Secretary of State John Kerry presented the second U.S. Department of State Medal of Arts on January 21, 2015. Hallmark Art Collection artists Kehinde Wiley, Julie Mehretu and Sam Gilliam were among the artists honored by The Department of State’s office of Art in Embassies (AIE). The seven artists will be honored for their outstanding commitment and contributions to the AIE program and international cultural exchange.
Art in Embassies was initiated by the Museum of Modern Art in 1953, and formalized as part of the Department of State by the Kennedy Administration in 1963. One of the United States’ premier arts organizations, AIE’s public-private partnership has engaged over 20,000 individual and institutional participants in over 200 venues in 190 countries worldwide.
Over the past 52 years, AIE has played a leading role in U.S. public diplomacy by promoting cross-cultural dialogue through the visual arts, and by sponsoring dynamic artist exchanges worldwide. In 2012 AIE initiated the biennial U.S. Department of State Medal of Arts award to formally acknowledge artists who have played an instrumental role in promoting creativity, collaboration and understanding in support of American diplomacy.
To learn more about Art in Embassies, visit http://art.state.gov