Century of Arts and Letters

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Louis Auchincloss, John Updike
Columbia University Press, 1998 - Art - 346 pages
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Although the American Academy of Arts and Letters is best known for the awards and prizes it grants artists, writers, and musicians, the organization itself remains as little-understood as its awards are acclaimed. John Updike has brought together eleven current members-including Cynthia Ozick, Norman Mailer, and Louis Auchincloss—to raid the Academy's archives. With each writer taking on a decade of the Academy's history, they have created an eye-opening documentary of an organization central to the arts in America for the past century. R. W. B. Lewis writes of the admission of Julia Ward Howe in 1907 (at the age of 86) as the first woman in the Academy, and the intense debate about the very consideration of female members. Lewis also recounts the humorous saga of the feuding James brothers, with William declining membership and decrying the election several months prior to the nomination of his "younger and shallower and vainer brother" Henry. Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., tells of the Academy's struggle against modernism in the 1930s—largely a one-man war waged by its feisty septuagenarian secretary, Robert Underwood Johnson-that resulted in a perennial failure to nominate F. Scott Fitzgerald and H. L. Mencken, among others. And composer Jack Beeson notes Gore Vidal's droll telegram declining an honorary membership on the grounds that he was already a member of the Diners Club.


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American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. The Columbia ...
Columbia Encyclopedia article on the history and purpose of the National Institute of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, ...
www.bartleby.com/ 65/ am/ AmerANIAL.html

American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters – FREE American ...
American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters – Facts about American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, Pictures, Video and American Academy ...
www.encyclopedia.com/ doc/ 1E1-AmerANIAL.html

American Academy of Arts and Letters - Collections - Publications
Publications issued under the auspices of the Academy include the annual Proceedings; a history brochure; a Yearbook for members; and the Charter and Bylaws ...
www.artsandletters.org/ collections_publications.php

THINK TANK; Temple Worship: Celebrating an Academy's 100th ...
Print; Save. Published: May 16, 1998. The American Academy of Arts and Letters, perhaps the nation's most exclusive club of artists, is celebrating its ...
query.nytimes.com/ gst/ fullpage.html?res=9903E5D61030F935A25756C0A96E958260

American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters: Free ...
Research American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and other related topics by using the free encyclopedia at the Questia.com online library
www.questia.com/ library/ encyclopedia/ 101228857

About the author (1998)

Edward D. berkowitz is professor of history and public policy and public administration at George Washington University. He is the author of eight books and the editor of three collections. During the seventies he served as a staff member of the President's Commission for a National Agenda, helping President Carter plan for a second term that never came to be.

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