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Frank Gehry first architect to receive Harvard Arts Medal

Architect Frank Gehry has been named the recipient of the 2016 Harvard Arts Medal, which will be awarded by Harvard University President Drew Gilpin Faust at a ceremony on Thursday, April 28. The ceremony, presented by the Office for the Arts at Harvard and the Board of Overseers of Harvard College, will include a discussion with Gehry moderated by actor John Lithgow, who is host of the event.

This marks the first time that the Harvard Arts Medal has been awarded to an architect.

“Frank Gehry is a true original, a visionary artist whose work has revolutionized architecture and place-making in the 21st century,” said Lithgow. “He’s the first architect to receive the Arts Medal, and Harvard looks forward to celebrating his extraordinary achievements and risk-taking spirit.”

Gehry is the design principal of Frank O. Gehry & Associates Inc., which he founded in 1962. Born in Toronto, he studied urban planning at the Harvard Graduate School of Design after receiving a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Southern California. He has produced remarkable public and private buildings in America, Europe, and Asia, that powerfully express the dynamism of contemporary urban life, and he is celebrated for bold designs and dazzling metal structures. Among his many honors are the Pritzker Architecture Prize, the National Medal of Arts, the American Institute of Architects’ Gold Medal, and the Royal Institute of British Architects’ Royal Gold Medal for Architecture.

To learn more, please read Harvard magazine's coverage of the 2016 award and the Harvard Arts Medal announcement.