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Harper Lee to receive National Medal of Arts


Harper Lee, the author of "To Kill a Mockingbird," will be among 10 artists and authors to recieve the National Medal of Arts, the White House announced Tuesday. Ten other American icons will recieve the National Humanities Medal.

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Donald Hall will also recieve a National Medal of Arts, along with actress Meryl Streep, musicians Sonny Rollins, Quincy Jones, James Taylor and Van Cliburn, painter Mark di Suvero, theater champion Robert Brustein and an organization, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival.

The National Humanities Medal honors both creativity and scholarship. It will be presented to writers Joyce Carol Oates and Philip Roth and poet Wendell Berry. Scholars Jacques Barzun, Bernard Bailyn, Roberto González Echevarria, Arnold Rampersad and Gordon Wood will also recieve the Humanities medal, as will Stanley Nider Katz, president of the American Council of Learned Societies, and Daniel Aaron, founding president of the Library of America.

The National Medals of Arts and National Humanities Medals will be awarded together in a White House ceremony Wednesday. Most honorees are expected to attend, but Lee and Streep have said they will not be able to make it.


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Photo: Harper Lee made a rare public appearance in 2005 to accept the Los Angeles Public Library Literary Award, where she was photographed with library supporter Annette Bening. Credit: Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (6)

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BRAVO and Congratulations to Ms. Harper Lee!

Best wishes and in grateful appreciation, admiration, and Much Congratulations! to Ms. Lee on being most deservedly awarded the National Medal of Arts!

Gerald S.

Best wishes and in grateful appreciation, admiration, and Much Congratulations! to Ms. Lee on being most deservedly awarded the National Medal of Arts!

Most sincerely,
Gerald S.

Dear LA Times, here is a hint: "i before e, except after c"

And how the heck did your spell check not catch that? It's just embarrassing to see such an error in a major newspaper.

Harper Lee and her book, my favorite of all time, are what confirmed in me the desire to become an author myself. I have been blessed enough to fulfill that goal and will always be thankful for the day that I pulled her book from the library shelf and allowed her to transport me to another world, a world of animated but real characters that defied prejudice. She is my hero.

Please note that Mr. Mark di Suvero, while he certainly has made some paintings in his lengthy careeer, is PRIMARILY known as a sculptor. Perhaps the LAT should have hedged its bets and gone with the moniker 'artist', or taken five minutes to look it up and/or challenge the moniker from the original press release they received.


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