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Below is the video of today’s White House ceremony for the 24 recipients of the National Medals of Arts and Humanities.
Ironically, despite Obama’s appreciation (as stated during the ceremony) of the arts’ and humanities’ power “to open up minds and nourish souls,” he hasn’t yet managed to nominate new chairpersons for the National Endowments for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities. The acting chairs—Joan Shigekawa and Carole Watson, respectively—were in attendance this afternoon, as was (in Obama’s words) “the irrepressible Rocco Landesman,” former NEA chairman, who stepped down at the end of last year. (Jim Leach, former NEH chairman, who left his post in May, was absent from today’s proceedings.)
Kelly, who is being internationally celebrated in this, his 90th birthday year, was cited today for “his contributions as a painter, sculptor, and printmaker. A careful observer of form, color and the natural world, Mr. Kelly has shaped more than half a century of abstraction and remains a vital influence in American art.”
His moments of well deserved recognition and medaling occur at 15:50 in this clip: