Adele Chatfield-Taylor (1984 Fellow) was AAR president from 1988 to 2013. In addition to restoration work on the buildings and gardens that began in the early 1990s, she was instrumental in establishing several key Academy positions and resources, including the Andrew Heiskell Arts Director, Drue Heinz Librarian, Arthur and Janet C. Ross Library, and Barbara Goldsmith Rare Book Room. This year, the Academy awarded the inaugural Adele Chatfield-Taylor Rome Prize in Historic Preservation.
During her keynote at the recent The Academy as a Mirror of Change: 125 Years of Art and Humanities conference, Chatfield-Taylor said that “historic preservation has nothing whatever to do with nostalgia, which is what we’re always accused of, but instead the universal human need to understand and participate in the continuity of life on Earth—and it’s a creative act.” She approached the task of restoring the crumbling Academy by recognizing its living nature, its soul. Improvements were for not only the buildings and gardens but also the Fellowships and the endowment, raised to $110 million.
While in Rome as a Resident, Chatfield-Taylor put the finishing touches on her contribution to AAR’s forthcoming oral-history project. She also began planning for a new publication reviewing the arc of historic preservation at AAR, the first in a series of discipline-specific publications.