Professor of Art Ed Smith Inducted into Prestigious National Academy


POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. (Nov. 21, 2016) – Professor of Art Ed Smith was recently inducted as a member of the National Academy, an honorary association of artists and architects established in 1825 to "promote the fine arts in America through instruction and exhibition."

National Academicians include more than 400 prominent artists – people like Chuck Close, Maya Lin, and Richard Serra – and through its history has counted the likes of Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, and Louis Comfort Tiffany as members.

Smith, who also serves as director of the Marist Art Gallery and the college’s Venice Biennale program, is an internationally-recognized artist. His, which is primarily concerned with mythic and heroic aspects of artist and man, is represented in public and private collections in the United States and abroad.  


"This nod from the National Academy means a great deal to me," Smith said after the New York City ceremony, where he was formally inducted along with the other 19 members of the Class of 2016. "It means there are still people out there who value things like the dignity of labor, the integrity of discipline, and a reason to believe. It means that I'm not alone."

"I, like Ajax, am not a man for speech, but sometimes it is important," Smith continued. "This recognition reflects as much upon Marist College as it does upon my work. Because the Marist faculty, administration, and especially the students have been a constant source of support for me and my work. The College recognizes the importance of creativity and disciplined hard work, which is one of the many ways that it is a unique, vital, and important institution."

The Academy has deep ties to the Hudson River Valley. Its founding members included Thomas Cole, founder of the Hudson River School of art, and Samuel F.B. Morse, whose Locust Grove estate lies just south of the Marist College campus in Poughkeepsie.

"The National Academy is delighted and honored to welcome Ed Smith as one of our newly elected National Academicians," said Diana Thompson, Senior Curator of the Collection at the National Academy Museum.

"Deservedly, he is now a part of our institution’s artistic lineage that includes the likes of Frederic Church, Thomas Eakins, Louise Bourgeois, and many other artistic pioneers and leaders who helped define and shape the cultural landscape of this country over the course of nearly two centuries," Thompson added. "Smith’s unwavering dedication to his artistic practice is perfectly in tune with the National Academy’s mission, and we could not be more thrilled to have him as a new member."


"We are delighted to welcome this year's class and recognize their important work," says Bruce Fowle, NA and President of the Academy. "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."

As members, the NAs serve as ambassadors for the arts in America. They show their work at the National Academy Museum, teach in the National Academy School, and in keeping with an almost 200-year tradition, contribute a piece to the Academy's collection.

This permanent collection of over 7,700 works represents one of the nation's most significant holdings of American art and architecture and includes work ranging from the Hudson River School and the Romantic era of the early 19th century to today's contemporary and Digital Age. The institution's archive continues to grow in depth and diversity with each year's election.

About Ed Smith


Ed Smith on What Art Should be About

Ed Smith's work is primarily concerned with mythic and heroic aspects of Artist and Man and is represented in public and private collections in the United States and abroad. These include The British Museum, The Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium, Ministry of the Flemish Community, The Hood Museum, the Davis Museum, Yale University Art Gallery, and more. Smith has had over 70 solo exhibitions and been a part of many group exhibitions including those at the Queens Museum, Brooklyn Museum, Royal Scottish Academy, Hillwood Art Museum, Caversham Press in South Africa, Fleming Museum, Schenectady Museum, Albright-Knox Museum, Albrecht-Kemper Museum, Arkell Museum and others. His work has been written about and reviewed in The New York Times, Sculpture Magazine, Baltimore Evening Sun, Art News, Miami Herald, Albany Times Union, Giornale Dell'Arte, San Francisco Examiner, Art New England, and others.

Smith currently holds the positions of Gallery Director, Director of Marist Venice Biennale Program, and Professor of Art at Marist College, and held previous positions as a Visiting Artist, Lecturer, Artist-in-Residence, Professor, and Distinguished Visiting Artist at American University, Bennington College, Bard College, Brandeis University, Boston University, Clark University, Dartmouth College, Dia Art Center, Kansas State University, Lacoste School of the Arts in France, New York Studio School, Parsons School of Art, Pratt Institute, Swarthmore College, School of Visual Arts, Trumbull College, University of New Hampshire, University of Pennsylvania, Vermont Studio Center, University of Tel Aviv, Israel, and many others.

Among his numerous awards and honors are awards for Teaching Excellence, National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts, Teaching Excellence Marist College, Ford Foundation Grant, First Alternate Prix de Rome, Fulbright Award, Associate Fellow Trumbull College, Yale University, and the New York State Council on the Arts. Smith is a Guggenheim Fellow in Sculpture and Drawing and a former associate member of the Royal British Society of Sculptors.

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