Harvard Arts Medal

History of the Harvard Arts Medal

The Harvard Arts Medal was established in 1995 to recognize excellence and demonstrated achievement in the arts by a Harvard or Radcliffe alumnus/a or faculty member. The medal is given to an individual who has achieved distinction in the arts and who has made a special contribution to the good of the arts, to the public good in relation to the arts, or to education. It is awarded by the Office of Governing Boards and the President of Harvard at the recommendation of a committee of faculty, alumni and administrators, which is convened by the OFA.

Past Recipients

2019 Tracy K. Smith '94
2018 Colson Whitehead '91
2017 John Lithgow ’67 ArD ’05
2016 Frank Gehry GSD '57 ArD '00
2015 Damian Woetzel MPA '07
2014 Margaret Atwood AM '62, Litt.D. '04
2013 Matt Damon '92
2012 Tommy Lee Jones '69
2011 Susan Meiselas EdM ’71
2010 Catherine Lord '70
2009 Fred Ho '79 (awarded Fall 09)
2009 John Ashbery '49 (awarded Spring 09)
2008 Joshua Redman '91
2007 John Adams ’69 MA ‘72
2006 Christopher Durang ‘71
2005 Maxine Kumin ‘46
2004 Yo-Yo Ma ‘76
2003 Mira Nair ‘79
2002 William Christie ‘66
2001 Peter Sellars ‘80
2000 John Harbison ‘60
1999 David Hays ‘52
1998 John Updike ‘54
1997 Bonnie Raitt ‘72
1996 Pete Seeger ‘40
1995 Jack Lemmon ‘47