National Endowment for the Arts  
Lifetime Honors
  National Medal of Arts  

See listing in alphabetical order >


Herb Alpert - Musician and Producer
Lin Arison - Arts Patron
Joan Myers Brown - Dance Instructor
Renée Fleming - Soprano
Ernest Gaines - Author
Ellsworth Kelly - Visual Artist
Tony Kushner - Playwright
George Lucas - Director and Producer
Elaine May - Writer, Director, and Performer
Laurie Olin - Landscape Architect
Allen Toussaint - Musician and Producer
Washington Performing Arts Society - Presenter


Will Barnet - painter and printmaker
Rita Dove - poet and author
Al Pacino - actor
Emily Rauh Pulitzer - contemporary arts patron and philanthropist
Martin Puryear - contemporary sculptor
Mel Tillis - singer, songwriter
André Watts - classical pianist
USO (United Service Organizations) - morale and recreational service provider to
   the United States Military


Robert Brustein - theater critic, producer, playwright, educator
Van Cliburn - pianist, music educator
Mark di Suvero - sculptor
Donald Hall - poet
Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival - dance festival
Quincy Jones - musician, music producer
Harper Lee - author
Sonny Rollins - jazz musician
Meryl Streep - actress
James Taylor - singer, songwriter


Bob Dylan - singer, songwriter
Clint Eastwood - director, actor
Milton Glaser - graphic designer
Maya Lin - artist, designer
Rita Moreno - singer, dancer, actress
Jessye Norman - soprano
Oberlin Conservatory of Music - conservatory
Hon. Joseph P. Riley, Jr. - arts patron, design advocate
Frank Stella - painter, sculptor
The School of American Ballet - ballet school
Michael Tilson Thomas - conductor
John Wiliams - composer, conductor


Olivia de Havilland - actress
Fisk Jubilee Singers - choral ensemble
Ford's Theatre Society - theater and museum
Hank Jones - jazz musician
José Limón Dance Foundation - modern dance company and institute
Stan Lee - comic book writer, producer
Jesús Moroles - sculptor
The Presser Foundation - music patron
The Sherman Brothers - songwriting team


Morten Lauridsen - composer
N. Scott Momaday - author, essayist, poet, professor, painter
Roy R. Neuberger - arts patron
R. Craig Noel - Old Globe Theatre director
Les Paul - guitarist, inventor
Henry Steinway - arts patron
George Tooker - painter
University of Idaho Lionel Hampton International Jazz Festival - music competition and festival
Andrew Wyeth - painter


William Bolcom - composer
Cyd Charisse - dancer
Roy R. DeCarava - photographer
Wilhelmina Holladay - arts patron
Interlochen Center for the Arts - school of fine arts
Erich Kunzel - conductor
Preservation Hall Jazz Band - jazz ensemble
Gregory Rabassa - literary translator
Viktor Schreckengost - industrial designer, sculptor
Dr. Ralph Stanley - bluegrass musician


Louis Auchincloss - author
James DePreist - symphony orchestra conductor
Paquito D'Rivera - jazz musician, composer, writer
Robert Duvall - actor
Leonard Garment - arts patron and advocate
Ollie Johnston - film animator and artist
Wynton Marsalis - trumpeter, composer, Jazz at Lincoln Center
    artistic director
Dolly Parton - singer, songwriter
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts - school of fine arts, museum
Tina Ramirez - choreographer, Ballet Hispanico artistic director


Andrew W. Mellon Foundation - philanthropic foundation
Ray Bradbury - author
Carlisle Floyd - opera composer
Frederick Hart - sculptor
Anthony Hecht - poet
John Ruthven - wildlife artist
Vincent Scully - architectural historian and educator
Twyla Tharp - contemporary dance choreographer


Austin City Limits - PBS television program
Beverly Cleary - writer
Rafe Esquith - arts educator
Suzanne Farrell - dancer, choreographer, company director, educator
Buddy Guy - blues musician
Ron Howard - actor, director, writer, producer
Mormon Tabernacle Choir - choral group
Leonard Slatkin - symphony orchestra conductor
George Strait - country singer, songwriter
Tommy Tune - dancer, actor, choreographer, director


Florence Knoll Bassett - architect
Trisha Brown - artistic director, choreographer, dancer
Philippe de Montebello - museum director
Uta Hagen - actress, drama teacher
Lawrence Halprin - landscape architect
Al Hirschfeld - artist, illustrator
George Jones - country music composer, performer
Ming Cho Lee - theater designer
William "Smokey" Robinson - songwriter, musician


Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation - modern dance company and school
Rudolfo Anaya - writer
Johnny Cash - singer, songwriter
Kirk Douglas - actor, producer
Helen Frankenthaler - painter
Judith Jamison - artistic director, choreographer, dancer
Yo-Yo Ma - cellist
Mike Nichols - director, producer


Maya Angelou - poet, writer
Eddy Arnold - country singer
Mikhail Baryshnikov - dancer, director
Benny Carter - jazz musician
Chuck Close - painter
Horton Foote - playwright, screenwriter
Lewis Manilow - arts patron
National Public Radio, Cultural Programming Division - broadcaster
Claes Oldenburg - sculptor
Itzhak Perlman - violinist
Harold Prince - theater director, producer
Barbra Streisand - entertainer, filmmaker


Irene Diamond - arts patron
Aretha Franklin - singer
Michael Graves - architect, designer
The Juilliard School - performing arts school
Norman Lear - producer, writer, director, advocate
Rosetta LeNoire - actress, producer
Harvey Lichtenstein - arts administrator
Lydia Mendoza - singer
Odetta - singer, music historian
George Segal - sculptor
Maria Tallchief - ballerina


Jacques d'Amboise - dancer, choreographer, educator
Antoine "Fats" Domino - rock 'n' roll pianist, singer
Ramblin' Jack Elliott - folk singer, songwriter
Frank Gehry - architect
Barbara Handman - arts advocate
Agnes Martin - visual artist
Gregory Peck - actor, producer
Roberta Peters - opera singer
Philip Roth - writer
Sara Lee Corporation - corporate arts patron
Steppenwolf Theatre Company - arts organization
Gwen Verdon - actress, dancer


Louise Bourgeois - sculptor
Betty Carter - jazz vocalist
Agnes Gund - arts patron
Daniel Urban Kiley - landscape architect
Angela Lansbury - actor
James Levine - opera conductor, pianist
MacDowell Colony - artist colony
Tito Puente - Latin percussionist, musician
Jason Robards - actor
Edward Villella - dancer, choreographer
Doc Watson - bluegrass guitarist, vocalist


Edward Albee - playwright
Boys Choir of Harlem - performing arts youth group
Sarah Caldwell - opera conductor
Harry Callahan - photographer
Zelda Fichandler - theater director, founder
Eduardo "Lalo" Guerrero - composer, musician
Lionel Hampton - musician, bandleader
Bella Lewitzky - dancer, choreographer, teacher
Vera List - arts patron
Robert Redford - actor, director, producer
Maurice Sendak - writer, illustrator, designer
Stephen Sondheim - composer, lyricist


Licia Albanese - opera singer
Gwendolyn Brooks - poet
B. Gerald and Iris Cantor - arts patrons
Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee - actors
David Diamond - composer
James Ingo Freed - architect
Bob Hope - entertainer
Roy Lichtenstein - painter, sculptor
Arthur Mitchell - dancer, choreographer
William S. Monroe - bluegrass musician
Urban Gateways - arts education organization


Harry Belafonte - singer, actor
Dave Brubeck - pianist, bandleader, composer
Celia Cruz - singer
Dorothy DeLay - violin teacher
Julie Harris - actress
Erick Hawkins - dance choreographer
Gene Kelly - dancer, singer, actor
Pete Seeger - composer, lyricist, vocalist, banjo player
Catherine Filene Shouse - arts patron
Wayne Thiebaud - artist, teacher
Richard Wilbur - poet, teacher, critic, literary translator
Young Audiences - arts presenter


Walter and Leonore Annenberg - arts patrons
Cabell "Cab" Calloway - singer, bandleader
Ray Charles - singer, musician
Bess Lomax Hawes - folklorist
Stanley Kunitz - poet, educator
Robert Merrill - baritone
Arthur Miller - playwright
Robert Rauschenberg - artist
Lloyd Richards - theatrical director
William Styron - writer
Paul Taylor - dancer, choreographer
Billy Wilder - movie director, writer, producer


AT&T - corporate arts patron
Marilyn Horne - opera singer
Allan Houser - sculptor
James Earl Jones - actor
Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund - foundation arts patron
Minnie Pearl - Grand Ole Opry performer
Robert Saudek - television producer, Museum of Broadcasting founding director
Earl Scruggs - banjo player
Robert Shaw - orchestra conductor, choral director
Billy Taylor - jazz pianist
Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown - architects
Robert Wise - film producer, director


Maurice Abravanel - music director, conductor
Roy Acuff - country singer, bandleader
Pietro Belluschi - architect
J. Carter Brown - museum director
Charles "Honi" Coles - tap dancer
John O. Crosby - opera director, conductor, administrator
Richard Diebenkorn - painter
R. Philip Hanes, Jr. - arts patron
Kitty Carlisle Hart - actress, singer, arts administrator, dancer
Pearl Primus - choreographer, anthropologist
Isaac Stern - violinist
Texaco Inc. - corporate arts patron


George Francis Abbott - actor, playwright, producer, director
Hume Cronyn - actor, director
Merce Cunningham - choreographer, dance company director
Jasper Johns - painter, sculptor
Riley "B.B." King - blues musician, singer
David Lloyd Kreeger - arts patron
Jacob Lawrence - painter
Harris & Carroll Sterling Masterson - arts patrons
Ian McHarg - landscape architect
Beverly Sills - opera singer, director
Southeastern Bell Corporation - corporate arts patron
Jessica Tandy - actress


Leopold Adler - preservationist, civic leader
Dayton Hudson Corporation - corporate arts patron
Katherine Dunham - dancer, choreographer
Alfred Eisenstaedt - photographer
Martin Friedman - museum director
Leigh Gerdine - arts patron, civic leader
John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie - jazz trumpeter
Walker Kirtland Hancock - sculptor
Vladimir Horowitz (Posthumous award) - pianist
Czelaw Milosz - writer
Robert Motherwell - painter
John Updike - writer


(Mrs. Vincent) Brooke Astor - arts patron
Saul Bellow - writer
Sydney J. Freedberg - art historian, curator
Francis Goelet - music patron
Helen Hayes - actress
Gordon Parks - photographer, film director
I.M. Pei - architect
Jerome Robbins - dancer, choreographer
Rudolf Serkin - pianist
Roger L. Stevens - arts administrator
Obert C. Tanner - arts patron
Virgil Thomson - composer, music critic


Romare Bearden - painter
J. W. Fisher - arts patron
Ella Fitzgerald - singer
Dr. Armand Hammer - arts patron
Mr. and Mrs. Sydney Lewis - arts patrons
Howard Nemerov - writer, scholar
Alwin Nikolais - dancer, choreographer
Isamu Noguchi - sculptor
William Schuman - composer
Robert Penn Warren - writer, poet


Marian Anderson - opera singer
Frank Capra - film director
Aaron Copland - composer
Willem de Kooning - painter
Agnes de Mille - choreographer
Dominique de Menil - arts patron
Exxon Corporation - corporate arts patron
Seymour H. Knox - arts patron
Eva Le Gallienne - actress, author
Alan Lomax - folklorist, scholar
Lewis Mumford - philosopher, literary critic
Eudora Welty - writer


Elliott Carter, Jr. - composer
Dorothy Buffum Chandler - arts patron
Ralph (Waldo) Ellison - writer
Jose Ferrer - actor
Martha Graham - dancer, choreographer
Hallmark Cards, Inc. - corporate arts patron
Lincoln Kirstein - arts patron
Paul Mellon - arts patron
Louise Nevelson - sculptor
Georgia O'Keeffe - painter
Leontyne Price - soprano
Alice Tully - arts patron

NOTE: In 1983, prior to the official establishment of the National Medal of Arts, the following artists and patrons received a medal from President Reagan at a White House luncheon arranged by the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. They were: (artists) Pinchas Zukerman, Frederica Von Stade, Czeslaw Milosz, Frank Stella, Philip Johnson, and Luis Valdez; (patrons) The Texaco Philanthropic Foundation, James Michener,* Philip Morris, Inc., The Cleveland Foundation, Elma Lewis, and The Dayton Hudson Foundation.

* who was considered a patron



Bios and photos