American Philosophical Society
Member History

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5. The Arts, Professions, and Leaders in Public & Private Affairs[X]
501. Creative Artists[X]
1Name:  Mr. Ken Burns
 Institution:  Florentine Films
 Year Elected:  2011
 Class:  5. The Arts, Professions, and Leaders in Public & Private Affairs
 Subdivision:  501. Creative Artists
 Residency:  Resident
 Living? :   Living
 Birth Date:  1953
Ken Burns is considered by many to be one of the most distinguished and influential documentary filmmakers in the United States. His various documentaries - including: Brooklyn Bridge, 1981; The Shakers: Hands to Work, Hearts to God, 1984; The Statue of Liberty, 1985; Huey Long, 1985; The Congress, 1988; Thomas Hart Benton, 1988; The Civil War, 1990; Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio, 1991; William Segal, 1992; Baseball, 1994; Vezelay, 1996; Thomas Jefferson, 1997; Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery, 1997; Frank Lloyd Wright, 1998; Not For Ourselves Alone: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, 1999; In the Marketplace, 2000; Jazz, 2001; Mark Twain, 2001; Horatio’s Drive: America’s First Road Trip, 2003; Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson, 2005; The War, 2007; The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, 2009 - explore the history of America in a unique and inspiring way through the use of innovative and captivating cinematography, memorable underlying musical motifs, and a distinctive storytelling voice. Often playing multiple roles as filmmaker, Burns was the director, producer, co-writer, chief cinematographer, music director and executive producer of both Baseball and The Civil War. In cinematography, Burns’ technique of panning across a photograph to focus on the subject of narration is now referred to as the Ken Burns Effect. He has won numerous awards - The Civil War alone bringing in over 40 - including seven Emmy awards, and has been nominated twice for the Academy Award for Best Documentary. He is the recipient of the 2019 Lenfest Spirit of the American Revolution Award. His work continues with Baseball: The Tenth Inning (2010), Prohibition (2011), The Dust Bowl (2012) The Central Park Five (2012), and The Roosevelts (2014). He and his works are symbols of excellence and humanity. He was elected a member of the American Philosophical Society in 2011.
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