MacDowell chairman Michael Chabon says in a statement that Spiegelman, the first medal recipient honored for graphic novels, was a pioneer in making comics respected as an art form. He calls his work "personal and world historical."
Chabon will present the medal to Spiegelman on Aug. 12 during a free public event in Peterborough. Spiegelman is best known for his Holocaust works "Maus: A Survivor's Tale: My Father Bleeds History" and "Maus II: A Survivor's Tale: And Here My Troubles Began."
Previous MacDowell medal winners include Robert Frost, Toni Morrison and Joan Didion.