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Thursday, March 03, 2011

And the Award Goes To...

Inspired by this week's Oscars, which I did in fact watch, it seemed a fitting time to highlight some of the various awards and medals in the Rosenbach's collection. (By the way, if you've seen The King's Speech you might enjoy this Washington Post article about history and the movies)

I thought I'd start with Dr. Rosenbach's Medal of Honor. No, not the Congressional Medal of Honor--he never received one of those. But he did get the Edward Bowes Medal of Honor from Major Bowes Original Amateur Hour.

Major Edward Bowes Medal of Honor, presented to A.S.W. Rosenbach. 1934-1946. 2002.257

Unlike other Radio Hour guests like Frank Sinatra and Beverly Sills, Rosenbach was no golden-tongued crooner, but he and Major Bowes were close friends who shared a love of fine food and of the Bard—both were officers of the Shakespeare Association of America. Bowes repeatedly spun Rosenbach yarns on-air and once joked to Dr. R. that the publicity would “add a million bucks to your gross business….”

Most of the awards in our collection are, rather unsurprisingly, from Marianne Moore, who won scads of awards for her poetry, including the Pulitzer Prize, the Bollingen Prize and the National Book Award. Here's the Book Award, which Moore won in 1952 for Collected Poems .

National Book Award presented to Marianne Moore. 1952. 2006.4100

If you'd like to see how she thanked the Academy, you can read her acceptance speech at the National Book Foundation's site


In 1967 Moore was honored by becoming a Chevalier in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. The French really know how to make a pretty medal--and appropriately enough the reverse of the medal features an image of Marianne, the emblem of France.

Ordre des Arts et des Lettres presented to Marianne Moore.1967. 2006.2882

And here's Moore's National Medal for Literature, which she received in 1968 from the National Book Committee, which also selected the National Book Award winners.

National Medal for Literature presented to Marianne Moore. 1968. 2006.2881

This time Moore closed her acceptance speech by quoting Ben Jonson's lines about"Stand for truth, and ‘tis enough".

I could go on, but I think I hear the exit music, so that's it until next week...

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