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THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ARTS AND LETTERS
ANNOUNCES NEWLY ELECTED MEMBERS



Photo credits:
Michael Chabon © Reto Caduff
Jonathan Franzen © Bjorn Opsahl
Kenneth Frampton © Dorothy Alexander
Robert Gober © Catherine Opie
Jhumpa Lahiri © Robin Holland

New York, NY, March 12, 2012 – The American Academy of Arts and Letters will hold its annual induction and award ceremony in mid-May. Henry N. Cobb, president of the Academy, will conduct the presentation of awards in architecture, art, literature, and music. Secretary of the Academy, Billie Tsien, will induct ten new members into the 250-person organization: artists Lynda Benglis, Robert Gober, and Kara Walker and architects Elizabeth Diller and Kenneth Frampton; writers Michael Chabon, Jonathan Franzen, and Jhumpa Lahiri; composers Stephen Jaffe and Tobias Picker. President Cobb will induct artist Anish Kapoor and composer Jo Kondo to Foreign Honorary membership. Chuck Close will deliver the Blashfield Foundation Address, titled “How We Got Here.” An exhibition of art, architecture, books, and manuscripts by new members and recipients of awards will be on view in the Academy’s galleries from May 17 to June 10.

Newly Elected Members of the Academy

Art
LYNDA BENGLIS
ELIZABETH DILLER
KENNETH FRAMPTON
ROBERT GOBER
KARA WALKER

Literature
MICHAEL CHABON
JONATHAN FRANZEN
JHUMPA LAHIRI

Music
STEPHEN JAFFE
TOBIAS PICKER

American Honorary Member
LEONTYNE PRICE

Foreign Honorary Members
ANISH KAPOOR
JO KONDO
YAYOI KUSAMA

Artist Lynda Benglis was born in Lake Charles, Louisiana, in 1941. She was educated at Newcomb College. She has recently exhibited at the Irish Museum of Art, Dublin; Le Consortium, France; the Museum of Art at the Rhode Island School of Design; New Museum, New York.

Writer Michael Chabon was born in Washington, D.C. in 1963. He was educated at Carnegie Mellon University, University of Pittsburgh, and University of California, Irvine. His recent work includes The Final Solution, The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, Gentlemen of the Road, and Manhood for Amateurs. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 2001 for The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.

Architect Elizabeth Diller was born in Lodz, Poland, in 1954. She was educated at Cooper Union School of Architecture. She is a Professor of Architecture at Princeton University. Her recent projects include the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art, the redesign of Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, and the expansion of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

Architect and critic Kenneth Frampton was born in Woking, United Kingdom, in 1930. He was educated at Guildford School of Art and the Architectural Association School of Architecture, London. He is the Ware Professor of Architecture at Columbia University. His writing includes Modern Architecture: A Critical History, Studies in Tectonic Culture, and The Evolution of 20th-Century Architecture: A Synoptic Account.

Writer Jonathan Franzen was born in Western Springs, Illinois, in 1959. He was educated at Swarthmore College. He has written four novels – The Twenty-Seventh City, Strong Motion, The Corrections, and Freedom, and two nonfiction books, How to Be Alone, and The Discomfort Zone.

Artist Robert Gober was born in Wallingford, Connecticut, in 1954. He was educated at Middlebury College and the Tyler School of Art in Rome. He has recently curated work at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, and the 2012 Whitney Biennial. He has recently exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver.

Composer Stephen Jaffe was born in Washington, D.C. in 1954. He was educated at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the Mary and James H. Semans Professor of Music Composition at Duke University. His recent compositions include Concerto for Cello and Orchestra, SONATA (in Four Parts), Cíthera mea (Evocations), and Light Dances (Chamber Concerto No. 2).

Writer Jhumpa Lahiri was born in London, United Kingdom, in 1967. She was educated at Barnard College and Boston University. She has published three works of fiction: Interpreter of Maladies, The Namesake, and Unaccustomed Earth. Interpreter of Maladies received the 2000 Pulitzer Prize.

Composer Tobias Picker was born in New York City in 1954. He was educated at the Manhattan School of Music, Juilliard School, and Princeton University. Among his principal works are An American Tragedy, Thérèse Raquin, Not Even the Rain, and Tres sonetos de amore.

Artist Kara Walker was born in Stockton, California, in 1969. She was educated at Atlanta College of Art and Rhode Island School of Design. She is a Professor of Visual Arts at Columbia University. She has recently exhibited at Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, Fort Worth, Texas; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Press Contact: Jane E. Bolster, jbolster AT artsandletters.org, (212) 368-5900