Kirk Savage, history of art and architecture professor and art historian in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. With this selection, Savage joins an exclusive group of world leaders who promote nonpartisan recommendations that aim to advance the public good. Other 2021 members include media entrepreneur Oprah Winfrey, linguist Deborah Tannen, writer and photographer Teju Cole and theater critic Hilton Als, among other important scholars.
“I am so honored to become the latest of many Pitt faculty who have joined this amazing and impactful research academy, and I would like to thank especially my colleagues here who have given me so much support across my 30 years at this University,” Savage said.
Savage, a renowned expert of public monuments, is the author of two prizewinning books—"Monument Wars: Washington, D.C., the National Mall, and the Transformation of the Memorial Landscape" and "Standing Soldiers, Kneeling Slaves: Race, War, and Monument in Nineteenth-Century America." His most recent work explores public monuments and public art as they intersect with issues of loss, trauma, de-industrialization, militarism and racial justice.
“We are honoring the excellence of these individuals, celebrating what they have achieved so far and imagining what they will continue to accomplish,” said David Oxtoby, president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. “The past year has been replete with evidence of how things can get worse; this is an opportunity to illuminate the importance of art, ideas, knowledge and leadership that can make a better world.”
In addition to his research, Savage is also a highly sought voice in the national press regarding the history of Civil War statues and the removal of Confederate monuments across the country. Read his views in The Washington Post, Smithsonian Magazine, WESA and TIME.