The J. Paul Getty Trust has named Yo-Yo Ma and the late Ellsworth Kelly as this year’s recipients of the J. Paul Getty Medal, an award that was established in 2013 to “honor extraordinary contributions to the practice, understanding, and support of the arts,” according to a press release. The award will be presented on October 17 at the Getty Center.In a statement, board chair Maria Hummer-Tuttle said,
“With this Medal we honor two of our nation’s greatest artists: Yo-Yo Ma for his distinguished contributions to the conservation and understanding of the world’s many and diverse cultures, and Ellsworth Kelly for his mastery in paintings and sculptures of the highest quality and originality.”
Ma, in addition to his career as a cellist, is the founder of the Silk Road Ensemble and the nonprofit arts organization Silkroad, which seeks to promote cultural partnerships in the areas of art, education, and business. Of Kelly, who passed away last December, J. Paul Getty Trust president and CEO James Cuno commented, “Ellsworth saw beauty in everything. He was more visually alive than anyone I know. Every new work was a new adventure for him, a new way of working and making things of extraordinary visual delight. Maria Hummer-Tuttle and I were set to meet with him just days before he died. He knew of the Getty’s honor and expressed pleasure and pride in receiving it.”Past winners of the J. Paul Getty Medal have included Frank Gehry, Harold Williams and Nancy Englander, and Lord Jacob Rothschild.