Guggenheim Fellowship Awards, 2010
April 14, 2010
Edward Hirsch, the president of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, announced today that in its eighty-sixth annual competition for the United States and Canada the Foundation has awarded 180 Fellowships to artists, scientists, and scholars. The successful candidates were chosen from a group of some 3,000 applicants.
Guggenheim Fellows are appointed on the basis of achievement and exceptional promise. One of the hallmarks of the Guggenheim Fellowship program is the diversity of its Fellows. The ages of this year's Fellows range from twenty-seven to seventy-three, and their Fellowship projects will carry them to all parts of the United States and Canada and around the globe.
The projects supported by this year's Fellowships are as varied as the Fellows themselves. For example, Gauvin Alexander Bailey will be studying Rococo art and spirituality in South America, while Adam Begley will be writing a biography of John Updike; C. Josh Donlan will be applying his conservation knowledge to building an environmental social network; and Judith S. Eisen will continue her investigation of the role of resident microbes in nervous system development and function. Petr Janata will be further developing his investigation of what music-evoked autobiographical memories can tell us about the functional organization of the brain; and Sheila Jasanoff of Harvard will be conducting a comparative study of nature-culture relations.
In Imagining New York," artist Lothar Osterburg, himself an immigrant to the United States, seeks to capture in photogravure, sculpture, and video the city as dreamt of and viewed by the wave of immigrants flowing into it from the 1860s to the 1930s. Kimberlee Acquaro plans a documentary film called I'll Rise that will celebrate the tenacity and spirit of African Americans in the face of bigotry and institutionalized inequality, through portraits of centenarians such as Wallace Bucky" Williams, the oldest surviving Negro League baseball player, and Gertrude Baines, the daughter of slaves. Choreographer Jane Comfort will create a dance/theater work exploring the metamorphosis over the past half century of the American notion of female beauty. Kimiko Hahn, a Distinguished Professor of English at Queens College, CUNY, will be working on her fifth book of poetry, inspired by her fascination with botany, entomology, and marine biology. Composer Kenny Werner plans to compose and record a choir piece and a string quartet to complement No Beginning, No End, his 2007 suite for a thirty-five piece wind ensemble.
In all, fifty-nine disciplines and sixty-five different academic institutions are represented by this year's Fellows. Sixty Fellows are unaffiliated or hold only adjunct or part-time positions at universities. As in past years, supplemental support for these unaffiliated Fellows is provided by the Leon Levy Foundation. The Dorothy Tapper Goldman Foundation has again funded a Fellowship in Constitutional Studies.
According to President Hirsch, since its establishment in 1925 the Foundation has granted over $281 million in Fellowships to more than 16,900 individuals. Time and again, the Foundation's choice of Fellows has proved prescient: thousands of celebrated alumni and scores of Nobel, Pulitzer, and other prizewinners grace its rolls.
In a time of decreased funding for individuals in the arts, humanities, and sciences, the Guggenheim Fellowship program is all the more important. The continued and ever more generous donations from friends, Trustees, former Fellows, and other foundations have ensured that the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation will be able to continue the mission Senator and Mrs. Simon Guggenheim set for it: to add to the educational, literary, artistic, and scientific power of this country, and also to provide for the cause of better international understanding."