He has also participated in nearly 800 group exhibitions. An award winning artist, Mr. Close was presented with the prestigious National Medal of Arts by President Clinton in 2000. In 1988 Mr. Close was paralyzed following a rare spinal artery collapse, he continues to paint using a brush-holding device strapped to his wrist and forearm. Mr. Close studied at the University of Washington School of Art (B.A., 1962) and at the Yale University School of Art and Architecture (B.F.A., 1963; M.F.A., 1964), receiving honorary degrees from both of his alma maters as well as 20 other institutions.
Close is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, has served on the board of many arts organizations and was recently appointed by President Obama to serve on The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities.