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Mrs. Chandler, 11 Others to Get National Arts Medal

April 18, 1985|From a Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — Mrs. Norman Chandler of Los Angeles and 11 other artists and patrons of the arts were selected by President Reagan Wednesday as the first recipients of the National Medal of Arts.

Mrs. Chandler, wife of the late publisher of the Los Angeles Times, was recognized as "the major effort" behind the planning and construction of the Music Center in downtown Los Angeles, the White House said in a statement.

Other recipients of the medal were actor Jose Ferrer; author Ralph Ellison; composer Elliott Carter; choreographer Martha Graham; sculptor Louise Nevelson; opera singer Leontyne Price; artist Georgia O'Keeffe; Lincoln Kirstein, who established the School of American Ballet; arts patrons Paul Mellon and Alice Tully, and Hallmark Cards Inc.

Endowed Gallery of Art

Mellon was instrumental in endowing the National Gallery of Art, and Tully's major gift to Lincoln Center resulted in dedication of the Alice Tully Hall. Hallmark Cards is sponsor of the Hallmark Hall of Fame television series, which has won 49 Emmy Awards.

The annual arts medal, established by Congress last year at the request of the President, will be distributed Tuesday at a White House luncheon on the 20th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts.

"It's the first time the President has officially recognized artistry and those who support it, following in the tradition of other countries," endowment Chairman Frank Hodsoll said. "Hopefully, it will result in greater attention to the arts and what they mean to society."

Reagan, who has repeatedly attempted to cut the endowment's budget, suggested creation of the medal at a lunch with artists in 1983.

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