About Us

Aesthetic Realism


At once widely cultural and of the most practical personal value, Aesthetic Realism is education of a new kind, taught by a distinguished faculty of Consultants and Associates.


Classes offered on a semester basis include: The Aesthetic Realism Explanation of Poetry; Anthropology Is about You and Everyone; The Opposites in Music; The Art of Drawing: Surface and Depth; Acting, Life, and the Opposites. There are monthly workshops: Understanding Marriage; Learning to Like the World, a class for young people between the ages of 5 and 12; and Critical Inquiry: A Workshop in the Visual Arts. There is also a new special series on the cinema.

The Aesthetic Realism Teaching Method Workshop is a class for educators, and for over 30 years this method, used by public school teachers, has enabled students at every level to learn with new enthusiasm and ease.


Public seminar on art & architecture at Aesthetic Realism Foundation, 141 Greene St., SoHo, NYC

Thursday seminar, on art & architecture

On the first Thursday of every month the Aesthetic Realism Consultants and Associates present public seminars. Representative subjects include: “Real Communication in Marriage—How Can We Have It?”; “What’s the Difference between Wowing People & Liking Yourself?”; “Kindness: Is It Strong?”; “The Aesthetic Realism Teaching Method Succeeds: Knowledge Wins, Prejudice Loses!”


These feature dramatic readings of some of the great lectures on literature, ethics, economics, history, everyday life, and art given by Eli Siegel. There are reenactments of Aesthetic Realism lessons he taught, upon which Aesthetic Realism consultations today are based. And there are groundbreaking talks by artists and scholars in many fields—including jazz, architecture, photography, film—on this new way of seeing the arts, sciences, and reality itself.


In consultations, a person’s individual life questions are understood and explained, through the principles of Aesthetic Realism. People find that the matters which confuse them most are made sense of at last, with cultural width, immediacy, and satisfying logic. Consultations may be had in person at the Foundation, and via telephone or video call throughout America and abroad.


Pioneering dramatic and musical presentations take place at the Foundation, and elsewhere as part of the Foundation’s Outreach Program. These productions, a new dramatic form with performance and comment, include “Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream; or, Earthy Whirl,” by Eli Siegel; “Rock ‘n’ Roll, the Opposites, & Our Greatest Hopes!”; “Ibsen, Bach, & What Interferes with Love”; and more.


The Terrain is the first gallery to show the inextricable relation between the technique of art and people’s lives. Since its opening in 1955 in New York City, the Terrain has presented exhibitions of contemporary paintings, prints, drawings, and photographs, with comment based on Eli Siegel’s historic Fifteen Questions, “Is Beauty the Making One of Opposites?” Among the artists exhibiting have been Will Barnet, Chaim Koppelman, Robert Blackburn, William King, Andre Kertesz, Clare Romano, Peter Passuntino, Selina Trieff, Richard Sloat.


Children's classes in poetry taught by Aesthetic Realism consultants at Manhattan area public library

Poetry classes for young persons at public library

The Foundation provides speakers on a great range of subjects, from education to love; jazz to parenting; architecture and film to the combating of prejudice.

The Foundation’s very successful Outreach Program—loved throughout a wide area—includes presentations and workshops for senior citizens in both English and Spanish, such as “Every Person Can Tell You about Yourself,” and “Memory Shows We’re Connected to the Whole World!”

For young people, at community centers, schools, and libraries, there are classes such as “Books Tell You: the World & You Are a Deep & Surprising Team,” and the series “Learning to Like the World,” as well as workshops against bullying. And there are anti-prejudice workshops in many venues for people of all ages, for instance, “The Heart Knows Better—Changing Prejudice to Kindness!”


It is possible to study Aesthetic Realism anywhere in the world through the Foundation’s Website and Online Library. These are rich with articles; poetry; works on literature, philosophy, the social sciences, the arts—all in relation to life as people live it. The biweekly international periodical The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known [TRO] features groundbreaking commentaries by Ellen Reiss on immediate life, world happenings, economics, the arts. In TRO, people can study landmark works by Eli Siegel, and writings by Consultants and Associates. Professional classes for Aesthetic Realism Consultants and for Associates studying to teach Aesthetic Realism are conducted by Ms. Reiss, who is Chairman of Education, appointed by Eli Siegel.

The effect of the Aesthetic Realism education on people’s lives is tremendously beneficial, and thrilling. Men, women, and young persons learn to see other people, the world, and themselves more exactly—with honest respect and therefore much more pleasure. They like the world and themselves more, feel freer, are more expressed, kinder, deeper, keener, and happier. Aesthetic Realism is education urgently needed by America and the world.


◊  Resources by persons in diverse fields, from art & photography to anti-prejudice & bullying. Also see AestheticRealism.com.
◊  US Congressional Record: “Honoring Eli Siegel” by Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (3-page PDF)
◊  Eli Siegel Day Centenary Celebration in Baltimore—Includes speakers & the proclamations of the Mayor of Baltimore and the Governor of Maryland
◊  The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known
◊  Friends of Aesthetic Realism—Countering the Lies

• See Ellen Reiss on “Nature, Romanticism, & Harry Potter”

Aesthetic Realism: A New Perspective for Anthropology & Sociology

• “Aesthetic Realism: The Solution to Racism” (in The Black World Today
• Columbia University PhD Thesis Describing the Need for Aesthetic Realism in Anthropology

Further Resources / Links


“Through Aesthetic Realism Interest Wins, Cynicism Loses” by English educator Leila Rosen, from The English Record
◊ “Housing in America: A Basic Human Right” by Barbara Buehler in the quarterly Journal of the American Planning Association

“Mistakes Men Make about Power and Love” by Ernest DeFilippis in the San Antonio Register (San Antonio, TX)
“The Debate in Women between Boredom and Interest” by Marion Fennell in Exodus Newsmagazine
“The Queen’s Visit to Amritsar” by Christopher Balchin in INDIA-STAR, a Literary-Art Magazine
“Power and Tenderness in Men and in Picasso’s ‘Minotauromachy’” by Chaim Koppelman in Journal of the Print World
“We Can Feel More Alive at Any Age” by Irene Reiss in Idaho Senior News (Boise, Idaho)
“How Should a Widow Cope with the Loss of Her Spouse?” by Anne Fielding in Caribbean Life (New York City)
“Imagine health care that is compassionate and real” by Christopher Balchin in Times Herald Record (Middletown, NY)
Philadelphia Sunday Sun: “Groundbreaking After-School Program Based on Aesthetic Realism” by Alice Bernstein.
SCOPE’s Education Forum, “A Lesson in Aesthetic Realism—Duck Incubation” by Lori Colavito.
Newsday “The Bane of True Democracy” by Timothy Lynch, president of Teamsters Local 1205
New York Newsday “Health Care S.O.S.” by Dr. Jaime Torres
The Philippine Post Magazine: “Purposes in America, Once and Now” by Ellen Reiss
Northport Journal (Huntington, NY) “Filmmaker Tackles Homelessness Issues” by Carol Parker
More articles