The prestigious American Academy of Arts and Letters has announced eight new inductees, including historian Robert Caro, New Yorker humorist Calvin Trillin and poet Paul Muldoon. Founded in 1898, the academy is “an honor society of 250 architects, composers, artists, and writers,” according to its web site, with new members voted in as “vacancies occur.” The academy’s goal is to “foster, assist, and sustain excellence” in the arts. Last year, Mr. Trillin released a best-selling memoir about his late wife, Alice Trillin based on the New Yorker essay that “seemed to trip some kind of secret wire in urban romantics’ hearts,” wrote the Observer’s Lizzy Ratner. And Mr. Caro, he of The Power Broker fame, is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and wrote a multivolume series on Lyndon Johnson. More inductees, courtesy of the Associated Press, after the jump.
Other inductees include fiction writer-essayist Joy Williams, artists Ursula von Rydingsvard and John Baldessari, African scholar Kwame Anthony Appiah and Shakespeare scholar Stephen Greenblatt. Gold medals for lifetime achievement will be presented to historian Edmund S. Morgan and architect Richard Meier.
Previous medal winners include Frank Gehry, Edith Wharton and Leonard Bernstein.