Randy Cohen to interview Academy member and cartoonist Art Spiegelman
June 11, 2019 at 7 p.m.
Person Place Thing is an interview show based on the idea that people are particularly engaging when they speak not directly about themselves but about something they care about. Guests talk about one person, one place, and one thing that are important to them. The result? Surprising stories from great talkers.
The interview will take place in the Academy’s library with live music by the Wisterians.
This event is free and open to the public but reservations are required. RSVP here.
American Academy of Arts and Letters
633 West 155 Street, New York, NY 10032
Tuesday, June 11, 2019, 7 p.m.
Art Spiegelman, a member of the Academy of Arts and Letters, has almost single-handedly brought comic books out of the toy closet and onto the literature shelves. In 1992 he won the Pulitzer Prize for his masterful Holocaust narrative Maus—which portrayed Jews as mice and Nazis as cats. His comics are best known for their shifting graphic styles, their formal complexity, and controversial content. In 2005 Art Spiegelman was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People and in 2006 he was named to the Art Director’s Club Hall of Fame. He was made an Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France in 2007. In 2011 Art Spiegelman won the Grand Prix at the Angoulême International Comics Festival, marking only the third time an American has received the honor (the other two were Will Eisner and Robert Crumb). He recently received the Edward MacDowell Medal, the first-ever Edward MacDowell Medal given in comic art.
Randy Cohen’s first professional work was writing humor pieces, essays, and stories for newspapers and magazines (The New Yorker, Harpers, The Atlantic, Young Love Comics). His first television work was writing for “Late Night With David Letterman” for which he won three Emmy awards. His fourth Emmy was for his work on Michael Moore’s “TV Nation.” He received a fifth Emmy as a result of a clerical error, and he kept it. For twelve years he wrote “The Ethicist,” a weekly column for the New York Times Magazine. In 2010 his first play, “The Punishing Blow,” ran at New York’s Clurman Theater. His most recent book, “Be Good: how to navigate the ethics of everything,” was published by Chronicle. He is currently the creator and host of Person Place Thing, a public radio program.
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. The Academy is located in three landmark buildings designed by McKim, Mead & White, Cass Gilbert, and Charles Pratt Huntington, on Audubon Terrace in Washington Heights at 155 Street and Broadway, New York City.