President of the Artists Rights Society Theodore Feder, Choreographer and Dancer Deborah Hay, and Editor and Essayist Lewis Lapham Awarded the French Order of Arts and Letters
New York - April 20, 2016 – President of the Artists Rights Society Theodore Feder, choreographer and dancer Deborah Hay and editor and essayist Lewis Lapham have been awarded the insignia of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by André Vallini, Minister of State for Development and Francophonie, on Tuesday, April 19, 2016, at the Payne Whitney Mansion in New York, home to the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.
Theodore Feder has spent his career defending and protecting the intellectual property rights, including the copyrights, trademark rights, and moral rights of artists around the world, including preeminently the work of many French artists. While earning his Ph.D. at Columbia University’s department of Art History and Archaeology, where he also taught the subject, he founded Art Resource, an organization that went on to represent the rights, permissions, and intellectual property interests of many museums in the U.S. and Europe, including The Metropolitan Museum, The Neue Galerie, The Guggenheim and MoMA. Art Resource is also the world’s largest photo archive of fine art. In 2000, Art Resource was appointed the exclusive representative of all 51 national and regional museums of France, under the aegis of the Réunion des Musées Nationaux, including the Musée du Louvre, the Musée d'Orsay, Musée Picasso and the Centre Pompidou.
In 1986, Feder founded the Artists Rights Society (ARS), which he still leads today to represent the interests of the repertories of French artists and their rights organizations. ARS defends and protects the intellectual property rights of French artists in the U.S. including Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Marc Chagall, Pierre Bonnard, Georges Braque, Marcel Duchamp, Le Corbusier, César, Arman, Pierre Soulages and hundreds of others. As head of ARS, Feder founded the CLA Berne 18 Project in 1992 to lobby the U.S. Government to restore copyright protection to all French and foreign works of art, music, film, and literature which were considered to be in the public domain in the U.S. Indeed, in 1994, President Clinton signed the Copyright Restoration ACT which restored protection, both retroactively and prospectively, to millions of French and other foreign works of art, music, literature, and film.
Deborah Hay is a dancer and choreographer known for her innovative and boundary pushing work, that merges performance and intellectual reflection. She started her career as a student and then a member of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. She then joined the Judson Dance Theatre, where she and fellow dancers, Yvonne Rainer, Trisha Brown, redefined dance and performance. There she developed her Circle Dances based on individual discipline and group awareness. In Texas, where she still resides, she started to create solo pieces—The Other Side of O, Beauty, Room etc.— that became her favorite mode of creation, giving them a level of complexity and innovation rarely seen before. She also published three books about the body and the creative process, the most recent one titled My Body, The Buddha, building a sustainable dialogue between the body and the brain. In 2004, she created The Match, a quartet for which she received the Bessie Award. Among many other prizes, Deborah Hay received in 2012 the prestigious Doris Duke Artists Award – that aims to give artists the freedom to take creative risks and explore new ideas. Indeed, her work has continually pushed the limits of our understanding of dance and performance.
Deborah Hay and her work have had a significant influence on choreographers and students in France. Since 2005, she is a regular at the Festival d’Automne. In 2006, she created O,O, later adapted with seven French choreographers and dancers, including Emmanuel Huynh, Catherine Legrand, Laurent Pichaud and Sylvain Prunenec. It toured France, was presented at the Festival d’Automne à Paris, and then reached New York. She has been instrumental in bringing some of France’s talented dancers to American audiences such as Emmanuelle Huynh and Laurent Pichaud.
Lewis H. Lapham has been one of the most active American editors, essayists and political commentators of the past 40 years. The editor of Harper’s Magazine from 1975 to 2006, he is now its editor emeritus. In 2007 he founded Lapham’s Quarterly, a journal of history and ideas, contributing an introduction to each issue and serving as editor. As a journalist, essayist, and author of thirteen books, Lapham has established himself—notably with his column “Notebook” column in Harpers’ Magazine—as an essential voice against social, political and financial injustice. He has taken among his inspirations Albert Camus and Thomas Paine—defenders of the freedom of the press and expression. In 2007 Lapham was inducted into the American Society of Magazine Editors Hall of Fame.
The Order of Arts and Letters (Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) was established in 1957 to recognize eminent artists and writers, as well as people who have contributed significantly to furthering the arts in France and throughout the world. The Order of Arts and Letters is given out under the jurisdiction of the Minister of Culture and Communication. American recipients of the award include Paul Auster, Philip Glass, Agnes Gund, Marilyn Horne, Jim Jarmusch, Richard Meier, Robert Paxton, Robert Redford, Meryl Streep, and Uma Thurman.
The Cultural Services of the French Embassy promotes the best of French arts, literature, cinema, language, and higher education across the US. Based in New York City, Washington D.C., and eight other cities across the country, the Cultural Services brings artists, authors, educational and university programs to cities nationwide. It also builds partnerships between French and American artists, institutions and universities on both sides of the Atlantic. In New York, through its bookshop Albertine, it fosters French-American exchange around literature and the arts. www.frenchculture.org
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