John Lithgow

Out of His Element

John Lithgow: Out of His Element
John Lithgow

What is the role of an artist in society?

Artist’s Note

“Greetings, friends, from an actor momentarily idled by an industry brought to a halt by COVID.

“I join my fellow commissioners from the Arts Commission of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in offering you a little glimpse into my current creative life. This glimpse reveals a new adventure of mine which has little to do with acting but a lot to do with our current social and political climate. As such, it is a considerable departure for me, yet dovetails with my lifelong enthusiasm for performance, language, humor, and provocation.

“I’ve captured the process of creating a book of poems with my own illustrations. I do not present this little video as self-advertisement, but if you happen to open the finished book in the coming year, you’ll have the unique experience of seeing the results of a process which you actually witnessed taking place many months before!

“Thanks for watching.”

– John Lithgow, 7/8/2021

About the Artist

John Lithgow, a member of the Academy and Cochair of the Commission on the Arts, is an actor and author. 

John A. Lithgow

Academy Member
Commission Member

Commission on the Arts

The Commission - drawing on the expertise of its members who are artists, scholars, activists, and leaders, as well as the input of people across the country who participated in listening sessions - dedicated itself to recognizing and supporting the essential role of the arts and artists in American life.