Mónica Ponce de León, Dean and Professor, has been named a National Academician (NA) in recognition of her exceptional contributions to American art and architecture.
The National Academy (formerly the Academy of Design) explains, "Just five and a half months after the news of a major initiative to ensure the future growth and prosperity of the historic arts organization, the National Academy proudly announces its newest class of National Academician members (NAs), elected by their peers in recognition of their exceptional contributions to American art and architecture. Representing a commitment to preserving the cultural heritage of the United States and pushing creative boundaries, this year’s electees are: Shigeru Ban, Judith Bernstein, Tom Burckhardt, Jackie Ferrara, Louise Fishman, Graham Gund, Rick Joy, Tom Kundig, Yoko Ono, Catherine Opie, Mónica Ponce de León, Dread Scott, Arlene Shechet, Peter Shelton, Ed Smith, Ned Smyth, Gary Stephan, Mickalene Thomas, Leslie Wayne, and Jack Whitten.
When the class is inducted in October, these new members join a roster of over 2,280 artists and architects that date back to the Academy’s founding in 1825. NAs include leaders in their respective fields today, such as David Adjaye, Marina Abramović, Chuck Close, Frank Gehry, Ann Hamilton, Joel Shapiro, Cindy Sherman, Shahzia Sikander, Robert A. M. Stern, Carrie Mae Weems, Nick Cave, Andres Serrano, and Annabelle Selldorf; seminal figures like Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, and Louise Bourgeois; and early pioneers such as Thomas Cole, Ithiel Town, Frederic Church, Winslow Homer, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Cecilia Beaux, Thomas Eakins, and John Singer Sargent.
Election as an NA is the culmination of a thorough, substantive vetting process: candidates are nominated confidentially by a current member who presents an in-depth proposal that is supported by two other current NAs. After weeks of study, deliberation, and discussion, votes are cast at the institution’s Annual Meeting, held each spring. Only NAs may participate in the process, and a minimum of 60% of the votes cast must be in favor of the proposed candidates in order for them to be elected, making this process a unique, peer-driven honor that cannot be applied for or solicited."