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NYU President Emeritus John Brademas Named to American Association of Museums Centennial Honor Roll


Friday, May 12, 2006, New York University President Emeritus John Brademas has been selected for induction into the American Association of Museums (AAM) Centennial Honor Roll as “a pioneer in the museum field.”

Ed Able, President and Chief Executive Officer of the AAM, and Jeff Rudolph, Chairman of the Board of Directors, told Dr. Brademas, who served as a Member of the United States House of Representatives (D-Indiana) from 1959 to 1981: “Your nomination is an acknowledgement from the field of the contributions you have made to the museum profession. As a co-sponsor of the 1965 law establishing the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), you contributed to founding two agencies that have become invaluable supporters of museums and lifelong learning over the past 40 years.”

Able and Rudolph added in reference to Dr. Brademas: “As the chief House sponsor of the Museum Services Act, you helped create the primary support for the nation’s 122,000 libraries and 15,000 museums. The Institute empowers museums and libraries nationwide to provide leadership and services to enhance learning in families and communities, sustained cultural heritage, build 21st century skills, and increase civic participation. You have truly been a pioneer in the museum field.”

Dr. Brademas was the author, with Senator Claiborne Pell of Rhode Island — who was also named to the AAM Centennial Honor Roll — of the Arts and Artifacts Indemnity Act of 1975, which enables museums in the United States to borrow art or other artifacts from abroad without the expense of prohibitively high insurance.

Able and Rudolph said the Centennial Honor Roll was created in 2005 to pay tribute to 100 of America’s museum champions who have worked during the past 100 years to innovate, improve and expand how museums in the United States serve the public.

Dr. Brademas said, “I am deeply touched by such an honor and most grateful for it.”

Added the NYU President Emeritus, “My own major project now is the John Brademas Center for the Study of Congress, in NYU’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. In our separation-of-powers constitutional system, not only the President but Senators and Congressmen also have the critical capacity to initiate public policy. The Museum Services Act, the Library Services and Construction Act and the Arts and Artifacts Indemnity Act are all examples of national policy initiated not by the White House but by Congress.”

Nominations for individuals, according to Able and Rudolph, were solicited from the field and over 500 nominations were received. A Centennial Honor Roll Committee convened several times to undertake the difficult selection process. The Committee included a cross-section of the museum community in terms of region, discipline and field. The Committee was encouraged to interpret the criteria for selection based on the testimonials submitted on behalf of the nominee and any supporting documentation and knowledge of the candidate’s contribution to the museum field.

The AAM leaders added: “The honorees have supported the profession and helped make America’s museums places of discovery, inspiration, community, joy and lifelong learning. They have truly shown leadership to the field and service to the public throughout their careers.”

The Centennial honor Roll will be recognized on the AAM website (, in the May issue of AAM’s monthly newsletter Aviso, and in the July/August issue of the AAM’s bimonthly magazine Museum News.

Others who have been named to the Centennial Honor Roll include: Alfred Barr, Jr., Museum of Modern Art; J. Carter Brown, National Gallery of Art; Philippe De Montebello and C. Douglas Dillon, Metropolitan Museum of Art; Nancy Hanks, National Endowment for the Arts; Joseph Veach Noble, Museum of the City of New York; S. Dillon Ripley, Smithsonian Institution; Paul J. Sachs, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University; and Sidney Yates, United States House of Representatives.

N-406, 2005-06


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