The American Philosophical Society was founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin. The society honors distinguished scientists, social scientists, humanities scholars, artists, and societal leaders with membership in the society. More than 240 members of the APS have won Nobel prizes. Members have included George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Robert Frost, Thomas Edison, Sandra Day O’Connor, Charles Darwin, Toni Morrison, and Albert Einstein.
This year the society granted membership to 27 individuals. Of these, it appears that only one of the new members is an African American.
Kara Walker holds the Tepper Family Chair in Visual Arts at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Earlier, she was a professor of visual arts at Columbia University School of the Arts in New York City. Walker is a native of Stockton, California, and is a graduate of the Atlanta College of Art. She earned a master of fine arts degree at the Rhode Island School of Design.
Professor Walker is a former MacArthur Foundation Fellow. Her work is included in numerous museums and public collections including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Tate Gallery in London, the Centro Nazionale per le Arti Contemporanee in Rome, and Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt.