New York, NY, May 7, 2015 – At its annual awards ceremony in May, the American Academy of Arts and Letters will induct five new foreign honorary members, and present the organization’s highest honors: the Gold Medals for Music and Poetry, the Williams Dean Howells Medal for the best novel published in the last five years, and the Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts. The recipients of these special honors were chosen by vote of the 250 members of the Academy. Following the ceremony, an exhibition of art, architecture, books, and manuscripts will be on view in the Academy’s galleries from May 21 to June 14.
Newly Elected Foreign Honorary Members of the Academy
MARGARET ATWOOD, writer of Canada
ROBERTO CALASSO, writer of Italy
PETER MAXWELL DAVIES, composer of England
R. MURRAY SCHAFER, composer of Canada
KAZUYO SEJIMA, architect of Japan
William Dean Howells Medal
WILLIAM H. GASS
for Middle C
The Gold Medal for Music
The Gold Medal for Poetry
Award for Distinguished Service to the Arts
The American Academy of Arts and Letters was established in 1898 to “foster, assist, and sustain an interest in literature, music, and the fine arts,” and is chartered by Congress. Founding members include William Merritt Chase, Kenyon Cox, Daniel Chester French, Childe Hassam, Henry James, Theodore Roosevelt, Elihu Vedder, and Woodrow Wilson. Each year, the Academy gives approximately one million dollars in awards to artists, architects, writers, and composers. It presents exhibitions of art, architecture, and manuscripts, and subsidizes readings and performances of new musicals. The 117-year-old organization is located in three landmark buildings, designed by McKim, Mead & White, Cass Gilbert, and Charles Pratt Huntington, on Audubon Terrace at 155 Street and Broadway.