Biden replacing four Trump-appointed members of US Commission of Fine Arts

President Biden is replacing four members of the U.S. Commission on Fine Arts that were appointed by former President Trump.

Among the new appointees the White House announced Tuesday is Peter Cook, a principal at HGA Architects who’s work includes the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Also chosen is Bill Tsein, a partner at Tod Williams Billie Architects. The firm has been selected as the lead design team for former President Obama’s presidential library.

Biden has also selected Hazel Ruth Edwards, who is the chair of the Department of Architecture at Howard University’s College of Engineering and Architecture.

The president has also selected Justin Garrett Moore, who is the Inaugural Program Officer for the Humanities in Place Program at the Andrew Mellon Foundation. He was previously the executive director of the City of New York’ Public Design Commission.

The new members will not require Senate confirmation.

The move comes after the Biden Administration ousted the four commissioners appointed by Trump. A spokesperson for the commission confirmed to The Hill that the commissioners were informed that they had to resign by Monday night.

Justin Shubow, who was appointed in 2018 and elected commission chair in late January, provided NPR with a copy of the letter, which stated “should we not receive your resignation, your position with the Commission will be terminated effective 6:00 pm tonight.” Shubow told NPR that he declined the invitation to resign.

Perry Guillot, another commissioner who was appointed when Trump first took office, told NPR that he was “disappointed” by the letter, but accepted that his time on the commission was over.

According to The Washington Post, the other two commissioners were Chas Fagan and Steven Spandle. None of the commissioners submitted their resignation, the newspaper noted. Fagan told The Hill that he requested an explanation for the requested resignation. 

Shubow had a hand in an executive order Trump signed in December that declared federal buildings should “should uplift and beautify public spaces, inspire the human spirit, ennoble the United States, and command respect from the general public.” Biden reversed the order in February.

Updated: 8:59 p.m.

Tags Donald Trump Joe Biden U.S. Commission on Fine Arts

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