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Yaddo Announces New Leadership

Two Artists Elected to Co-Chair Board

- Yaddo is under new leadership, having just elected two artists long associated with the organization, the author A.M. Homes and the photographer Susan Unterberg, to serve as Co-Chairs.

Susan Unterberg
Yaddo photo
A.M. Homes
Photo: Marion Ettlinger

Homes and Unterberg succeed Peter C. Gould, a New York City intellectual property attorney who is stepping down after 10 extremely successful years as Yaddo's Board Chairman. The new Co-Chairs – the first in Yaddo’s history to share the chairmanship, and the first former guest artists to take the helm – assumed their new positions at the annual meeting of The Corporation of Yaddo held September 7 at Yaddo.  

Gould said: “It has been both a distinct privilege and a delightful pleasure to serve in the leadership position of the wonderful and important cultural asset that is Yaddo, whose century of service to the creative process is unmatchable. After a decade in the position as Yaddo’s Chair, I am honoring the principle of term limits to refresh our Board. I am returning to Membership to continue my full support of Yaddo, confident that it is in the talented and energetic hands of those who will guide Yaddo through a future and continue to bring it to its full potential.”

Homes is the author of the novel May We Be Forgiven, which was awarded the 2013 International Women’s Prize for Fiction, as well as the novels This Book Will Save Your Life, Music For Torching, The End of Alice, In a Country of Mothers, and Jack, the short story collections Things You Should Know and The Safety of Objects, a best-selling memoir, The Mistress's Daughter, a travel memoir, Los Angeles: People, Places and The Castle on the Hill, and the artist's book Appendix A. Her work appears frequently in magazines and literary journals. Additionally, Homes has created original television pilots for HBO, FX and CBS and teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Princeton University.

Of her time at Yaddo, Homes has said: “Without Yaddo I wouldn’t exist as a writer. Yaddo gives artists the increasingly rare gift of a time and place to do one’s work, suspended from the intrusive buzz of the every day. I am forever indebted.”

Unterberg is a New York City-based photographer whose work is in the permanent collections of The Metropolitan Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Jewish Museum. In 2004, the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati mounted a mid-career retrospective of her work. Currently represented by the Yancey Richardson Gallery in New York, Unterberg's photographs and videos have been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions around the world. She also has received fellowships from MacDowell, Djerassi, and Bogliasco. Unterberg graduated from Sarah Lawrence College and received a Masters in Fine Arts from New York University.

“Besides giving me a place to work and grow as an artist, Yaddo provides an unparalleled opportunity for cross pollination of the arts. In addition, Yaddo has given me the opportunity to make so many wonderful friends,” Unterberg said.

Yaddo President Elaina Richardson said the change in leadership comes at a particularly fruitful period in Yaddo’s history that requires an engaged and active Board.

“Yaddo has been remarkably fortunate in its Board leadership, with dedicated, intelligent and forward-thinking stewardship for almost a century,” said Richardson. “Susan and A.M. are a terrific addition to that line of Chairs. They take the helm at an exciting time for Yaddo as we work to ensure a vibrant second century, building a version of Yaddo that is an invigorated, burnished, reiteration of the Trask’s original, inspired ideal.”

Yaddo is among the United States’ first and most acclaimed artists’ communities and has hosted more than 6,500 creative professionals. It was founded in 1900 by poet and playwright Katrina Trask and her financier husband, Spencer Trask. Earlier this year, Yaddo was designated a National Historic Landmark, in part because of its historic property, but based primarily on its essential role in nurturing and encouraging thousands of artists who have helped to define American culture.