WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama awarded the 2010 National Medals of Arts and National Humanities Medals to 20 honorees Wednesday in the East Room of the White House.

Recipients of a National Medal of Arts included legendary musicians James Taylor, Sonny Rollins, Van Cliburn and Quincy Jones; poet David Hall; as well as Harper Lee and Meryl Streep, who were not in attendance.

National Humanities Medal winners included writers Wendell E. Berry and Joyce Carol Oates; academics Daniel Aaron and Stanley Nider Katz; and Pulitzer Prize winning historians Bernard Bailyn, and Gordon Wood, and novelist Philip Roth.

“I speak personally here because there are people here whose books or poetry or works of history shaped me,” said Obama. “And I think what’s true for me is true for everyone here and true for our country.”

The National Medal of Arts is a lifetime achievement award presented artists and arts patrons who have made extraordinary accomplishments in the fields of visual, performing, and literary arts. Similarly, individuals selected to receive a National Humanities Medal are recognized for their scholarly contributions to the humanities fields.

First lady Michelle Obama, second lady Jill Biden, and Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., along with family and friends of the honorees, attended the ceremony.
For a full list of 2010 National Medals of Arts and National Humanities Medals recipients, see the list below:

2010 National Medal of Arts
• Robert Brustein
• Van Cliburn
• Mark di Suvero
• Donald Hall
• Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival
• Quincy Jones
• Harper Lee
• Sonny Rollins
• Meryl Streep
• James Taylor

2010 National Humanities Medal
• Daniel Aaron
• Bernard Bailyn
• Jacques Barzun
• Wendell E. Berry
• Roberto González Echevarría
• Stanley Nider Katz
• Joyce Carol Oates
• Arnold Rampersad
• Philip Roth
• Gordon Wood