Artists and designers from around the country have submitted 131 design proposals for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)’s contest to design a new National Humanities Medal.
The National Humanities Medal is bestowed in an annual White House ceremony on individuals or groups whose work has deepened the nation’s understanding of the humanities, broadened citizen engagement with humanistic fields, or helped preserve and expand access to resources in humanities areas. Past honorees have included authors such as Toni Morrison and Philip Roth, historians such as Stephen Ambrose and Robert Caro, filmmakers such as Steven Spielberg, and Nobel Laureates such as Elie Wiesel.
The nationwide NEH medal design contest that was launched in October through Challenge.gov concluded on March 15, attracting 131 submissions that reflected participants’ interpretation of the humanities.
The winning design will be selected by NEH Chairman Jim Leach in consultation with a distinguished panel of judges made up of George R. Anthonisen, a figurative sculptor, Chunghi Choo, a metalsmith and jewelry designer, and Don Everhart, a sculptor-engraver at the United States Mint. Proposals will be evaluated on the design’s beauty, the extent to which it reflects the values of the humanities, and how easily it can be replicated as a medal.
The winner of the contest will be announced in June 2013. The creator of the winning design will receive a $3,000 prize and an invitation to the unveiling of the final medal in Washington DC.
The new medal design will premiere at the 2013 National Humanities Medal ceremony and will serve the Endowment far into the future.