On Wednesday, May 24, 2023, the Academy held its annual Ceremonial at the Church of the Intercession in Washington Heights, New York City, and inducted 23 new members and presented awards in architecture, visual art, literature, and music. Newly elected Foreign Honorary Member Andrey Kurkov delivered the annual Blashfield Address, entitled “Rain, Snow, and Ashes,” and our highest awards were presented to Susan Unterberg, Helen Hennessy Vendler, and Faith Ringgold.
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, 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, purchasing artwork for donation to museums across the country, and presenting talks and concerts.