New York, NY, February 10, 2022 — It is with great excitement that the American Academy of Arts and Letters announces the appointment of Jenny Jaskey as its new Chief Curator and Director of Art Awards.
Ms. Jaskey, who has an impressive history of contemporary art exhibition-making and programming, will help lead the Academy in its efforts to update and transform its exhibitions and how it supports artists. She succeeds Souhad Rafey, who retired in January after 23 years.
Ms. Jaskey grew up in North Carolina and is a graduate of the Bard College Center for Curatorial Studies. Prior to the Academy, she was the Curator and Director of the Artist’s Institute at Hunter College where she organized exhibitions with Lucy McKenzie, Pierre Huyghe, Carolee Schneemann, Hilton Als, Sharon Lockhart, and Milford Graves, among others.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have Jenny Jaskey joining the Academy,” said artist and board secretary Ann Hamilton, who served on the Academy’s search committee. “Her innovative work with artists, with cross disciplinary projects, forums, and conversations, will invigorate the possibility for the Academy’s future. We look forward to working closely with Jenny to support programming and the full animation of the beautiful architecture of the Academy.”
“Jenny Jaskey is an exciting new voice coming to the Academy,” said architect and former Academy president Billie Tsien. “She has said that her mission is to nurture the unique nature of what exists while expanding the audience of both participants and visitors. As we work towards the ability to make full use of our buildings there are huge opportunities ahead, and it is exhilarating to contemplate what Jenny will do.”
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 totaling more than $1 million, 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.