Philip Roth Receives Inaugural Yaddo Artist Medal Today
The artist community Yaddo announced today that the inaugural Yaddo Artist Medal will be presented to Pulitzer Prize winning author Philip Roth. Roth is set to receive the Yaddo Artist Medal, designed by internationally-acclaimed artist James Siena, at Yaddo's annual New York City Benefit today, May 14, 2014 at the Edison Ballroom (240 West 47th Street). Alison Lurie, also a Pulitzer Prize recipient, former Yaddo resident and author of Foreign Affairs, will introduce Roth at the event.
Roth had his first residency at Yaddo in 1964, followed by six subsequent visits in 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, 1970, and 1972. He will be the first recipient of the Yaddo Artist Medal, which will be presented each spring at the New York City Benefit. The medal recognizes individuals who have sustained a level of achievement and commitment to art, and who have reinforced the sense of community that is central to Yaddo's residency program.
"It's a great pleasure for us to begin a new tradition by presenting Philip Roth with the inaugural Yaddo Artist Medal," said Yaddo President Elaina Richardson. "It's long been our custom to award a medal for achievement and service to two graduating seniors at Saratoga High, and we'd wanted for some time to expand on that tradition in a way that reflected our core history, and century-long commitment, to encouraging, supporting, and inspiring the work of artists and writers. The Yaddo Artist Medal will be awarded annually at our New York City benefit to an artist of outstanding talent whose achievements and commitment to their field exemplifies Yaddo's own tradition of excellence and community. In this way, we hope to pay tribute to all the artists who have been part of the Yaddo story since our founding in 1900."
Yaddo's New York City Benefit will take place on Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at the Edison Ballroom in New York City. In addition to Artist Honoree Philip Roth, Yaddo will recognize Corporate Honoree The New York Racing Association, Inc. The Co-Chairs for the event are Theresa and John Behrendt, Michael Del Giudice and Jaynne C. Keyes, the Honorable and Mrs. Earle I. Mack, the Riggio Foundation and Charles and Candace Wait. Blair Brown, Gail Gregg, Mary-Beth Hughes, and Patricia Volk serve as the Yaddo Benefit Committee. Tables and individual tickets are available now and can be purchased at www.yaddo.org or by calling (212) 307-7685.
Yaddo's mission is to provide artists time and space to explore and define ideas and create new work. Founded in 1900 by the financier Spencer Trask and his wife Katrina, this artists' community is located on a 400-acre estate in Saratoga Springs, New York. Yaddo hosts over 200 residents annually for two to eight weeks, at no cost to the artist. Over 6,500 individuals have created work at Yaddo -- literature (fiction, non-fiction and poetry), paintings, photography, sculpture, music, dance, film, and performance pieces -- that have helped shape the contemporary cultural landscape and touched millions of lives.
Philip Roth had his first residency at Yaddo in 1964, returning six times over the next eight years. During those visits, Roth wrote most of Portnoy's Complaint, The Breast, and The Great American Novel. He dedicated The Breast to Yaddo as "the best friend a writer could have." One of the most decorated American writers of his era, Roth's first book, the 1959 collection Goodbye, Columbus, won the National Book Award for Fiction. He has since received the National Medal of Arts at the White House and the American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal in Fiction. A two-time recipient of the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, Roth has been recognized with the PEN/Faulkner Award three times. In 1997 he won the Pulitzer Prize for American Pastoral. Recently Roth received the National Humanities Medal at the White House and was named the fourth recipient of the Man Booker International Prize. Last year France bestowed upon him its highest recognition, Commander of the Legion of Honor.