The following are the comments that President Clinton made during his presentation of the 1999 National Medal of Honor to Michael Graves:
‘Michael Graves is a rare individual who finds equal wonder in things both large and small. As one of our century’s most important designers and architects, he has said he gets as much pleasure planning a large building as he does designing a spatula.
“So it’s little wonder that Michael Graves’ work can be found from our shopping malls to our National Mall. From an award-winning office building to a tea kettle; to the creative scaffolding around the Washington Monument — which, I might say, has enriched the lives of every person in Washington, D.C. — and made those often stuck in what is now America’s most crowded traffic patterned city have their time pass a little better, Michael Graves has created art that surrounds our lives.
“He calls himself a great practitioner, but in some ways his challenge is more daunting than that of a physician. As Frank Lloyd Wright once said, ‘After all, the doctor can bury his mistake, but the architect can only advise his client to plant vines.’ The only thing that grows and covers Michael Graves’ work is our admiration, appreciation and respect.”