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Photo: Kevin Scott

Tom Kundig Announced as 2016 National Academician Inductee


Olson Kundig is proud to announce that Tom Kundig, Principal and Owner, has been included in the 2016 class of National Academician members (NAs). Elected by peers, the inductees are chosen in recognition of their exceptional contributions to American art and architecture, as well as 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 on October 25, the new members will 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 Abramovic, 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.

We are delighted to welcome this year’s class and recognize their important work. The 15 artists range from sculptors dedicated to classical themes to performance artists working to positively shape political discourse. The five architects are innovators in building fabrication, historic preservation, and ecologically minded design. Together they represent diverse regions and practices across the United States. The group is a wonderful reflection of American culture, and we look forward to adding their unique visions to our historic lineage. Bruce Fowle, NA and President of the Academy

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 the process a unique, peer-driven honor that cannot be applied for or solicited.

In response to the announcement of his induction into the 2016 class of National Academician members, Tom Kundig, said, “I could not be more excited and frankly, humbled to join the 2016 National Academician inductees. I have tremendous admiration for the tireless work the National Academy undertakes to preserve the architectural, artistic, and cultural heritage of the United States. I look forward to serving as an ambassador and supporting the mission of the National Academy over the months and years to come.”