Guild Hall has announced the recipients of its 28th Academy of the Arts Lifetime Achievement Awards, to be presented on March 4 at a benefit dinner at the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan.
Those who will be honored are John Alexander for visual arts, Walter Isaacson for literary arts, Nathan Lane for performing arts, and Mickey Straus for leadership and philanthropy. Marshall Brickman will return as master of ceremonies and the presenters will include Ken Auletta, Alec Baldwin, and Jack O’Brien.
The academy honors summer and year-round East End residents who have continuously excelled over the years in their chosen fields. Past recipients have included Laurie Anderson, John Robin Baitz, Steven Spielberg, Billy Joel, Elaine Stritch, Mel Brooks, and Alec Baldwin for performing arts; Julian Schnabel, Willem de Kooning, Roy Lichtenstein, Bruce Weber, April Gornik, and Chuck Close for visual arts, and Kurt Vonnegut, E. L. Doctorow, Edward Albee, Joseph Heller, and Joe Pintauro for literary arts. Eli Wallach, Anne Jackson, Dina Merrill, and Peter Jennings are among honorees who have received special awards from the academy.
Mr. Alexander, a native Texan who left the state in the 1970s for New York City, is known for his fantastical realistic paintings of nature and people. In addition to many gallery and museum shows throughout his career, he was given a retrospective at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 2008. A part-time resident of Amagansett, he has been a volunteer firefighter there.
Mr. Isaacson, formerly chairman and chief executive officer of CNN, editor of Time magazine, and the author of several books including a recent best-selling biography of Steve Jobs, is currently president and chief executive officer of the Aspen Institute, based in Washington, D.C.
Mr. Lane is a Tony, Emmy, and Screen Actors Guild award-winning actor, who was most recently seen in “The Iceman Cometh” with Brian Dennehy in Chicago. He appears on television in a recurring role in “The Good Wife” on CBS. Probably his best known star turn was as Max Bialystock in “The Producers” on Broadway, which won the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and Tony Awards for Best Actor in a Musical, as well as an Olivier Award in London when the play ran there.
Melville (Mickey) Straus joined Guild Hall’s board in 1992 and was named its chairman in 1995. The founder and a chief programmer of the cultural center’s Hamptons Institute, he led Guild Hall’s $14 million capital campaign for the renovations of its building and grounds, completed in 2009. He has had a long career in the investment industry and since 1998 has been head of Straus Asset Management. Mr. Straus serves as a director of many arts-related institutions.
Tickets to the 28th Academy of the Arts Lifetime Achievement Awards can be purchased through Guild Hall’s special events department. Funds raised from the 6 to 10 p.m. event will benefit Guild Hall’s programming.