President Obama Honors Puryear, Ashbery
Washington, DC (February 13, 2012) – Two artists long associated with Yaddo – sculptor Martin Puryear and poet John Ashbery – were among those honored Monday by President Obama in a White House awards ceremony.
President Obama, Martin Puryear
The President, joined by first lady Michelle Obama, presented a National Medal of Arts to Puryear and a National Humanities Medal to Ashbery.
Puryear, a former Yaddo resident and Board member, was cited for “…his reflections on history, culture and identity through sculpture.” In his statement introducing the sculptor, the President said: “Mr. Puryear’s mastery of wood, stone and metal, and his commitment to manual skill offer a stirring counterpoint to an increasingly digital world.”
Ashbery, an Emeritus Member of The Corporation of Yaddo, was honored for his contributions to American letters. The President said Ashbery’s work “has profoundly influenced generations of writers and garnered awards spanning the Pulitzer Prize to the Grand Prix de Biennales Internationales de Poésie.”