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.

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 400 living Academicians artists and architects with more than 2,260 artists and architects having been elected since the institution was founded.

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: Marina Abramović, Louise Bourgeois, Frank Gehry, Jasper Johns, Maya Lin, I. M. Pei, Robert Rauschenberg, Moshe Safdie, Cindy Sherman, 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.