

​5 Colorful Facts About Famous Art And Artists

  1. Dali — but not cheesy

    ​Salvador Dali once explained that the idea for melting clocks in his famous painting "The Persistence of Memory" came from Camembert cheese he saw melting in the sun.

  2. She was famous after being stolen

    ​The Mona Lisa only gained notoriety after she was stolen in 1911. For about 350 years only a few critics and scholars celebrated and acknowledged this painting!

  3. ​Painting for sport

    Did you know art competitions used to be a part of the Olympics? The categories were painting, sculpture, architechture, music, and literature.

  4. ​A gem of a painting

    ​Gemstone paintings originated in Rajasthan, India. Painters use precious and semi-precious gemstones, like ruby, sapphire, jade, lapis lazuli, etc., in fine powdered form to create beautiful works of art.

  5. ​The youngest artist

    ​Picasso could draw before he learned to walk! And the first word he spoke was "pencil."

Why We Love National Art Day

  1. It recognizes all artists

    Artists are a passionate and talented lot that deserve our respect for their work and contributions to our culture.

  2. It inspires us

    Great works of art are truly uplifting and on this day we can open our senses to such inspirations.

  3. It encourages creativity

    All artists, regardless on skill level, earnings, or status benefit from a celebration like this one.

National Art Day dates

2020October 25Sunday
2021October 25Monday
2022October 25Tuesday
2023October 25Wednesday
2024October 25Friday