The Queen’s Birthday Honours list for this Platinum Jubilee year is feting a considerable number of people in the arts. Three cultural figures have been appointed Companions of Honour, the highest award.
Quentin Blake, the illustrator, has drawn images for over 300 books. He is now helping to fund the restoration of a 19th-century water-processing complex in London’s Islington to serve as a display and study centre for illustrations. The novelist Marina Warner, who is also an art acritic and curator. Her recent books include Forms of Enchantment: Writings on Art & Artists (2018). The third Companion of Honour is the controversial writer Salman Rushdie.
Three arts figures receive knighthoods: Nicholas Coleridge, the chairman of the Victoria & Albert Museum since 2015, is praised for presiding over “a remarkable period of resurgence” for the museum. Isaac Julien, the artist and filmmaker, produces work which “breaks down the barriers between different artistic disciplines”. And Jeremy Wright, who served as secretary of state for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) from 2018 to 19, until he was dropped by the then-incoming prime minister Boris Johnson.
Maria Miller, another former culture secretary (2012-14), has been made a Dame Commander. Meanwhile, Commander of the British Empire (CBE) awards went to Darren Henley, chief executive of Arts Council England, and council member Elisabeth Murdoch. Henley’s counterpart from the Arts Council of Wales, Nicholas Capaldi, received the slightly lower Order of the British Empire (OBE).
Awards of the CBE were also given to the artist Cornelia Parker and the director of Culture Liverpool Claire McColgan. An OBE went to Creative UK chief executive Caroline Norbury. Three officials are recognised for their work supporting Coventry as the 2021-22 City of Culture, which ended yesterday (31 May): Martin Sutherland (OBE), Chenine Bhathena (MBE) and Laura McMillan (MBE).
The artist Chila Burman received a MBE for her “uplifting” installations during the pandemic. During the first winter of Covid-19 she festooned the portico facade of Tate Britain with coloured lights.