Jasper Johns: Medal of Freedom Winner

Jasper Johns, 2011 Presidential Medal of Freedom Winners, Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly

Photographed in his studio by Rauschenberg, 1955.

Yesterday afternoon, South Carolina native Jasper Johns became the first studio artist since Alexander Calder in 1977 to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom. As the Wall Street Journal pointed out, that’s “34 years since a painter or sculptor received the nation’s highest civilian honor.” Johns (above, photographed in his studio in 1955 by his friend and fellow Southern artist, Robert Rauschenberg) was one of 15 MoH recipients; the illustrious group also includes former President George H.W. Bush, poet and Nobel Prize Winner, Maya Angelou, and billionaire investor Warren Buffet.

Other amazing artists I’ve been pleased to learn have Southern roots: Robert Rauschenberg (Texas) and Cy Twombly (Virginia).

Jasper Johns, 2011 Presidential Medal of Freedom Winners, Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly

The November 29, 1976 issue of TIME.

Jasper Johns, 2011 Presidential Medal of Freedom Winners, Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly

Cy Twombly as a young artist.

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Filed under Art, Southern Folk

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