President Barack Obama presented the National Medal of Arts this year to 10 recipients, including graphic designer Milton Glaser and architect Maya Lin, for their outstanding achievements in the arts.
Glaser was honored for a lifetime devoted to improving the way people communicate through innovation in graphic design, and for memorable visual artifacts that challenge contemporary artists and delight all Americans. Lin was honored for her profound work as an architect, artist, and environmentalist. Her vision for the National Vietnam Veterans Memorial epitomized the great pain the war caused and helped close an open wound.
Both were honored along with musician Bob Dylan, actor Clint Eastwood, actress Rita Moreno, singer Jessye Norman, arts patron Hon. Joseph P. Riley, Jr., artist Frank Stella, conductor Michael Tilson Thomas, and composer John Williams.
The National Medal of Arts is a White House initiative managed by the National Endowment for the Arts. Each year, the NEA organizes and oversees the National Medal of Arts nomination process and notifies the artists of their selection to receive a medal, the nation’s highest honor for artistic excellence.
“These individuals and organizations show us how many ways art works every day. They represent the breadth and depth of American architecture, design, film, music, performance, theatre, and visual art,” said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. “This lifetime honor recognizes their exceptional contributions, and I join the President and the country in saluting them.”
Over the years Graphis has published numerous stories on Glaser and Lin. To read some of these articles click on the links below.