Vergara to Receive National Humanities Medal

Camilo José Vergara has a date with President Barack Obama

The 69-year-old Chilean-born, New York-based writer, photographer and documentarian will receive the 2012 National Humanities Medal on July 10 in the White House.

Camilo José Vergara

The president will bestow the humanities awards, as well as the 2012 National Medal of Arts, in a ceremony in the East Room also attended by First Lady Michelle Obama.

Vergara is being heralded for “his stark visual representation of American cities. By capturing images of urban settings over time, his sequences reflect the vibrant culture of our changing communities and document the enduring spirit that shines through decay.”

Camilo José Vergara

Joining Vergara in the humanities spotlight are Edward L. Ayers, William G. Bowen, Jill Ker Conway, Natalie Zemon Davis, Robert Putnam, Kay Ryan, Frank Deford, Joan DidionRobert B. Silvers, Anna Deavere Smith and Marilynne Robinson.

At next week’s event, the President will deliver remarks and present the awards to the following individuals and organizations:

2012 National Medal of Arts

  • Herb Alpert, Malibu, CA
  • Lin Arison, Bal Harbour, FL
  • Joan Myers Brown, Philadelphia, PA
  • Renée Fleming, New York, NY
  • Ernest Gaines, Oscar, LA
  • Ellsworth Kelly, Spencertown, NY
  • Tony Kushner, New York, NY
  • George Lucas, San Anslemo, CA
  • Elaine May, New York, NY
  • Laurie Olin, Philadelphia, PA
  • Allen Toussaint, New Orleans, LA
  • Washington Performing Arts Society, Washington, DC

2012 National Humanities Medal

  • Edward L. Ayers, Henrico, VA
  • William G. Bowen, Princeton, NJ
  • Jill Ker Conway, Boston, MA
  • Natalie Zemon Davis, Toronto, CANADA
  • Frank Deford, New York, NY
  • Joan Didion, New York, NY
  • Robert Putnam¸ Cambridge, MA
  • Marilynne Robinson¸ Iowa City, IA
  • Kay Ryan, Fairfax, CA
  • Robert B. Silvers, New York, NY
  • Anna Deavere Smith¸ New York, NY
  • Camilo José Vergara, New York, NY

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