Earl A. Powell
National Gallery of Art
Museum administrator (art); Historian (art)
Humanities and Arts
Director, National Gallery of Art. Previously directed the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (1980-1992), which he transformed, according to Art in America magazine, "from a local institution to a museum of international stature." Powell is an expert on 19th- and 20th-century American and European art; his book on the American landscape painter Thomas Cole was published in 1990. Under Powell's leadership, the National Gallery of Art, which represents a partnership of federal and private resources, has added more than 12,000 works of art to its collection, established an award-winning Web site and a visitor-friendly interactive Micro Gallery, created innovative programs for children and families, opened a Sculpture Garden and a 25,000-square-foot suite of sculpture galleries featuring 900 works of art, and presented some 150 exhibitions. Powell was appointed by President Bush to serve on the National Council on the Arts, the advisory body of the National Endowment of the Arts. He also serves as a trustee of the American Federation of Arts, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the White House Historical Association, and the Georgia O'Keeffe Foundation, among others. He is a member of numerous arts organizations, including the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities and the National Portrait Gallery Commission. He has received numerous awards, including honorary doctorates from the Parsons Institute (1987) and Williams College (1993). He is a Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur (2000) and an Officier dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (2004), awarded by the French Government. Elected 2005.