Susan Daykin, Strawberry Margarita, 2011, detail


Each year, a select group of prominent artists and architects is elected into the National Academy. Election as an Academician recognizes an artists’ exceptional creative work and contribution to the arts. In becoming Academicians, these artists signal their commitment to furthering the arts in America—to pushing creative boundaries and creating opportunities for future artists and architects.

In the video below, artist Shahzia Sikander reflects on being a National Academician. Visit our video archive to learn more about the Academy from other Academicians, including David Driskell, Wolf Kahn, Dorothea Rockburne, and Bruce Fowle.

In keeping with the almost two-hundred-year history of the Academy, after induction each artist or architect selects from among their work and presents a piece to the collection. In this way, every new group of Academicians becomes part of the living, growing legacy of the National Academy.

We are pleased to welcome the newest Academicians of 2012 and 2013, among whom are Marina Abramović, Vito Acconci, Christian Marclay, Cindy Sherman, Steven Holl, Bruce Nauman, Moshe Safdie, and Sarah Sze.

A History to Celebrate.
In 1825, the National Academy was founded as a resource, advocating body, and gathering place for artists and architects. Since that time, the vision of the founding artists and architects continues to be borne out in the work of the Academicians. Today, the Academy includes over 300 artists and architects with nearly 2,000 having been elected since the Academy’s founding.

Notable Academicians.
Through the lives and work of the Academicians, the Academy carries out its mission of promoting excellence in the visual arts.  Among our most celebrated nineteenth-century Academicians, we are proud to count Albert Bierstadt, Frederic E. Church, Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer, and John Singer Sargent. Our twentieth and twenty-first-century masters include: Louise Bourgeois, Frank Gehry, Jasper Johns, Maya Lin, I. M. Pei, Robert Rauschenberg, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Andrew Wyeth.

Connect to the Academy.
View the full list of Academicians and learn more about each Academician’s life and work. Experience the Museum’s collection for yourself and attend special ARTalks and other programs that engage the mind and imagination.