James Culligan (center) becomes a new Knight of the Alexander Order, as the European Grandmaster Joe F. Bodenstein (right) makes the official proclamation. Knight Arnulf Damerau (left) came as part of the European delegation of the OAG.
Clarence/Paris (bpb) James Culligan became a new Knight of Alexander Order Pour le Mérite for Arts and Science. "All members of the Secret Council OAG voted for the Irish-American Painter", declared Consul B. John Zavrel, Chancellor of the international Order. The inauguration took place in Clarence, New York in the presence of OAG Grandmaster Dr. Wilson Greatbatch, the inventor of the implantable pacemaker.
The Grandmaster said in his welcome: "We honor James Culligan as an artist and for his engagement in our democratic society."
At the event also participated a delegation of European Knights, led by John G. Bodenstein, Lord of Noervenich Castle. This historical castle in the German State Nordrhein-Westfalen (NRW) is the residence of the Order. The delegation included, among others, Knights Sigurd Kuepper and Marco J. Bodenstein, Curator of the Museum Europaeische Kunst (Germany).
The red-gold-dark blue ribbon of the Order was handed over to Culligan by the European Grandmaster Joe F. Bodenstein, assisted by Knight Arnulf Damerau (London). In his laudatio for the knight, J.F. Bodenstein said: James Culligan was born in Ireland. He is a US citizen who lives in Canada. Mr. Culligan has worked as an educator and counsellor, and has been interested in art and painting for many years. After retirement, he increased his involvement in the arts. He has supported the artistic exchange between the Museum of European Art and artistes from the town of Owen Sound (Ontario, Canada).
Culligan's work ranges from landscapes to hunting scenes to portraits. His portraits include His Holiness The Dalai Lama, which is to be seen in the present Museum exhibition. We admire also portraits of the pilot Amelia Earhardt, Mother Theresa (Calcutta) and several Irish Nobel prize winners. The Order welcomes the artist as Knight James into its ranks."
© PROMETHEUS 140/2009
PROMETHEUS, Internet Bulletin - News, Politics, Art and Science. Nr. 140, February, 2009