Susan Stamberg http://krwg.org en For Paul Cezanne, An Apple A Day Kept Obscurity Away http://krwg.org/post/paul-cezanne-apple-day-kept-obscurity-away Pablo Picasso once said that the great 19th-century French painter Paul Cezanne was "the father of us all." Cezanne's distinctive brush strokes, and the way he distorted perspective and his subjects, influenced the cubists, and most artists who came after him. In Philadelphia, the Barnes Foundation is showing a group of still-life paintings by Cezanne.<p>A few months ago, my neighbor Barbara Baldwin went to the Barnes, which has an incredible collection of pretty much every painting you've ever seen reproduced in art books that's not already at the Met or the Musee d'Orsay in Paris. Thu, 10 Jul 2014 07:24:00 +0000 Susan Stamberg 70159 at http://krwg.org For Paul Cezanne, An Apple A Day Kept Obscurity Away The Turbulent Love Story Behind Yves Saint Laurent's Revolutionary Rise http://krwg.org/post/turbulent-love-story-behind-yves-saint-laurents-revolutionary-rise In 2009, <em>Forbes</em> <a href="http://www.forbes.com/2009/10/27/yves-saint-laurent-auction-art-furniture-business-entertainment-dead-celebs-09-ysl.html">rated</a> designer Yves Saint Laurent the "Top-Earning Dead Celebrity" of the year. (Surely a bittersweet distinction.) Now, Saint Laurent's success — and how it was shaped and fed by his lover and manager Pierre Berge — is the subject of the new film <em>Yves Saint Laurent</em>. In it, their relationship is both interactive and supportive. Tue, 24 Jun 2014 07:26:00 +0000 Susan Stamberg 68982 at http://krwg.org The Turbulent Love Story Behind Yves Saint Laurent's Revolutionary Rise Meet The Models: Exhibit Explores The People Behind The Paintings http://krwg.org/post/meet-models-exhibit-explores-people-behind-paintings An artist friend, Virginia Isbell, once asked me to pose for a quick pastel sketch in her Paris studio. I was flattered — and amazed to be on that side of a work of art. Never have I been looked at so intently, except by a parent or a lover. I was being fixed, examined, absorbed. And, for all the intensity, there was absolutely nothing personal about it.<p>I was an object to be replicated. Her eyes went from my face to her sketchpad, my nose, my eyes, mouth, chin — sketched in pastel in 20 minutes. It was fun. Thu, 12 Jun 2014 07:08:00 +0000 Susan Stamberg 68145 at http://krwg.org Meet The Models: Exhibit Explores The People Behind The Paintings As Portraits Became Passé, These Artists Redefined 'Face Value' http://krwg.org/post/portraits-became-pass-these-artists-redefined-face-value "Walk softly and carry a big fish" was one curator's take on a humorous self-portrait of a tall woman, holding an enormous yellow fish and a paintbrush, with a black cat lurking below.<p>Bay area artist Joan Brown's image is the first thing you see at a new National Portrait Gallery exhibition called <a href="http://npg.si.edu/exhibit/face/index.html" target="_blank">"Face Value: Portraiture in the Age of Abstraction."</a> Brown's painting, like so many in this Smithsonian show, is powerful and funny.<p>In a nearby sculpture, Hugh Hefner — the Playboy pooh-bah — holds a painted pipe in one han Thu, 29 May 2014 06:56:00 +0000 Susan Stamberg 67134 at http://krwg.org As Portraits Became Passé, These Artists Redefined 'Face Value' Impressionists With Benefits? The Painting Partnership Of Degas And Cassatt http://krwg.org/post/impressionists-benefits-painting-partnership-degas-and-cassatt In her novel <em>I Always Loved You</em>, author Robin Oliveira imagines a passionate scene between Edgar Degas — a French artist known for his paintings of dancers — and Mary Cassatt — an American painter known for her scenes of family life. Fri, 23 May 2014 06:57:00 +0000 Susan Stamberg 66721 at http://krwg.org Impressionists With Benefits? The Painting Partnership Of Degas And Cassatt One Collector's Plan To Save Realistic Art Was Anything But Abstract http://krwg.org/post/one-collectors-plan-save-realistic-art-was-anything-abstract Plenty of collectors want to donate artworks to museums, but the museums don't always welcome them with open arms. "We say 'no thanks' 19 times out of 20," says Betsy Broun, director at the American Art Museum. Sometimes the works aren't museum-quality, other times they don't fit with the museums' philosophy.<p>But in 1986, representatives from the Sara Roby Foundation called the Smithsonian with an offer it couldn't refuse: paintings by Edward Hopper, Raphael Soyer, Reginald Marsh and many more. Mon, 12 May 2014 07:23:00 +0000 Susan Stamberg 65912 at http://krwg.org One Collector's Plan To Save Realistic Art Was Anything But Abstract Girls Are Taught To 'Think Pink,' But That Wasn't Always So http://krwg.org/post/girls-are-taught-think-pink-wasnt-always-so With sleet, snow and freezing temperatures extending through March, the National Cherry Blossom Festival — which recently kicked off in Washington, D.C. — is decidedly less pink this year. In a few weeks the Tidal Basin will be ringed by rosy, pink blossoms, but until then, we traveled north to Boston, where a show at the Museum of Fine Arts called "<a href="https://www.mfa.org/exhibitions/think-pink" target="_blank">Think Pink</a>" explores the history and social impact of the color.<p>Pink has always been with us, though it was not always as gender-entrenched as it is today. Tue, 01 Apr 2014 07:08:00 +0000 Susan Stamberg 63108 at http://krwg.org Girls Are Taught To 'Think Pink,' But That Wasn't Always So Japanese Tea Ritual Turned 15th Century 'Tupperware' Into Art http://krwg.org/post/japanese-tea-ritual-turned-15th-century-tupperware-art Eight hundred years ago, tea was rare in Japan. It arrived from China in simple, ceramic storage jars. Chinese ceramists churned these jars out with little care or attention; they stuffed tea leaves into them and shipped them off.<p>The jars were "the Chinese version of Tupperware," says <a href="https://www.princeton.edu/artandarchaeology/faculty/watsky/">Andrew Watsky</a>, a professor of Japanese art history at Princeton.<p>But once the workaday storage jugs reached Japan, they became objects of aesthetic contemplation and, often, reverence. Tue, 18 Mar 2014 09:22:00 +0000 Susan Stamberg 62142 at http://krwg.org Japanese Tea Ritual Turned 15th Century 'Tupperware' Into Art Re-Released Recordings Reveal Literary Titans In Their Youth http://krwg.org/post/re-released-recordings-reveal-literary-titans-their-youth You can listen to plenty of actors performing the works of William Shakespeare. But imagine if you could hear the voice of the young playwright himself — or the older one, for that matter — reading his own writing aloud.<p>Well, we can't take you back that far. But in the early 1960s, when recorded readings by authors were rare, a young couple in Boston decided to be literary audio pioneers.<p>The idea was hatched in 1962. Lynne Sharon Schwartz, who is a respected novelist today,<strong> </strong>was working on a magazine at the time. Thu, 06 Mar 2014 08:00:00 +0000 Susan Stamberg 61322 at http://krwg.org Re-Released Recordings Reveal Literary Titans In Their Youth Keen Eyes, Uncanny Instincts Keep Films In Sharp Focus http://krwg.org/post/keen-eyes-uncanny-instincts-keep-films-sharp-focus You won't believe it — I didn't — but the person responsible for keeping each and every shot of a movie in focus never looks through a camera lens.<p>"No," says focus puller Baird Steptoe. "We do not look through the camera at all."<p>Steptoe has worked as a first assistant cameraman on films from <em>The Sixth Sense</em> to <em>Thor</em> to last year's <em>Grownups Two.</em> He says he's learned to judge distances — precise distances — with his naked eye alone.<p>"I mean, I can tell you roughly from you to me right now," he says. "I would say about 2-11."<p>Two feet 11 inches, that is. Fri, 28 Feb 2014 08:20:00 +0000 Susan Stamberg 60944 at http://krwg.org Keen Eyes, Uncanny Instincts Keep Films In Sharp Focus 'Clap!' On Set, The Signature Sound Of The Slate http://krwg.org/post/clap-set-signature-sound-slate More than the roar of the MGM lion, more than the 20th Century Fox fanfare, the iconic sound of moviemaking is the sharp clap of a slate — although film folks have a language of their own to describe it.<p>"Miki's hitting the sticks on this one," says assistant cameraman Larry Nielsen, pointing to <em>his </em>assistant.<p>Take after take, day after day, some Miki or other on a movie set "hits the sticks" — to synchronize the sound with the pictures. In the silent-film days, it wasn't an issue. Thu, 27 Feb 2014 08:28:00 +0000 Susan Stamberg 60858 at http://krwg.org 'Clap!' On Set, The Signature Sound Of The Slate Sid Caesar, Who Got Laughs Without Politics Or Putdowns, Dies At 91 http://krwg.org/post/sid-caesar-who-got-laughs-without-politics-or-putdowns-dies-91 Comedian Sid Caesar, one of early network TV's biggest stars, died Wednesday morning at his home in Beverly Hills. He was 91.<p>Caesar didn't do smut, putdowns or smarmy remarks. Instead, he did <em>skits:</em> grown-up, gentle comedy for the whole family.<p>In one skit, Caesar was the smarter-than-anyone German "professor." Carl Reiner played a movie executive with money problems. The professor's solution? Make a musical — and get the greatest composer in the world. He is shocked to discover that his top choice won't be available.<p><blockquote><p>"Beethoven, dead? Ludwig is gone. Wed, 12 Feb 2014 22:13:00 +0000 Susan Stamberg 59818 at http://krwg.org Sid Caesar, Who Got Laughs Without Politics Or Putdowns, Dies At 91 Sid Caesar, One Of TV's Earliest Stars, Dies At The Age Of 91 http://krwg.org/post/sid-caesar-one-tvs-earliest-stars-dies-age-91 The comic actor Sid Caesar died on Wednesday at the age of 91. He starred in the popular 1950s program, Your Show of Shows, television's first live comedy show, featuring skits and musical numbers. Wed, 12 Feb 2014 21:29:00 +0000 Susan Stamberg 59823 at http://krwg.org 'Life' Photographer Showed Africa Through A New Lens http://krwg.org/post/life-photographer-showed-africa-through-new-lens Before World War II, many Americans got exaggerated ideas about Africa from movies like <em>Tarzan the Ape Man — </em>movies that were filmed on Hollywood sound stages<em>. </em><p>It took time to change that view. But after the war, <em>Life</em> magazine photographer Eliot Elisofon sought to shed a new light on the vast and variegated continent.<p>An exhibit of Elisofon's work is currently <a href="http://africa.si.edu/exhibits/africa-reviewed/index.html" target="_blank">on display at the Museum of African Art</a> in Washington, D.C. Mon, 10 Feb 2014 08:24:00 +0000 Susan Stamberg 59620 at http://krwg.org 'Life' Photographer Showed Africa Through A New Lens Portrait Show Brings Photographer-Subject Encounters Into Focus http://krwg.org/post/portrait-show-brings-photographer-subject-encounters-focus When someone takes our picture, we usually deliver a mile-wide grin, but there's not a smile in the room at the Phillips Collection's photography show in Washington.<p>The exhibit mostly consists of portraits of inner lives, taken by various photographers, and it's about the encounter between the two participants. Susan Behrends Frank curated the small show, called "<a href="http://www.phillipscollection.org/exhibitions/2013-10-24-exhibition-shaping-modern-identity-lichtenberg.aspx">Shaping a<strong> </strong>Modern Identity</a>," which is running through Jan. Thu, 26 Dec 2013 08:16:00 +0000 Susan Stamberg 56610 at http://krwg.org Portrait Show Brings Photographer-Subject Encounters Into Focus Thanksgivukkah: A Mash Of Two Holidays That's Easy To Relish http://krwg.org/post/thanksgivukkah-mash-two-holidays-thats-easy-relish It's that time of year again. Time for Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish. Every year since 1972, around Thanksgiving, I've shared my mother-in-law's famous cranberry relish recipe on the radio. It's appallingly pink, like Pepto Bismol — but it tastes terrific.<p>This year, I bring my relish recipe to Thanksgivukkah. Next week, Thanksgiving and the start of Hanukkah fall on the same day. It's a rare convergence.<p>How unusual is it? Well, the last time Thanksgiving and Hanukkah shared a start date was 125 years ago — and it won't happen again for another 76,000 or so years. Fri, 22 Nov 2013 07:57:00 +0000 Susan Stamberg 54421 at http://krwg.org Thanksgivukkah: A Mash Of Two Holidays That's Easy To Relish In 1913, A New York Armory Filled With Art Stunned The Nation http://krwg.org/post/1913-new-york-armory-filled-art-stunned-nation One hundred years ago in New York City, nearly 90,000 people came to see the future of art. The 1913 Armory Show gave America its first look at what avant-garde artists in Europe were doing. Today these artists are in major museums around the world, but in 1913, they were mostly unknown in America.<p>Boasting 1,400 works — from artists such as George Braque, Mary Cassatt, Paul Cezanne, Edgar Degas, and many, many more — it was the biggest art show New York had ever seen. Mon, 11 Nov 2013 08:22:00 +0000 Susan Stamberg 53604 at http://krwg.org In 1913, A New York Armory Filled With Art Stunned The Nation Pen Pal Of Young 'Jerry' Salinger May Have Been First To Meet Holden http://krwg.org/post/pen-pal-young-jerry-salinger-may-have-been-first-meet-holden Fans of the reclusive J.D. Salinger are in their element these days. Thu, 24 Oct 2013 07:17:00 +0000 Susan Stamberg 52429 at http://krwg.org Pen Pal Of Young 'Jerry' Salinger May Have Been First To Meet Holden A Hint That J.D. Salinger Kept Writing, From A Story He Didn't Write http://krwg.org/post/hint-jd-salinger-kept-writing-story-he-didnt-write With J.D. Salinger in the news three years after his death (and the new documentary and biography must have that obsessively private author spinning in his grave), I'm reminded of my conversations in the 1970s about Salinger with the editor of <em>The New Yorker</em>, William Shawn.<p>For a few years, as host of <em>All Things Considered</em>, I'd phone Mr. Shawn with one question or another, on background (like Salinger, he never spoke to the press). I have no idea why Mr. Shawn took my calls. Mon, 07 Oct 2013 14:15:00 +0000 Susan Stamberg 51308 at http://krwg.org A Hint That J.D. Salinger Kept Writing, From A Story He Didn't Write Exhibit Explores How Dior's Designs Echo Impressionist Paintings http://krwg.org/post/exhibit-explores-how-diors-designs-echo-impressionist-paintings When it was time to create a new collection, Christian Dior had a ritual: He went to his garden and sat down among the flowers.<p>Fashion historian Florence Muller gathered drawings, photographs and paintings by Manet, Monet, Renoir and others for an exhibition on Dior and Impressionism, at the <a href="http://www.musee-dior-granville.com/c/287/p/1fd6391d9917f4fe23afde0b888f4837/Christian-Dior-Museum-temporary-exhibition-Granville.html">Dior Museum</a> in Granville, the designer's hometown. Thu, 19 Sep 2013 07:18:00 +0000 Susan Stamberg 50021 at http://krwg.org Exhibit Explores How Dior's Designs Echo Impressionist Paintings For F. Scott And Zelda Fitzgerald, A Dark Chapter In Asheville, N.C. http://krwg.org/post/f-scott-and-zelda-fitzgerald-dark-chapter-asheville-nc Asheville, a mountain town in North Carolina, is known for at least two important native sons: writers Thomas Wolfe, whose 1929 novel <em>Look Homeward, Angel</em> eviscerated some locals, and Charles Frazier, whose 1997 civil war novel <em>Cold Mountain</em> is set in the nearby hills. But there is also a little-known story of another writer — F. Scott Fitzgerald — who, along with his wife Zelda, had devastating connections to the town.<p>Fitzgerald spent two bumpy summers in Asheville, at the Grove Park Inn. Tue, 03 Sep 2013 07:01:00 +0000 Susan Stamberg 48786 at http://krwg.org For F. Scott And Zelda Fitzgerald, A Dark Chapter In Asheville, N.C. Haunting Images Chronicle 165 Years Of A World At War http://krwg.org/post/haunting-images-chronicle-165-years-world-war D-Day soldiers landing on Omaha Beach. A naked Vietnamese girl running from napalm. A Spanish loyalist, collapsing to the ground in death. These images of war, and some 300 others, are on view at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., in an exhibition called <a href="http://www.corcoran.org/warphoto" target="_blank">WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath</a>. Mon, 12 Aug 2013 06:56:00 +0000 Susan Stamberg 47349 at http://krwg.org Haunting Images Chronicle 165 Years Of A World At War How Andrew Carnegie Turned His Fortune Into A Library Legacy http://krwg.org/post/how-andrew-carnegie-turned-his-fortune-library-legacy Andrew Carnegie was once the richest man in the world. Coming as a dirt poor kid from Scotland to the U.S., by the 1880s he'd built an empire in steel — and then gave it all away: $60 million to fund a system of 1,689 public libraries across the country.<p>Carnegie donated $300,000 to build Washington, D.C.'s oldest library — a beautiful beaux arts building that dates back to 1903. Inscribed above the doorway are the words: Science, Poetry, History. Thu, 01 Aug 2013 07:00:00 +0000 Susan Stamberg 46639 at http://krwg.org How Andrew Carnegie Turned His Fortune Into A Library Legacy This Fountain Of Youth Has A Little Extra Zing http://krwg.org/post/fountain-youth-has-little-extra-zing Transcript <p>ORSON WELLES: Of course, there are all sorts of fountains. Some are beautiful, some are purely mythological. Some are silly fountains. Of course, the silliest of all, is the fountain of youth. Old Ponce de Leon thought that one was somewhere down in Florida.<p>SUSAN STAMBERG, HOST: <p>Well, actor Orson Welles never found it, but lots of Floridians claim that the Fountain of youth is in their town - Punta Gorda, for instance. Margaret Baumhardt, who lives nearby in Charlotte Harbor, may not be totally convinced, but she is a big fan of the Punta Gorda fountain. Sun, 28 Jul 2013 11:07:00 +0000 Susan Stamberg 46373 at http://krwg.org Stories Of Race In America Captured On Quilt And Canvas http://krwg.org/post/stories-race-america-captured-quilt-and-canvas Artist Faith Ringgold is best known for what she calls her story quilts — large canvases made in the 1980s, on which she painted scenes of African-American life: sunbathing on a tar roof, a mother and her children, a quilting bee. Sun, 28 Jul 2013 10:15:00 +0000 Susan Stamberg 46369 at http://krwg.org Stories Of Race In America Captured On Quilt And Canvas Naked Or Nude? Wesselmann's Models Are A Little Bit Of Both http://krwg.org/post/naked-or-nude-wesselmanns-models-are-little-bit-both Sixties pop artist Tom Wesselmann liked women, and saluted them on his canvases — or, sometimes, just parts of them: perfect glossy red mouths with lips parted to reveal pink tongues; nipples, even on the oranges he paints. Wed, 17 Jul 2013 06:54:00 +0000 Susan Stamberg 45574 at http://krwg.org Naked Or Nude? Wesselmann's Models Are A Little Bit Of Both At 90, Ellsworth Kelly Brings Joy With Colorful Canvases http://krwg.org/post/90-ellsworth-kelly-brings-joy-colorful-canvases American artist Ellsworth Kelly turned 90 in May, and there's been much celebration. On Wednesday, President Obama presented Kelly with the National Medal of Arts. Meanwhile, museums around the country are showing his work: Kelly sculptures, prints and paintings are on view in New York, Philadelphia and Detroit. Thu, 11 Jul 2013 06:59:00 +0000 Susan Stamberg 45121 at http://krwg.org At 90, Ellsworth Kelly Brings Joy With Colorful Canvases A Paris Vacation For Nashville Millionaires' French Art http://krwg.org/post/paris-vacation-nashville-millionaires-french-art To say that Nashvillean Spencer Hays is crazy for French art is an understatement. "French art just quickens our step, fires our spirit and touches our heart," he says.<p>Hays' passion began when he was in his 30s. By then he was already a millionaire; Forbes estimated his worth at $400 million in 1997, money earned from book-selling and clothing businesses. Hays had humble beginnings.<p>"When Marlene and I grew up in a little old town in Texas, even visiting France was far beyond our expectations," Hays says. Thu, 27 Jun 2013 08:04:00 +0000 Susan Stamberg 44171 at http://krwg.org A Paris Vacation For Nashville Millionaires' French Art In 'Shocked,' Patricia Volk Honors Two Formative Femmes http://krwg.org/post/shocked-patricia-volk-honors-two-formative-femmes If you walked into New York's Morgen's Restaurant in the 1950s, you'd be greeted at the door by a perfectly dressed and powdered blonde who'd smilingly show you to your table and hand over a menu. That hostess, Audrey Elaine Morgen Volk, is at the center of her daughter Patricia Volk's new memoir, <em>Shocked: My Mother, Schiaparelli, And Me</em>. Mon, 10 Jun 2013 06:53:00 +0000 Susan Stamberg 42982 at http://krwg.org In 'Shocked,' Patricia Volk Honors Two Formative Femmes Modern Movement: How The Ballets Russes Revolutionized Dance http://krwg.org/post/modern-movement-how-ballets-russes-revolutionized-dance If your idea of ballet is a flurry of tutus and toeshoes, a new exhibition at the National Gallery of Art in Washington will expand your vision. Thu, 30 May 2013 07:03:00 +0000 Susan Stamberg 42201 at http://krwg.org Modern Movement: How The Ballets Russes Revolutionized Dance