Maya Lin, who designed the national Vietnam Veterans Memorial (The Wall), was among the honorees last night, February 25, at the White House National Medal of Arts ceremonies. Lin received a 2009 National Medal of the Arts for “her profound work as an architect, artist, and environmentalist, ” the official citation said. “Her vision for the National Vietnam Veterans Memorial emblemizes her deep understanding of the ways in which we respond to the world around us.”
The other awards winners included Bob Dylan, Clint Eastwood, Rita Moreno, Jessye Norman, Elie Weisel, and Robert Caro, the historian who has written (and continues to write) a multi-volume biography of President Lyndon Johnson.
The arts and the humanities “appeal to a certain yearning that’s shared by all of us, ” President Obama said before awarding the medals, “a yearning for truth and for beauty, for connection and the simple pleasure of a good story.”