Archive for January 24th, 2013


Inauguration and the Arts

January 24, 2013

A look back

In today’s news we are hearing the questioning of whether Beyonce lip-synced the National Anthem or not at the Inauguration ceremony on Monday in Washington DC. Those of you who are singers understand what it takes for such a performance in the chilly temperatures better than the rest of us.

Here are some “did you knows” from the National Endowment of the Arts blog “Art Works” posted on January 18 and written by Rebecca Gross.

  • Did you know for the 1977 inauguration of Jimmy Carter, the Democratic National Committee commissioned Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Jamie Wyeth, Jacob Lawrence, and Robert Rauschenberg to create works commemorating the event? In recent years, the limited edition prints from the Inaugural Impressions have sold for thousands of dollars at auction.
  • Did you know that at President Kennedy’s 1961 inauguration, Robert Frost was unable to recite the poem he had written specifically for the event? Snow covered the ground that day, and the glare prevented Frost from being able to see the manuscript of his new piece, “Dedication.” Instead, he recited his poem “The Gift Outright” from memory.
  • Did you know that musicians who have received the National Medal of Arts have been popular picks as inaugural performers? In fact, President Obama featured four at his first inauguration: Aretha Franklin, John Williams, Izthak Perlman, and Yo-Yo Ma.

As you probably know James Taylor performed on Monday singing ‘America the Beautiful’ and was a National Medal of Arts recipient in 2010. You might want to go to the post and read the rest of the “did you knows”.


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