The Office of Art in Embassies Announces Fifth Iteration of the American Artist Lecture Series with Julie Mehretu

Media Note
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
September 18, 2014

The Department of State’s Office of Art in Embassies (AIE) is pleased to announce the fifth iteration of the AIE American Artist Lecture Series, on September 22 at Tate Modern-London. In celebration of AIE’s 50th anniversary and in collaboration with Embassy London, the three-year-long program began in 2012 and will feature a total of six noted American artists.

Julie Mehretu, the fifth artist to participate in the lecture series, will speak with Tim Marlow, Director of Artistic Programmes at The Royal Academy.

Her work has been described by curator Douglas Fogle as ‘perfect metaphors for the increasingly interconnected and complex character of the 21st century. She frequently works on a large scale layering different media in compositions that make reference to contemporary issues of place, space, and time.

Born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 1970, Mehretu now lives and works in New York City and Berlin. She is a recipient of many awards, including The MacArthur Award (2005), the Berlin Prize: Guna S. Mundheim Fellowship at The American Academy in Berlin, Germany (2007) and the Barnett and Annalee Newman Award (2013).

Tate Modern, with 45 million visitors since it was established in 2000 as part of the Tate Britain, is a catalyst for the transformation of public attitudes toward the visual arts in the United Kingdom.

AIE was established by the Museum of Modern Art in 1953, and formalized as part of the Department of State by the Kennedy Administration in 1963. It is one of the United States’ premier public-private partnership arts organizations, with over 20,000 individual and institutional participants, and a presence in some 200 venues in 189 countries worldwide. AIE furthers U.S. diplomacy through the power of the visual arts by expansive, international cultural exchange initiatives.

For more information about the event or AIE, please contact Welmoed Laanstra at 703-875-4381 or visit For more information about the participation of U.S. Embassy London in this program and other arts programs, contact Kathryn Crockart at or +44-20-7499-9000.