Arthur Miller • 1999 Recipient of the Dorothy & Lillian Gish Prize
Arthur Miller was elevated into the annals of literary history as one of the greatest dramatists of this century when Death of a Salesman opened on Broadway in the winter of 1949. The seminal play about a failed traveling salesman established Miller as a major American voice and won him both a Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize. Miller’s plays are known for dealing with timeless moral and political issues and some of his best work centers on the ethical responsibility of the individual in conflict with society.
Born in New York in 1915, Miller grew up in Brooklyn and came of age during the Great Depression. The son of a salesman, Miller worked as a store clerk in an automobile parts warehouse to help pay his tuition at the University of Michigan, where his playwriting skills earned him awards at an early age. On his return to New York, Miller wrote radio scripts for CBS, the Columbia Workshop and the Calvacade of America. In 1944, The Man Who Had All the Luck, his first play, was produced. In 1947, his breakthrough play, All My Sons, won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play. Miller continued to win acclaim for his plays, which include A View From the Bridge (1955), After the Fall (1964), The Price (1968) and Broken Glass (1995), which won the Olivier Award for Best Play. The 1998 production of A View From the Bridge garnered two Tony Awards and the 1999 production of Death of a Salesman garnered four.
Miller’s 1953 masterpiece, The Crucible, brought him a Tony Award and a storm of controversy. The play, about the Salem witch-hunt trials, was widely perceived to be an attack on the House Committee on Un-American Activities. Miller was called before the Committee in 1954, and was cited for contempt of Congress when he refused to cooperate and name names. That conviction was later overturned on appeal.
In addition to his plays, Miller has also written for film and television. In 1961 his first screenplay, The Misfits, was produced. In 1980, Miller won an Emmy Award for Playing for Time, and in 1995 he earned an Academy Award nomination for his adaptation of The Crucible. Miller has also written a number of books including Situation Normal (1944), Focus (1945), his autobiography Timebends: A Life (1987), and several collaborative books with his wife of 37 years, Ingeborg Morath. Miller passed away in 2005, after a writing career that spanned seven decades.
Cora Cahan – Following her distinguished career as a dancer, Cora Cahan became an effective arts administrator, co-founding and serving as Executive Director of the Feld Ballet, developing the Lawrence A. Wien Center for Dance and acquiring and transforming the Elgin Cinema into the award-winning Joyce Theater. Since 1990, she has served as President of The New 42nd Street, the non-profit organization established to restore and find appropriate uses for seven neglected historic theaters located between Broadway and Eighth Avenue, starting with The New Victory Theater. Cora serves on the Boards of The Park Avenue Armory; The Times Square Alliance, is Founder and Trustee Emeritus of both the Joyce Theater and Eliot Feld’s Ballet Tech, and has been the recipient of a number of awards for public service, including the 2001 New York State Governor’s Arts Award.
Paul Kellogg – Paul Kellogg ran the highly regarded Glimmerglass Opera from 1979 until his retirement in 2005. Kellogg presided over projects from the construction of the 914-seat Alice Busch Opera Theater, designed by Hugh Hardy to the establishment of its two-month repertory season. In 1996, he took on the additional responsibility of General and Administrative Director of the New York City Opera, where he has brought new and innovative programs and policies that have attracted new audiences and quite a bit of media attention.
Richard Koshalek, Chairman – Richard Koshalek is the former Director of the Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. He was the Director of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art from 1982 to 1999, where he became known as a visionary advocate of contemporary art with a keen interest in architecture and design. He has a distinguished record of participation and leadership on a long list of Arts Panels and Commissions both within and without the United States. He is frequently called upon for his special expertise in the design and construction of performance and exhibition space. He is now the President of the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. Art Center provides a variety of programs in the Fine Arts, but is perhaps best known for producing leaders in the world of Design. Art Center graduates designed the new VW Beetle, the Audi TT and the Nokia cell phones. Since his appointment, our Chairman has undertaken a long range plan that will bring new vitality to Art Center and consolidate its position as a leader in Art and Design.