On Wednesday 18 May at an induction and award ceremony, Norman Foster became one of 75 foreign Honorary Members of the New York based American Academy of Arts and Letters. The Academy elects distinguished foreign artists, writers, architects and composers, to become lifetime Honorary Members in order to strengthen cultural ties with other countries.
Comprising a further 250 writers, composers, painters, sculptors, and architects, the Academy encourages and sustains interest in Literature, Music, and the Fine Arts by identifying and encouraging individual artists. This is achieved principally through award schemes and prizes, exhibitions, readings and performances of new works, as well as the purchase of works of art and their distribution to museums.
Norman Foster's Honorary Membership of the Academy is the latest of a number of personal awards and citations. He became the 21st Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate in 1999 and was awarded the Praemium Imperiale Award for Architecture in 2002. He has been awarded the Royal Gold Medal for Architecture (1983), the Gold Medal of the French Academy of Architecture (1991) and the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal for Architecture (1994). In 1990 he was granted a Knighthood in the Queen's Birthday Honours, appointed by the Queen to the Order of Merit in 1997 and in 1999 was honoured with a Life Peerage in the Queen's Birthday Honours List, as Lord Foster of Thames Bank.