Ingmar Bergman 1995 Recipient

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Ingmar Bergman was an acclaimed Swedish film writer-director; he is widely recognized as being among the most influential filmmakers of all time. Described as a “master filmmaker who found bleakness and despair as well as comedy and hope in his indelible explorations of the human condition”, Bergman made over 60 films in his life and directed over 170 plays. His work, often dealing with themes of death, faith, betrayal, vulnerability, loneliness and bleakness, is credited with bringing a new seriousness to filmmaking.

Known for his versatile camera work and for his fragmented narrative style, Bergman studied art and literature at Stockholm University where he wrote a number of plays and became an assistant director. He experienced an extremely successful career from the time his name first appeared on screen as the writer of Torment in 1944, and remained very connected to Sweden throughout his life, shooting several films on the island of Faro, where he spent much of his life.

Bergman’s first great international success was Smiles of A Summer Night (1995) and his acclaimed films include The Seventh Seal (1957), Wild Strawberries (1957), Through a Glass Darkly (1961), Winter Light (1961), The Silence (1963), Cries and Whispers (1972), and Fanny and Alexander (1983). His film, Through a Glass Darkly, won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film.  He also received Swedish Academy of Letters Great Cold Medal and the Swedish Film Institute established a prize for excellence in filmmaking in his name. Bergman died in 2007, leaving one of the greatest cinematic legacies in history.

Selection Committee

Hugh Hardy, Chairman – Hugh Hardy is Founding Partner of H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture. Hardy has built and reshaped America’s cultural landscape through architecture. His celebrated projects include, the restoration of Radio City Music Hall, the revitalization of Bryant Park, renovation of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and multiple projects for the Brooklyn Academy of Music and Lincoln Center Theater, among many others.

Hardy’s recent awards include, the Commissioner’s Award for Excellence in Public Architecture by the United States General Services Administration, Placemark Award from the Design History Foundation, President’s Award from the Architectural League of New York, and the Distinguished Achievement Award in Theatre Design by the US Institute for Theatre Technology, Inc.

Martha Clarke – Martha Clark is an American theater director and choreographer. She is celebrated for her multidisciplinary approach to theatre, dance, and opera. Martha’s directorial credits include Garden of Earthly Delights, Vienna: Lusthau, Miracolo d’amore, Endangered Species, An Uncertain Hour, The Hunger Artist, Vers La Flame, Belle Epoque, Kaos, The Magic Flute, Cosi Fan Tutte, and Gluck’s Orfeo and Eurydice.

Clark is the recipient of a MacArthur “Genius” grant in addition to fellowships from the NEA and Guggenheim Foundation. Other awards include, Drama Desk Award, two Obie Awards and the LA Critics Award, the Samuel H. Scripps/American Dance Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement and the Dance Magazine Award.

Chuck Close – Chuck Close is an American painter, he is renowned for his highly inventive techniques for painting the human face, and is best known for his large-scale, photo-based portrait paintings. Chuck, paralyzed following a rare spinal artery collapse, continues to paint using a brush-holding device strapped to his wrist and forearm. His practice extends beyond painting to encompass printmaking, photography, and, most recently, tapestries based on Polaroids.

In 2000, Close was presented with the prestigious National Medal of Arts by President Clinton. Close is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, has served on the board of many arts organizations, and was recently appointed by President Obama to serve on The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.

Arthur Penn – Arthur Penn was an American director and producer of film, television and theater. He directed critically acclaimed films throughout the 1960s such as the drama The Chase (1966), the biographical crime film Bonnie and Clyde (1967) and the comedy Alice’s Restaurant (1969).

Later in his career he worked in stage and television direction and production, including an executive producer role for the crime series Law & Order. Penn received a Tony Award for his stage version of The Miracle Worker and two Sylvania Awards.

Francine Prose – Francine Prose is a celebrated American writer and a visiting Professor of Literature at Bard College. Previously she held the prestigious position of President of PEN American Center.  She is the author of The Glorious Ones, which was adapted into a musical, and Blue Angel, which was adapted for a movie and a finalist for the National Book Award.

She has received numerus awards including the PEN Translation, the Guggenheim Fellowship, and the Rome Prize.