Medal Day is Sunday

  • Cartoonist Art Spiegelman will receive the Edward MacDowell Medal on Aug. 12. PHOTO BY PHIL PENMAN PHOTOGRAPHY

Thursday, August 09, 2018 10:32AM

The MacDowell Colony will award cartoonist Art Spiegelman its 59th Edward MacDowell Medal during a free public event on Sunday, Aug. 12 at The MacDowell Colony’s campus in New Hampshire. As one of the nation’s leading contemporary arts organizations, MacDowell has awarded the prestigious medal annually since 1960 to an artist who has made an outstanding contribution to American culture.

Spiegelman’s comics are best known for their shifting graphic styles, their formal complexity, and controversial content. His graphic novel Maus was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1992, bringing comic books out of the toy closet and onto the literature shelves.

“Seeking to encompass communities and practices that reflect the vibrant and restless diversity of MacDowell Fellows and the kinds of art they make, in recent years the MacDowell Medal has begun to extend the sweep of its gaze,” said MacDowell Colony Chairman, Fellow, and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon. “The increased cultural prominence of Comic Art and its once-wayward practitioners can largely be laid at the feet of a single artist: Art Spiegelman, whose work, tragic and shticky, personal and world-historical, grand and intimate, sophisticated and deceptively crude, changed the world of Spiegelman’s beloved ‘comix’—simply changed the world—forever.”

Chabon will present the Medal to Spiegelman on Aug. 12, along with MacDowell Board President Andrew Senchak, Executive Director Cheryl Young, and Resident Director David Macy. The Medal is meaningful for being chosen by peers within the discipline. This year’s selection panel was chaired by Alison Bechdel, best-selling author of the graphic memoir Fun Home, cartoonist, and a MacArthur winner. Bechdel assembled a panel comprised of Hillary Chute, a literary scholar and author focusing on comics and graphic novels; visual artist, graphic memoirist, and MacDowell Fellow Julia Jacquette; graphic novelist, co-founder of the Center for Cartoon Studies, and MacDowell Fellow James Sturm; and Gene Yang, a cartoonist, MacArthur winner, and last year’s Library of Congress Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.

The ceremony will take place on Sunday, Aug. 12 beginning at 12:15 p.m. at the MacDowell Colony grounds at 100 High Street in Peterborough, New Hampshire. Medal Day marks the one day each year that the Colony is open to the public. Open studios hosted by MacDowell artists-in-residence begin at 2 p.m. and end at 5 p.m, and guests can enjoy picnic lunches on Colony grounds by pre-ordering or bringing their own. For more information, please visit www.macdowellcolony.org.