American realist painter Andrew Wyeth died after a brief illness at his home in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, on Friday, January 16, 2009. He was 91 years old.
During his life, Andrew Wyeth accomplished many “firsts.” He was the first living American artist to have an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the first living American artist to have an exhibition at the National Gallery, in Washington, DC, the first living American artist to be elected to Britain’s Royal Academy, and the first living American artist to have an exhbition at the White House.
In 1963 Mr. Wyeth became the first artist to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. President George H. W. Bush awarded Mr. Wyeth the Congressional Gold Medal in 1990, the first time an artist had received that honor. In 2007 he received the National Medal of Arts from President George W. Bush.
In a 1997 statement to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Mr. Wyeth said, “”All I can say at the end of my life is that painting has been my one interest, nothing else but art.”
US artist Andrew Wyeth dies at 91
(BBC News; January 16, 2009)
American artist Andrew Wyeth dies
(Boston.com; January 17, 2009)
Editorial: Andrew Wyeth, 1917-2009 – An American treasure
(Philadelphia Inquirer; January 19, 2009)
Years ago, I studied with a painting teacher at the Art Students League of New York who was a devotee of Tibetan Buddhism. She painted meditation wheels or mandalas. After the Dalai Lama came to New York, she excitedly told us of her experience meeting him. She described placing her arm over the Dalai Lama’s to escort him down a flight of stairs, and the feeling that her feet never touched the steps as she walked with him.
On Saturday, January 17, 2009, the Dalai Lama delivered the Madhavrao Scindia Memorial Lecture before an audience in India, and spoke out on the issue of terrorism. “It is difficult to deal with terrorism through non-violence,” he said. “They (terrorists) are very brilliant and educated…but a strong ill feeling is bred in them. Their minds are closed.” The Dalai Lama emphasized that the way to tackle terrorism is through prevention. The Tibetan spiritual leader and head of the Tibetan government-in-exile went on to stun his audience by declaring, “I love President George W. Bush.”
In 2007, the Dalai Lama was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor amid official protests from China. He met with President Bush, who called him “a man of faith and sincerity and peace.” The American President and the Tibetan leader have had their differences in how to end international terrorism. In the aftermath of 9/11 attacks in the United States, the Dalai Lama asked President Bush to spend billions of dollars on education and promotion of non-violence instead of warfare.
The Dalai Lama and President Bush are both gracious men. The American people owe our President a debt of gratitude for his eight years of leadership and service to the United States. The number one task of the United States President is Commander in Chief. We were fortunate to have had President Bush as our leader in the fight against those closed-minded men and women who stand as the enemies of freedom.
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet
Non-violence cannot tackle terrorism: Dalai Lama (India Express; January 17, 2009)