Photo: David Schulze


Arlene Shechet Inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters

Published Wednesday, Mar 24, 2023

Artist Arlene Shechet is among the nineteen new members and four honorary members inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters during its annual Ceremonial on May 24, 2023. During the ceremony, the Ukrainian writer Andrey Kurkov, who was inducted into Foreign Honorary membership, delivered the keynote address.

Shechet joins Pace artists Lynda Benglis, Robert Irwin, Maya Lin, Robert Mangold, Joel Shapiro, Kiki Smith, Julian Schnabel, James Turrell, and Richard Tuttle as an Academy member.


2023 Newly Elected Members


Maurice Cox, Merrill Elam, Michael Maltzan


Huma Bhabha, Shirin Neshat, Yvonne Rainer, Arlene Shechet


Percival Everett, Vivian Gornick, Yiyun Li, Phillip Lopate, Lore Segal, Anna Deavere Smith


Adolphus Hailstork, Carman Moore, Roger Reynolds, Maria Schneider, Wadada Leo Smith, Pamela Z

American Honorary:

Francis Ford Coppola, Frances McDormand

Foreign Honorary:

Andrey Kurkov, Cecilia Vicuña

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.

The Academy’s American Honorary membership, which began in 1983, recognizes up to twenty Americans of extraordinary artistic achievement whose work falls outside of or transcends the fields of architecture, art, literature, and music composition. Foreign Honorary membership, which was established in 1929, celebrates up to seventy-five distinguished architects, artists, writers, and composers from other countries whose work the Academy’s membership greatly admires.

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.

(opens in a new window) To learn more about this year's inductees, visit

  • News — Arlene Shechet Inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, May 24, 2023