Since 1909 the Academy has awarded Gold Medals for distinguished achievement in several different categories of the arts. Beginning in 1950, the Academy has awarded two medals a year in the rotating categories of Belles Lettres and Criticism, and Painting; Biography and Music; Fiction and Sculpture; History and Architecture (including Landscape Architecture); Poetry and Music; and Drama and Graphic Art. Gold Medals are given for the entire work of the recipient. The medal itself was designed in 1916 by Academician and noted sculptor and numismatist James Earle Fraser.
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