NEW YORK, March 18, 2019—The American Academy of Arts and Letters announced today the nine artists who will receive its 2019 awards in art. The awards will be presented in New York City in May at the Academy’s annual Ceremonial. The art prizes and purchases, totaling over $250,000, honor both established and emerging artists. The award winners were chosen from a group of 32 artists who had been invited to participate in the Invitational Exhibition of Visual Arts, which opened on March 5, 2019. The exhibition continues through April 7, 2019, and features over 100 paintings, sculptures, installations, videos, and works on paper. The members of this year’s award committee were: Judy Pfaff (chairman), Lois Dodd, Rackstraw Downes, Yvonne Jacquette, Bill Jensen, Catherine Murphy, Philip Pearlstein, and Dorothea Rockburne.
Arts and Letters Awards in Art
JUDITH BERNSTEIN ∙ INKA ESSENHIGH ∙ ALAIN KIRILI
PAUL MOGENSEN ∙ MICHAEL SINGER
Five awards of $10,000 each to honor exceptional accomplishment and encourage creative work.
John Koch Award in Art
$10,000 to a young painter of figurative work.
Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Award in Art
JAMES O. CLARK
$10,000 to a visual artist.
Jacob Lawrence Award in Art
$10,000 to a visual artist.
Rosenthal Family Foundation Award in Art
CHARLOTTE DE LARMINAT
$10,000 to a young painter of distinction.
Art Purchase Program
RICK BRIGGS ∙ PETER BROWN ∙ JUDY COOKE
CHARLOTTE DE LARMINAT ∙ HERMINE FORD ∙ KATHLEEN GILJE
MARGARET GRIMES ∙ PETER HUTCHINSON ∙ SHIRLEY KANEDA
EVA LEWITT ∙ JENNY LYNN MCNUTT ∙ ROSE NESTLER ∙ JESS PERLITZ
NATHANIEL ROBINSON ∙ MARK STEINMETZ ∙ STEPHEN WESTFALL
TREVOR WINKFIELD ∙ ALEXI WORTH
The Academy’s purchase program began in 1946 to place the work of talented, living American artists in museums across the country. Since the inauguration of this program, the Academy has spent nearly $5 million to purchase over 1200 works of art. The American Impressionist painter Childe Hassam (1859-1935) founded this program through the bequest of over 400 of his works with the stipulation that the accumulated income from their sale be used to establish a fund to purchase paintings and works on paper. Similar bequests were made by Academy members Eugene Speicher (1883-1962), Louis Betts (1873-1961), and Gardner Symons (1861-1930). Since 2013, the Academy has also allocated funds for the purchase of sculpture.
Works by the winners of the 2019 Art Awards and Purchases are currently on display in the Invitational Exhibition of Visual Arts, and will be shown in the Ceremonial Exhibition: Work by New Members and Recipients of Awards, which opens in late May.
On Sunday, April 7, at 4 p.m. David Cohen will lead a panel discussion with awardees in the Academy’s library. The event is open to the public. More information can be found here.
Invitational Exhibition of Visual Arts
MARCH 7 – APRIL 7, 2019
Thursdays through Sundays
1 to 4 p.m.
Enter on Audubon Terrace, west side of Broadway
between 155 and 156 Streets, New York City.
#1 train to 157 Street and Broadway; M4 or M5 bus to 155 Street and Broadway
American Academy of Arts and Letters
The American Academy of Arts and Letters was founded in 1898 as an honor society of the country’s leading architects, artists, composers, and writers. Early members include William Merritt Chase, Childe Hassam, Julia Ward Howe, Henry James, Edward MacDowell, Theodore Roosevelt, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, John Singer Sargent, Mark Twain, and Edith Wharton. The Academy’s 250 members are elected for life and pay no dues. In addition to electing new members as vacancies occur, the Academy seeks to foster and sustain an interest in Literature, Music, and the Fine Arts by administering over 70 awards and prizes, exhibiting art and manuscripts, funding performances of new works of musical theater, and purchasing artwork for donation to museums across the country.