On December 12, 2011, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle will award the Leo Baeck Medal to Anselm Kiefer and bestow a special honor on Dr. Henry A. Kissinger. The presentation will take place during the annual Leo Baeck Institute Gala Award Diner at the Waldorf≈Astoria in New York.
Born in 1945 in Donaueschingen, Germany, at the close of World War II, Anselm Kiefer studied art informally under Joseph Beuys at the Düsseldorf Academy in the early 1970s.
Kiefer reflects upon and critiques the myths and chauvinism which eventually propelled the German Third Reich to power. His paintings depict his generation’s ambivalence toward the grandiose impulse of German nationalism and its impact on history. Kiefer’s work consistently balances the dual purposes of visually powerful imagery and intellectually critical analysis.
His work has been shown in and collected by major museums throughout the world. Recent retrospective exhibitions include the Modern Art Museum, Fort Worth (2005) (traveling to the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C., and SF MOMA). In 2007, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao presented an extensive survey of recent work and Kiefer was commissioned to create a huge site-specific installation of sculptures and paintings for the inaugural “Monumenta” at the Grand Palais, Paris. In 2007, he became the first living artist to create a permanent installation at the Louvre since Georges Braque in 1953. In 2009, he directed and designed the sets for Am Anfang (In the Beginning) at the Opéra National in Paris.
Kiefer lives and works in France.
Henry A. Kissinger
Born in Fuerth, Germany, Dr. Kissinger came to the United States in 1938 and was naturalized a United States citizen in 1943. He served in the Army from 1943 to 1946. He graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College in 1950 and went on to receive MA. and PhD. degrees from Harvard University.
Dr. Kissinger was sworn in on September 22, 1973, as the 56th Secretary of State, a position he held until ]anuary 20, 1977. He also served as Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs from Ianuary 20, 1969, until November 3, 1975. From 1983-1985, he chaired President Reagan‘s National Bipartisan Commission on Central America. From 1984-1990 he served as a member of the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. He is currently a member of the Defense Policy Board.
At present, Dr. Kissinger is Chairman of Kissinger Associates, lnc., an international consulting firm. He is also a member of the International Council of Morgan Chase & Co.; a Counselor to and Trustee of the Center for Strategic and Intemational Studies; an Honorary Governor of the Foreign Policy Association; and an Honor Member of the Intemational Olympic Committee. Among his other activities, Dr. Kissinger is a member of the Board of Directors of ContiGroup Companies, Inc. and an Advisor to the Board of Directors of American Express Company. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of Forstmann Little and Co.; a Trustee Emeritus of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; a Director Emeritus of Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold Inc.; and a Director of the lntemational Rescue Committee.
Among the awards Dr. Kissinger has received have been the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973; the Presidential Medal of Freedom (the nation’s highest civilian award) in 1977; and the Medal of Liberty (given one time to ten foreign-born American leaders) in 1986.
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