Susan Stamberg http://apr.org en With Swirls Of Steel, These Sculptures Mark The Passage Of People And Time http://apr.org/post/swirls-steel-these-sculptures-mark-passage-people-and-time Growing up in Philadelphia in the 1940s, Albert Paley played with blocks and Legos. And he loved wandering the streets, scavenging bottle caps, matchbook covers, cigar bands and "picking up pebbles that I thought were interesting," he recalls.<p>Now 70, the American sculptor has moved from pebbles to monumental gates. His iron and steel works adorn Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, St. Louis, Chattanooga, Tenn., and Rochester, N.Y. Tue, 22 Jul 2014 09:25:00 +0000 Susan Stamberg 56214 at http://apr.org With Swirls Of Steel, These Sculptures Mark The Passage Of People And Time For Paul Cezanne, An Apple A Day Kept Obscurity Away http://apr.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 55463 at http://apr.org For Paul Cezanne, An Apple A Day Kept Obscurity Away The Turbulent Love Story Behind Yves Saint Laurent's Revolutionary Rise http://apr.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 54447 at http://apr.org The Turbulent Love Story Behind Yves Saint Laurent's Revolutionary Rise Meet The Models: Exhibit Explores The People Behind The Paintings http://apr.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 53723 at http://apr.org Meet The Models: Exhibit Explores The People Behind The Paintings As Portraits Became Passé, These Artists Redefined 'Face Value' http://apr.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 52846 at http://apr.org As Portraits Became Passé, These Artists Redefined 'Face Value' Impressionists With Benefits? The Painting Partnership Of Degas And Cassatt http://apr.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 52508 at http://apr.org Impressionists With Benefits? The Painting Partnership Of Degas And Cassatt One Collector's Plan To Save Realistic Art Was Anything But Abstract http://apr.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 51753 at http://apr.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://apr.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 49382 at http://apr.org Girls Are Taught To 'Think Pink,' But That Wasn't Always So Japanese Tea Ritual Turned 15th Century 'Tupperware' Into Art http://apr.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 08:44:00 +0000 Susan Stamberg 48597 at http://apr.org Japanese Tea Ritual Turned 15th Century 'Tupperware' Into Art Re-Released Recordings Reveal Literary Titans In Their Youth http://apr.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 47900 at http://apr.org Re-Released Recordings Reveal Literary Titans In Their Youth Keen Eyes, Uncanny Instincts Keep Films In Sharp Focus http://apr.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 47599 at http://apr.org Keen Eyes, Uncanny Instincts Keep Films In Sharp Focus 'Clap!' On Set, The Signature Sound Of The Slate http://apr.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 47528 at http://apr.org 'Clap!' On Set, The Signature Sound Of The Slate Sid Caesar, Who Got Laughs Without Politics Or Putdowns, Dies At 91 http://apr.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 23:05:00 +0000 Susan Stamberg 46699 at http://apr.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://apr.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 46689 at http://apr.org 'Life' Photographer Showed Africa Through A New Lens http://apr.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 46518 at http://apr.org 'Life' Photographer Showed Africa Through A New Lens