Contact: Souhad Rafey

srafey@artsandletters.org

(212) 368-5900

2021 Art Award Winners

New York, March 23, 2021—The American Academy of Arts and Letters announced today the 18 artists who will receive its 2021 awards in art. Due to the pandemic, the awards will be acknowledged on May 19 during the Academy’s online Ceremonial. The art prizes and purchases, totaling $500,000, honor both established and emerging artists. The award winners were chosen from a group of 125 artists who had been invited to submit work. The members of this year’s award committee were: Catherine Murphy (Chair), Nicole Eisenman, Ann Hamilton, Philip Pearlstein, Judy Pfaff, Joel Shapiro, Amy Sillman, Kiki Smith, and Terry Winters.

TOP ROW: Jerrell Gibbs, Top Shelf; Suzanne Bocanegra, 6891 Drawings of Annie Albers Unititled Weaving from 1932; William Villalongo, Follow Me; Forrest Kirk, Heartbreak. CENTER ROW: Elizabeth Tubergen, Double Grave; Suzanne Joelson, Hose With a View; Thaddeus Mosley, Oval Continuity; Lava Thomas, Annie Patterson. BOTTOM ROW: Lisa Corinne Davis, Analytical Anarchism; Ming Smith, Amen Corner Sisters, New York City, NY R. M. Fischer, RMF5223; Juane Quick-to-See Smith, Homeland

Arts and Letters Awards in Art

Eleven awards of $10,000 each to honor exceptional accomplishment and encourage creative work.

SUZANNE BOCANEGRA • LISA CORINNE DAVIS
COCO FUSCO • SUZANNE JOELSON • THADDEUS MOSLEY
AKI SASAMOTO • MING SMITH • ELIZABETH TUBERGEN
MARIE WATT • DYANI WHITE HAWK • CARMEN WINANT

Jacob Lawrence Awards in Art

Two awards of $10,000 each to visual artists.

LAUREN HALSEY • REGGIE BURROWS HODGES

Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Awards in Art

Two awards of $10,000 each to visual artists.

JAUNE QUICK-TO-SEE SMITH • JESSICA STOCKHOLDER

John Koch Awards in Art

Two awards of $10,000 each to young figurative artists.

JENNIFER COATES • JENNIFER PACKER

Rosenthal Family Foundation Award in Art

$10,000 to a young painter of distinction.

JERRELL GIBBS

Art Purchase Program

Purchase Prizes

LAYLAH ALI • A. K. BURNS • PETER CHARLAP • R. M. FISCHER
CHIE FUEKI • MAREN HASSINGER • EJ HAUSER • LESLIE HEWITT
KATHERINE HUBBARD • ADAM HURWITZ • FORREST KIRK
SAVANNAH KNOOP • ASPEN MAYS • ERIN RILEY • DREAD SCOTT
ELENA SISTO • LAVA THOMAS • SIMON TOSKY
WILLIAM VILLALONGO • SUSAN JANE WALP • PETER WILLIAMS

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 1,200 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 (1973-1961), and Gardner Symons (1891-1930). Since 2013, the Academy has also allocated funds for the purchase of sculpture.

 

 

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 300 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.