Guild Hall’s 35th Academy of the Arts
Achievement Awards Dinner
Honoring Dorothea Rockburne, Salman Rushdie,
Barry Sonnenfeld, and Ted Hartley
Tuesday, March 3
The Rainbow Room, New York
Guild Hall is excited to announce the recipients of the 35th Academy of the Arts Achievement Awards at the iconic Rainbow Room in NYC on March 3.
Chosen by their peers for excellence in the literary, visual, and performing arts categories, this year’s winners are Salman Rushdie for Literary Arts, Dorothea Rockburne for Visual Arts, and Barry Sonnenfeld for Performing Arts. A Special Award for Leadership and Philanthropy will be presented to Ted Hartley. The ceremony is hosted by Academy of the Arts President, Guild Hall Trustee, and famed artist Eric Fischl, while writer and Vogue theater critic Adam Green is the evening’s Emcee. Awards will be presented to the honorees by Richard Armstrong, Alec Baldwin, Kelly Ripa, and Taryn Simon.
The 2020 award winners join an impressive list of past honorees including Laurie Anderson, Alec Baldwin, Blythe Danner, Willem de Kooning, Roy Lichtenstein, Sarah Jessica Parker, Steven Spielberg, and Bruce Weber. The Special Award for Leadership and Philanthropy has previously been awarded to Jo Carole and Ronald Lauder, as well as Peter Jennings, to name a few.
Salman Rushdie will receive the award for Literary Arts from artist Taryn Simon. Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2007 for his services to literature and ranked among the 50 greatest British writers since 1945 by The Times, Rushdie is the author of 14 novels, a collection of short stories, four works of non-fiction, and two anthologies. His fourth novel, The Satanic Verses(1988), was the subject of major controversy, provoking protests and a fatwa from the Middle East. His most recent novel, Quichotte, was shortlisted for this year’s Booker Prize. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a Distinguished Writer in Residence at New York University.
Dorothea Rockburne will be awarded for excellence in Visual Arts by Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, Richard Armstrong. Rockburne’s
interest in astronomy, cosmology, and a lifelong fascination with ancient Egyptian proportion and light, shapes her work. She is featured in the collections of MoMA, New York; Dia Art Foundation, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; The Brooklyn Museum, New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris, France as well as countless other galleries and private collections. Her drawings from the Michael and Juliet Rubenstein collection are currently featured in an exhibition at the Met Breuer through March 29, 2020.
Barry Sonnenfeld will receive the award in the Performing Arts category from popular talk show host and friend, Kelly Ripa. Sonnenfeld is best known for directing blockbuster
movies such as The Addams Family, Addams Family Values, Get Shorty, and the Men in Black trilogy. Ahead of his directorial debut, Sonnenfeld also served as director of photography on Penny Marshall’s Big, Danny DeVito’s Throw Momma from The Train, and two Rob Reiner films, When Harry Met Sally and Misery. Most recently, Sonnenfeld was executive producer and show runner on Netflix’s award- winning series A Series of Unfortunate Events, which ran for three seasons. Sonnenfeld has received the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series and the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy Series for Pushing Daisies – ‘Pie-lette.’ He recently completed his memoir, Barry Sonnenfeld, Call Your Mother, Memoirs of a Neurotic Filmmaker, which will be published by Hachette on March 10.
The Special Award for Leadership and Philanthropy will be presented to Ted Hartley by Alec Baldwin. Hartley is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (Oscars) and is a Tony voter. Son of the president of Northwestern Bell Telephone Company (AT&T) and educated at Georgetown and Harvard, Hartley went on to become a jet fighter pilot, a White House Aide in the Kennedy-Eisenhower era, a US Olympic wrestling finalist, a successful banker, actor, and finally, CEO of RKO pictures. He has produced dozens of films, television movies, and Broadway shows. His most recent stage production, Top Hat, opened on London’s West End in the spring of 2012 and won the Olivier Award for the Best New Musical.
Hartley was married to the late Dina Merrill, considered to be “Hollywood’s new Grace Kelly” in 1959. As a 22nd surprise wedding
anniversary gift, Hartley donated $1M to Guild Hall in her name to honor her dream of giving “opportunities for great works of experimental theatre as well as classics”. They appeared together on stage at Guild Hall in Dawn O’ Leary’s A Delicate Arrangement in 2005. When Merrill struggled with declining health, Hartley initiated art classes in their home, inviting her friends to join. “It gave her pals an easy way to see her and to do something together,” said Hartley. After Merrill’s passing, Hartley continued the group art class, now fully exploring his own found passion for painting, which has become a major force in his creative life. In the fall of 2019, his first one-artist opening at Keyes Art in Sag Harbor sold out most of the offerings.
Tickets to the Academy of the Arts Achievement Awards Dinner can be purchased by calling the Special Events Department at 631-324-0806 or visiting guildhall.org.
Funds raised benefit Guild Hall’s mission of celebrating the artistic spirit on the East End by educating, inspiring, and enriching diverse audiences with engaging year-round programming.
The Guild Hall Academy Dinner is sponsored by Robert A.M. Stern Architects.
Media Sponsor: Hamptons Magazine.
Co-Chairs of Guild Hall’s Academy of the Arts Achievement Awards
Laurie Anderson, Ed and Frances Barlow, Taylor Barton and G.E. Smith, Christine Berry, Bobbie Braun – The Neuwirth Foundation, Mary Jane and Charles Brock, Marty and Michele Cohen, Lucy and Steven Cookson, Florence and Richard Fabricant, April Gornik and Eric Fischl, Agnes Gund, Susan Jacobson, Stephanie Joyce and Jim Vos, Patti Askwith Kenner, Barbara and Richard S. Lane, Dorothy Lichtenstein, Linda Lindenbaum, NancyJane and Jeffrey Loewy, Ninah Lynne, Sondra and David S. Mack, Linda Macklowe, Rima Mardoyan Smyth, Susan and Morris Mark, Galia Meiri-Stawski and Axel Stawski, Stephen J. Meringoff, Cheryl and Michael Minikes, Ellen Myers, Alice Netter, Pamela and Edward Pantzer, Sheri Sandler and Mark Schneider, Lisa Schultz, Cindy and John Shea, Cindy Sherman, Renée and Richard Steinberg, Mary Stone, Stephanie L. Todd, Susan Vecsey, Kathleen Walsh and Gene Bernstein, Lyn and E.T. Williams Jr., Pauline Willis, Peter M. Wolf, Kenneth L. Wyse, Nina Yankowitz and Barry Holden.
Photo by Jess Dalene
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Guild Hall, one of the first multidisciplinary centers in the country to combine a museum, theater, and education space under one roof, was established in 1931 as a gathering place for community where an appreciation for the arts would serve to encourage greater civic participation. For nearly nine decades, Guild Hall has embraced this open-minded vision and provided a welcoming environment for the public to engage with art exhibitions, performances, and educational offerings. Art and artists have long been the engine of Guild Hall’s activities and the institution continues to find innovative ways to support creativity in everyone.