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The National Medal of Arts is an award and title created by the United States Congress in 1984, for the purpose of honoring artists and patrons of the arts. It is the highest honor conferred to an individual artist on behalf of the people. Honorees are selected by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), and ceremoniously presented the award by the President of the United States.

The medal was designed for the NEA by sculptor Robert Graham.

Controversy

In 1997, poet Adrienne Rich refused her award as a protest against “inconsistencies” between art and “the cynical politics” of the Clinton White House administration.

Laureates

In 1983, prior to the official establishment of the Medal, the following artists and patrons received a medal from President Reagan, arranged by the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities:

1980s

1985 1986 1987
1988 1989



1990s

1990 1991 1992 1993 1994
1995 1996 1997 1998 1999



2000s

2005 National Medal of Arts awardees
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004
2005 2006 2007 2008



References

  1. Adrienne Rich's letter to The National Endowment for the Arts


External links




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