Department of Art professor Catherine Opie received Smithsonian's 2016 Archives of American Art Medal, which honors the unique contributions of significant artists, collectors, dealers, historians and philanthropists in the American art world.
The Archives of American Art is the world’s pre-eminent and most widely used research center dedicated to collecting, preserving, and providing access to primary sources that document the history of the visual arts in America. Founded in Detroit in 1954 by Edgar P. Richardson, then director of the Detroit Institute of Arts, and Lawrence A. Fleischman, a Detroit executive and active young collector, the initial goal of the archives was to serve as microfilm repository; this mission expanded quickly to collecting and preserving original material. In 1970, the archives joined the Smithsonian Institution, sharing its mandate: the increase and diffusion of knowledge.
Opie’s work has been exhibited around the world. Currently, her photographs are being presented in Reinventing Photography: The Robert E. Meyerhoff and Rheda Becker Collection, which is on view now through Mar. 5 at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. In addition, Catherine Opie: 700 Nimes Road, which traveled from MOCA Pacific Design Center to the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, New York, will be on view through Jan. 8; and Ecce homo/Behold the Man will be on view at the Museum de Fundatie, in Zwolle, Netherlands through Jan.15.
Opie was inducted into the National Academy last October, along with Yoko Ono, Shigeru Ban and Jack Whitten. The academy is a lively community of artists, architects, educators, students, museum-goers and those dedicated to the arts in America. Election as an academician recognizes an artist's exceptional creative work and contribution to the arts.