Michael Graves received his architectural training at the University of Cincinnati and at Harvard University. Among his many completed projects were the Portland Building, the Humana Building, the Clos Pegase Winery in the Napa Valley, and the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels. Graves was the winner of fifteen Progressive Architecture Design Awards, nine American Institute of Architects National Honor Awards, and thirty-eight New Jersey Society of Architects, AIA Awards.
Michael Graves was awarded the national medal of the arts. At the ceremony, then President Clinton said of Graves:
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...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.
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. (Laughter.)
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," -- (laughter) -- "but the architect can only advise his client to plant vines." (Laughter.) The only thing that grows and covers Michael Graves' work is our admiration, appreciation and respect."