On Tuesday afternoon, President Biden announced four new U.S. Commission of Fine Arts appointees, replacing four commissioners appointed by President Trump.
On Tuesday afternoon, President Biden announced his intention to appoint four new members to the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, the body that oversees design and architecture of federal buildings in Washington, D.C. Their positions are appointed by the President, and do not need to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
The four intended appointees are meant to replace four commissioners who had been installed by President Trump, and who helped shape a controversial executive order intended to promote neoclassical architecture as the official style for federal buildings in Washington and at new federal courthouses elsewhere.
A White House official told NPR: “President Biden is proud to nominate this extremely qualified and well-respected group of professionals to the Commission on Fine Arts. They will bring to the commission a diversity of background and experience, as well as a range of aesthetic viewpoints.”
The four are Peter Cook, a principal at HGA Architects whose past projects include the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture; Hazel Ruth Edwards, a professor and chair of Howard University’s Department of Architecture; Justin Garrett Moore, the inaugural program officer of the Humanities in Place program at the Andrew Mellon Foundation; and Billie Tsien, a partner at Todd Williams Billie Tsien Architects, whose firm designed the Barack Obama Presidential Center.
On Twitter in December 2020, Moore quoted a Bloomberg article that noted of Trump’s choices: “All seven members of the Commission on Fine Arts are now white men…. Trump’s fully staffed commission is the first to include only men since 1963 and the first all-white one in a decade.”