Dr. David J. Skorton is the 13th Secretary of the Smithsonian. Skorton, a board-certified cardiologist, previously was the president of Cornell University, a position he held from July 2006. He was also a professor in the Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City and in Cornell’s Department of Biomedical Engineering at the College of Engineering. An ardent and nationally recognized supporter of the arts and humanities, Skorton has called for a national dialogue to emphasize the importance of funding for these disciplines.
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Rebecca Rabinow is the Director of the Menil Collection in Houston, Texas. Prior to joining the Menil, she served as a member of the Metropolitan Museum of Art curatorial staff from 1990-2016. Rabinow was the founding Curator-in-Charge of the Met’s Leonard A. Lauder Research Center for Modern Art and helped organize more than twenty special exhibitions at the Museum, including award-winning shows on Cubism and Matisse. Rabinow draws on her expertise as a museum curator, researcher, and director in considering the varied challenges facing the art world today. READ MORE
David Marcus is a theater artist and a senior contributor to The Federalist. Marcus’s writing has also appeared in numerous publications, including National Review, New York Times, New York Post, and City Journal. Marcus is the Artistic Director of Blue Box World, a Brooklyn-based theater project. His plays have appeared on the stages of Bowery Poetry Club, D-Lounge, and Galapagos Art Space. A former member of the Bat Acting Company at the Flea Theater, he has performed at the Kennedy Center and Theater for the New City, among many others. Marcus brings a conservative perspective to his journalism as well as to his art, using both as means to examine various issues faced by artists and the nation at large today. READ MORE
María Magdalena Campos-Pons is a Cuban-born artist who addresses the unique and resilient nature of her heritage through photography, performance, painting, sculpture, film, and video. Last year, she joined the faculty at Vanderbilt University as the Cornelius Vanderbilt Professor of Studio Art. She has had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Peabody Essex Museum, and the National Gallery of Canada, among other distinguished institutions. In addition to her visual work, Campos-Pons has presented over thirty solo performances commissioned by institutions including the Guggenheim and The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. Her art is a powerful investigation of history, trauma, memory, and the formation of identity. READ MORE
Peter Schjeldahl is the senior art critic at the New Yorker, where he’s written since 1998. Prior to his tenure at the New Yorker, Schjeldahl wrote on art for the Village Voice (1990–1998) and a number of other publications, including Artforum, Art in America, New York Times, Vogue, and Vanity Fair. Schjeldahl has published several books of poetry as well as art criticism, including The Hydrogen Jukebox: Selected Writings, and Let’s See: Writings on Art from The New Yorker. He has received the Clark Prize, the Frank Jewett Mather Award, the Howard Vursell Memorial Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He is known for his lively and witty prose, which celebrates art while reveling in the beauty and power of language. READ MORE
(Banner image: Nam June Paik, "Electronic Superhighway: Continental U.S., Alaska, Hawaii" Smithsonian American Art Museum, © Nam June Paik Estate, Gift of the artist)