President Donald J. Trump has appointed Rodney Mims Cook, Jr., Chas Fagan, Perry Guillot, and Steven Spandle to serve four-year terms on the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts in Washington, D.C.
Rodney Mims Cook, Jr. is founder and president of the National Monuments Foundation, an organization focused on the development of civic and historic restoration projects which led the design and construction of the Millennium Gate Museum in Atlanta. Mr. Cook coordinated the design competition and construction of the Prince of Wales’s World Athletes Monument for Atlanta’s 1996 Olympic Games. He designed the neo-Georgian Newington Cropsey Museum of Art in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, and he was the co-designer of a competition entry for the Dwight D. Eisenhower National Memorial that won the Commendation prize of the National Civic Art Society in 2011. His current projects include the development of three museum buildings and eighteen monuments for Rodney Cook Sr. Park, a rebuilt 19th-century Olmsted designed park in Atlanta, originally built by his family and now named after his father, a member of the Georgia House of Representatives in the 1960s and 70s. He is advising the Adams Family Memorial Commission on the site selection and design for a memorial library in Washington, D.C., dedicated to Presidents John and John Quincy Adams and their families.
Mr. Cook is a frequent speaker on urbanism, and has presented in forums such as the “Master Plan for 21st Century Havana Conference” in 2015; the “Museum of the of 21st Century and New Media Technologies” at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 2017; and the Congress of the New Urbanism’s “Cities and the Future of Global Urbanism on Land and Sea” at Burning Man in 2019. He was a founding trustee of the Prince of Wales’s Foundation for Architecture, a founding board member of the Institute for Classical Architecture and Art, and a charter signer of the Congress for the New Urbanism. He currently serves on the board of directors of the Hearst Castle Preservation Foundation, the Massachusetts Historical Society–Adams Family Papers, Atomic6 Technology, and the American University of Integrative Sciences; he is an emeritus board member of the Fox Theatre Incorporated of Atlanta and the Savannah College of Art and Design. He is a graduate of Washington and Lee University and is a visiting scholar at the American Academy in Rome.
Chas Fagan is a sculptor and painter whose works range from landscape and still-life paintings, to life-size portraits, to monumental bronze and stone sculptures informed by his interest in history. Among his many works are his statues of President Reagan in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol and the U.S. Embassy in Berlin; Young Neil Armstrong for Purdue University; the official White House portrait of First Lady Barbara Bush; a wall-sized painting of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s march to Montgomery; the official portrait of Mother Teresa for her canonization at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome; and a monumental bronze sculpture in Dallas, Non Sibi, in remembrance of the heroes of Flight 93. Recent commissions include a monumental statue of President Lyndon Johnson for the city of Houston and a statue of Reverend Billy Graham for the Statuary Hall Collection in the U.S. Capitol.
Mr. Fagan has been recognized for his work at the Washington National Cathedral, for which he has sculpted figures of Rosa Parks, Elie Wiesel, John Donne, and others, as well as the stone boss in the cathedral’s groin vault based on the Biblical passage Let Justice Roll Down Like Waters, and Righteousness Like an Ever-flowing Stream. In addition to pursuing detailed research on the events and individuals which his works portray, he strives to ensure that the interplay between art and its setting is coherent. In recognition of this approach, he was the 2005 recipient of the Eastman Johnson Award of the Union League Club of New York, and the Faith & Form Award of the American Institute of Architects’ “Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art & Architecture” in 2007. A self-taught artist, Chas graduated from Yale University with a degree in Soviet Studies.
Perry Guillot is the founder of Perry Guillot Inc. Landscape Architecture, a firm based in Southampton, New York, that specializes in a wide range of landscape design commissions for private clients and historic properties. Known for a picturesque, minimalist approach, the firm’s design work is informed by explorations into the direct and inevitable placement of plantings, with the belief that every project begins with the goal to relieve a garden from an overabundance of constructed elements. Intended to inspire a deeper awareness of the natural world, these lushly composed landscapes are guided by the perspective of an edited contemporary aesthetic. His completed projects include the Hannibal French House in Sag Harbor and the Lasta estate in East Hampton, both on Long Island; the Ravenel House on the Battery in Charleston, South Carolina; and the recently completed renovations of the Rose Garden and the Children’s Garden at the White House.
A native of Baton Rouge, Mr. Guillot received a bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from Louisiana State University. He served on the Planning Board of the Village of Southampton, New York, from 2008 to 2013, and co-chaired the annual “Landscape Pleasures” symposium at Southampton’s Parrish Art Museum from 2000 to 2005. In 2002, Mr. Guillot created the art installation Privet Lives, an illustrated outdoor exhibition in Southampton depicting the historic evolution of the privet shrub on Long Island, and he is also the author of the associated volume, Privet Lives: An Imaginary Tale of Southampton’s Iconic Shrub, published in 2004. His firm’s work has been widely published, including in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and Architectural Digest. He was the 2009 recipient of the Arthur Ross Award for Landscape Architecture of the Institute for Classical Art and Architecture.
Steven Spandle, NCARB, is the founding principal of Steven W. Spandle, Architect, a design firm based in the New York area. He is a practicing architect whose interests lie in classical architecture and the decorative arts; his practice is generally focused on single-family residential projects, ranging from new construction to historic preservation. He is the designer of the tennis pavilion on the White House grounds, completed in 2020.
Mr. Spandle currently serves on the board of the American Friends of Attingham, a non-profit organization that supports the study of historic houses and collections through the Attingham Trust, and he is an alumnus of the Attingham study program. He is a member of the Institute for Classical Art and Architecture and the Connoisseur Society of Mount Vernon. He received a bachelor of architecture degree from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a master of architecture degree from the University of Notre Dame.