Susan Stamberg

Nationally renowned broadcast journalist Susan Stamberg is special correspondent for NPR.

Stamberg is the first woman to anchor a national nightly news program, and has won every major award in broadcasting. She has been inducted into the Broadcasting Hall of Fame and the Radio Hall of Fame. An NPR "founding mother," Stamberg has been on staff since the network began in 1971.

Beginning in 1972, Stamberg served as co-host of NPR's award-winning newsmagazine All Things Considered for 14 years. She then hosted Weekend Edition Sunday, and now serves as guest host of NPR's Morning Edition and Weekend Edition Saturday, in addition to reporting on cultural issues for Morning Edition.

One of the most popular broadcasters in public radio, Stamberg is well known for her conversational style, intelligence, and knack for finding an interesting story. Her interviewing has been called "fresh," "friendly, down-to-earth," and (by novelist E.L. Doctorow) "the closest thing to an enlightened humanist on the radio." Her thousands of interviews include conversations with Laura Bush, Billy Crystal, Rosa Parks, Dave Brubeck, and Luciano Pavarotti.

Prior to joining NPR, she served as producer, program director, and general manager of NPR Member Station WAMU-FM/Washington, DC. Stamberg is the author of two books, and co-editor of a third. Talk: NPR's Susan Stamberg Considers All Things, chronicles her two decades with NPR. Her first book, Every Night at Five: Susan Stamberg's All Things Considered Book, was published in 1982 by Pantheon. Stamberg also co-edited The Wedding Cake in the Middle of the Road, published in 1992 by W. W. Norton. That collection grew out of a series of stories Stamberg commissioned for Weekend Edition Sunday.

In addition to her Hall of Fame inductions, other recognitions include the Armstrong and duPont Awards, the Edward R. Murrow Award from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, The Ohio State University's Golden Anniversary Director's Award, and the Distinguished Broadcaster Award from the American Women in Radio and Television.

A native of New York City, Stamberg earned a bachelor's degree from Barnard College, and has been awarded numerous honorary degrees including a Doctor of Humane Letters from Dartmouth College. She is a Fellow of Silliman College, Yale University, and has served on the boards of the PEN/Faulkner Fiction Award Foundation and the National Arts Journalism Program based at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism.

Stamberg has hosted a number of series on PBS, moderated three Fred Rogers television specials for adults, served as commentator, guest or co-host on various commercial TV programs, and appeared as a narrator in performance with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and the National Symphony Orchestra. Her voice appeared on Broadway in the Wendy Wasserstein play An American Daughter.

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Books
3:36 pm
Fri July 31, 2015

Remembering Alan Cheuse, Our Longtime Literary Guide

Alan Cheuse was our guide to the best and worst of the written word for more than 30 years.
Josh Cheuse

Originally published on Sat August 1, 2015 4:40 pm

A member of the All Things Considered family has died. Alan Cheuse, who reviewed books on our air nearly every week since the early 1980s, passed away today after a car accident in California two weeks ago. He was 75 years old.

In two minutes every week, Alan paid his respects to good writing in his soft, intense, passionate voice.

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Movie Interviews
4:11 am
Mon July 27, 2015

Discover A Trove Of Hollywood Treasures At The Motion Picture Academy Library

Costume designer Walter Plunkett made an intricate watercolor design for Scarlett O'Hara's famous curtain dress in Gone with the Wind.
Courtesy of AMPAS

Originally published on Mon July 27, 2015 2:21 pm

Summer blockbuster season is upon us. Dinosaurs, little yellow minions, an ant-man, all vying for our hard-earned entertainment dollars. But if you're looking for gentler thrills, try the Library of the Motion Picture Academy in Beverly Hills. There, you can poke through artifacts from the movies' golden years.

The Margaret Herrick Library's vaults contain millions of pieces of paper holdings — director's shooting scripts, photos, production designs, payrolls and, of course, fan mail.

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Fine Art
3:32 am
Mon July 20, 2015

Known As A Collector, Gustave Caillebotte Gets His Due As A Painter

Caillebotte's 1875 painting The Floor Scrapers was rejected by the elite Salon, but it was the work that launched his career.
RMN-Grand Palais/Art Resour Courtesy National Gallery of Art

Originally published on Mon July 20, 2015 3:14 pm

If you're planning to become an artist, here's one nice way to do it: be independently wealthy, easily pay your bills without needing to sell your own work, buy up the paintings of your marvelously talented friends, and then give their works to the nation. A little-known 19th-century artist named Gustave Caillebotte did just that, and there's a big show devoted to him at the National Gallery right now.

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Fine Art
3:43 am
Wed July 8, 2015

Do It Like A Deity: A Dutch Artist Depicts Gods Gone Wild

The J. Paul Getty Museum National Gallery of Art

Originally published on Wed July 8, 2015 10:45 am

Editor's Note: Before you scroll down, a warning that the images below depict gods, goddesses and biblical figures engaging in some NSFW behavior.

The Dutch have given the world an array of master painters — Van Gogh, Vermeer, Rembrandt. But the brilliant and risque work of a lesser-known Dutchman is currently on display at the National Gallery of Art.

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Fine Art
4:02 am
Tue June 23, 2015

Immortalized As 'The Woman In Gold,' How A Young Jew Became A Secular Icon

Adele Block-Bauer, photographed circa 1915, was from a prominent Jewish family in Vienna.
IMAGNO/Austrian Archives

Originally published on Tue June 23, 2015 12:34 pm

In Woman in Gold, Helen Mirren plays Maria Altmann — an octogenarian Jewish refugee who fought to recover the Gustav Klimt paintings the Nazis seized from her family in Vienna at the outset of World War II. On Friday, Mirren received an award for her performance at New York's Neue Galerie, which is now home to more Klimts than anywhere else in the country.

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Fine Art
4:04 am
Wed June 17, 2015

In 1846, 'The Jolly Flatboatmen' Did A Different Sort Of River Dance

George Caleb Bingham's The Jolly Flatboatmen (1846) became wildly popular after an East Coast art union bought it and started disseminating it as a print.
National Gallery of Art

Originally published on Wed June 17, 2015 6:19 am

Eight Midwestern river men — all jolly fellows — traveled from St. Louis to New York recently on a museum-to-museum voyage. George Caleb Bingham's 1846 painting The Jolly Flatboatmen is the star of a show opening at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Wednesday, but Bingham's painting belongs to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., where it's hung, on and off, for more than 50 years.

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Fine Art
2:35 am
Thu May 21, 2015

'Filthy Lucre' Is A Modern Remix Of The Peacock Room's Wretched Excess

In Darren Waterston's Filthy Lucre it looks as if a wrecking ball has been slammed into Whistler's lavish work.
Hutomo Wicaksono Freer Sackler Gallery

Originally published on Fri May 22, 2015 2:09 pm

An artist has just converted a legendary piece of 19th-century art into an utter ruin. And two Smithsonian institutions — the Freer and Sackler galleries of Asian art — have given their blessings.

The Peacock Room at the Freer Gallery is an actual dining room from London, decorated by James McNeill Whistler in 1876. Its blue-green walls are covered with golden designs and painted peacocks. Gilded shelves hold priceless Asian ceramics. It's an expensive, lavish cocoon, rich in beauty with a dab of menace.

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Fine Art
2:21 am
Wed May 13, 2015

For Artist Elaine De Kooning, Painting Was A Verb, Not A Noun

De Kooning made dozens of drawings, sketches and paintings of John F. Kennedy in 1963.
Alfred Eisenstaedt The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed May 13, 2015 12:59 pm

In New York City in the 1940s, painters Willem de Kooning and his wife, Elaine, were the people you wanted at your dinner party. He was inventing abstract expressionism. She, his former student, was part of that movement, but also painting landscapes and people.

Elaine de Kooning felt that making portraits was like falling in love — "painting a portrait is a concentration on one particular person and no one else will do," she said.

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Fine Art
4:02 am
Tue May 5, 2015

At LA Museum, A Powerful And Provocative Look At 'Islamic Art Now'

In her 2008 work Reclining Odalisque, Moroccan photographer Lalla Essaydi shows a woman covered in calligraphy.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Originally published on Tue May 5, 2015 12:48 pm

Art galleries are generally quiet, hushed spaces, but at the Los Angeles County Museum a show called Islamic Art Now is sparking some heated discussions as visitors ponder the photographs, paintings and neon sculptures on display.

Moroccan photographer Lalla Essaydi has covered every inch of a reclining odalisque with graceful Arabic calligraphy. The woman is staring right at us, and viewers wonder: Is the writing protection? A shield? Imprisonment?

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Remembrances
3:46 pm
Fri April 17, 2015

Remembering Don Quayle, NPR's First President

Don Quayle, the first president of NPR, has died at the age of 84.
Sam Kittner WAMU 88.5

Originally published on Fri April 17, 2015 9:05 pm

The first president of National Public Radio has died. Don Quayle was 84 years old. He had a long career in public broadcasting — both television and radio. NPR's Susan Stamberg reflects on his impact.

Don Quayle gave me my first radio job. It was the early '60s and he was head of the Educational Radio Network — the precursor of NPR — a skinny little network of 12 East Coast stations that developed a daily drive-time news show. He hired me to help produce it. When this national network arose, he was an obvious choice to run it.

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Theater
3:49 am
Fri April 10, 2015

'Grand Illusion' Exhibit Lifts Curtain On The Secrets Of Setting The Stage

Oliver Smith (1918–1994). Scenic design for Jerome Robbins' Broadway. Watercolor and pen and ink drawing.
Music Division, Library of Congress

Originally published on Fri April 10, 2015 6:56 am

You won't want to miss the music in this piece. Click the listen link above to hear the full story.

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Architecture
2:09 am
Mon March 16, 2015

With Sunny, Modern Homes, Joseph Eichler Built The Suburbs In Style

After World War II, developer Joseph Eichler built well-designed and well-crafted tract homes that dotted California suburbs.
Stephen Schafer

Originally published on Tue March 31, 2015 8:04 pm

In Palm Springs, Calif., a $1 million home was just built — with plans resurrected from 1951. The original sold for about $15,000, and was called an Eichler, after developer Joseph Eichler, who offered well-designed, well-built tract homes to the masses a half-century ago.

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Fine Art
2:55 am
Mon March 9, 2015

Meet Joseph Duveen, The Savvy Art Dealer Who Sold European Masterpieces

Happy Lovers (c. 1760-65) by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, is one of about 800 objects that American art collector Norton Simon purchased from Joseph Duveen. Over the years, Simon sold most of the collection off, but about 130 objects remain at the Norton Simon Museum in California.
The Norton Simon Foundation

Originally published on Mon March 9, 2015 2:52 pm

British art dealer Joseph Duveen once said, rather astutely: "Europe has a great deal of art, and America has a great deal of money."

Starting in the late 1800s, in London first, later New York, the Duveen family sold precious European Old Master paintings, sculptures, tapestries, furniture to rich American collectors. For the first half of the 20th century, Duveen was arguably the world's greatest art dealer and some of the greatest works of art in America got here thanks to the Duveens.

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Fine Art
2:33 am
Fri February 27, 2015

Impressionist Hero Edouard Manet Gets The Star Treatment In Los Angeles

Edouard Manet's 1873 oil on canvas, The Railway, is on view at the Norton Simon Museum in Los Angeles until March 2. It is on loan from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
Studio A Courtesy of Norton Simon Museum

Originally published on Fri February 27, 2015 2:14 pm

A major star who has absolutely nothing do to with movies is having his day in Los Angeles right now. It's the 19th century French painter Edouard Manet. Not exactly an Impressionist, Manet was revolutionary enough for the Impressionists to make him their hero.

Two LA museums are now featuring two major Manet works. Several museums in the area have Manets in their permanent collections. But these two — The Railway, on loan from Washington's National Gallery of Art, and Spring, which is worth about $65 million — are new in town and getting the star treatment.

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Hollywood Jobs
2:29 am
Fri February 20, 2015

As 'Hollywood Jobs' Turns 10, We Follow Up With The Folks In The Credits

Costume designer Julie Weiss in her studio in Southern California.
Cindy Carpien NPR

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 7:48 am

It's been 10 years since we launched the annual Hollywood Jobs series, in which we explore odd movie jobs — you know, the ones you see in the closing credits. In the last decade, producer Cindy Carpien and I have talked to key grips, animal wranglers, focus pullers, foley artists, shoemakers, slate operators, loopers, food stylists and many more. Today we check back with some folks we've profiled in the past, to ask how their jobs have changed since we last met.

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