NPR: 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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4:00am

Fri November 28, 2014
Art & Design

Gold-Plated Gowns And 8-inch Pumps: The Stuff That Made Starlets Shimmer

Originally published on Fri November 28, 2014 7:16 am

Mae West is said to have worn these super platform shoes both on screen and off.
Brian Sanderson Courtesy of Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Dripping in diamonds and shimmering in silks, the movie stars of the 1930s and '40s dazzled on the silver screen. Now, some of their costumes and jewels are on view at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. There, a film clip runs on a wall behind gorgeously gowned mannequins lit by sconces and chandeliers. The clip is from 1932's No Man of Her Own, starring Clark Gable and Carole Lombard. Nearby, co-curator Michelle Finamore points to the actual gown Lombard wore. It's long, made of slinky silk crepe and covered in teeny gold-colored glass beads.

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4:18am

Fri November 21, 2014
The Salt

Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish Put To The Test At Amish Market

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 1:42 pm

A tub of Susan Stamberg's mother-in-law's famous cranberry relish made by Beth Hansen of Easton, Md.
Jackie Judd NPR

The request was forwarded to me from a distant (fifth floor — I'm on the fourth) division of NPR.

It came from Justin Lucas, the head of NPR's Audience and Community Relations team. He's the go-to person here for requests from listeners, for information or permissions.

He'd gotten a letter from Beth Hansen, owner of Soup and Salad, a small sandwich shop in Easton, Md., a charming old town on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay.

Justin read me an excerpt of the request: "I'd love to make and sell Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Chutney. A portion of the proceeds ... "

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5:39pm

Wed February 12, 2014
Remembrances

Sid Caesar, Who Got Laughs Without Politics Or Putdowns, Dies At 91

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 8:00 pm

Actor/comedian Sid Caesar
NBC NBC via Getty Images

Comedian Sid Caesar, one of early network TV's biggest stars, died Wednesday morning at his home in Beverly Hills. He was 91.

Caesar didn't do smut, putdowns or smarmy remarks. Instead, he did skits: grown-up, gentle comedy for the whole family.

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.

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4:29pm

Wed February 12, 2014
Remembrances

Sid Caesar, One Of TV's Earliest Stars, Dies At The Age Of 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.

2:57am

Fri November 22, 2013
The Salt

Thanksgivukkah: A Mash Of Two Holidays That's Easy To Relish

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 2:35 pm

Mama Stamberg's Cranberry Relish is delicious over latkes.
Selena N.B.H. Flikr

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.

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.

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3:22am

Mon November 11, 2013
Fine Art

In 1913, A New York Armory Filled With Art Stunned The Nation

Originally published on Mon November 11, 2013 3:08 pm

Robert Henri's 1913 Figure in Motion was a realistic, but bold response to Matisse's and Duchamp's nudes.
Terra Foundation for American Art, Chicago, Ill.

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.

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3:18am

Thu September 19, 2013
Art & Design

Exhibit Explores How Dior's Designs Echo Impressionist Paintings

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 9:44 am

Laziz Hamani

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.

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3:01am

Tue September 3, 2013
Books

For F. Scott And Zelda Fitzgerald, A Dark Chapter In Asheville, N.C.

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 3:30 pm

Zelda Sayre and F. Scott Fitzgerald pose for a photo at the Sayre home in Montgomery, Ala., in 1919, the year before they married.
Bettmann Corbis

Asheville, a mountain town in North Carolina, is known for at least two important native sons: writers Thomas Wolfe, whose 1929 novel Look Homeward, Angel eviscerated some locals, and Charles Frazier, whose 1997 civil war novel Cold Mountain 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.

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7:07am

Sun July 28, 2013
News

This Fountain Of Youth Has A Little Extra Zing

Originally published on Sun July 28, 2013 2:21 pm

Transcript

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.

SUSAN STAMBERG, HOST:

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2:59am

Thu July 11, 2013
Fine Art

At 90, Ellsworth Kelly Brings Joy With Colorful Canvases

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 4:52 pm

In this 2007 Ellsworth Kelly piece, four separate oil-painted canvases combine to form a single work, Green Blue Black Red.
Jerry L. Thompson Courtesy of Ellsworth Kelly

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. In Washington, D.C., the Phillips Collection is featuring his flat geometric canvases, layered to create wall sculptures.

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2:54am

Thu June 27, 2013
Fine Art

A Paris Vacation For Nashville Millionaires' French Art

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 12:05 pm

A table (Le Dejeuner), an 1892 oil painting by Edouard Vuillard, appears to show a quiet domestic scene. But Isabelle Cahn, the curator of a new show at the Musee d'Orsay, says this painting actually depicts a scandal-ridden household.
Courtesy Musee d'Orsay

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.

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.

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2:53am

Mon June 10, 2013
Books News & Features

In 'Shocked,' Patricia Volk Honors Two Formative Femmes

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 12:14 pm

Elsa Luisa Maria Schiaparelli, seen here in 1947, rose to fashion stardom in the 1930s.
George Konig Getty Images

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, Shocked: My Mother, Schiaparelli, And Me. In it, Volk describes how two vivid women helped her move into adulthood: One was the iconoclastic Italian fashion designer Elsa Luisa Maria Schiaparelli; the other was her mother, a loving, difficult and icy stunner.

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3:03am

Mon April 15, 2013
Author Interviews

Friedkin, Who Pushed Film Forward, Looks Back

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 1:08 pm

HarperCollins Publishers

As a kid in Chicago, director William Friedkin liked to frighten little girls with scary stories. When he grew up, he scared the rest of us with a little girl — Regan MacNeil, who is possessed by the devil in his horror classic The Exorcist.

And in The French Connection, he put knots in our stomachs with one of the great movie chases in American cinema.

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5:11am

Sat April 13, 2013
Commentary

In NPR's New Building, Everything Will Be Better ... Again

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 10:11 am

NPR is heading to its fourth home, at 1111 North Capitol St. in Washington, D.C.
Stephen Voss NPR

Starting Saturday, Weekend Edition is broadcasting under the fourth roof that's sheltered National Public Radio. NPR special correspondent Susan Stamberg has worked in all of the locations since NPR went on the air in 1971, and once again she shepherds us to our new home.

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3:21am

Thu April 11, 2013
Movies

Painting 'Renoir' In Finely Detailed Strokes

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 10:59 am

In director Gilles Bourdos' biopic Renoir, Christa Theret plays Andree Heuschling, who served as a muse for both the aging Impressionist master and his young filmmaker son.
Samuel Goldwyn Films

The French painter Renoir, one of the creators of impressionism, is the subject of a French film that's in release across the U.S. It imagines the last years of the painter's life — surrounded by glorious rolling hills, doting housemaids and a new young model who becomes his muse. It's at least the second film to capture the master in motion.

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5:10am

Mon March 11, 2013
Art & Design

For John Baldessari, Conceptual Art Means Serious Mischief

Originally published on Tue March 12, 2013 2:14 pm

Courtesy the artist/John Baldessari Studio

There are certain creations that have defined beauty for generations: Renoir's pudgy, pink nude; Rothko's brilliant blocks of color that seem to vibrate; Michelangelo's naked young man in marble, with a slingshot on his shoulder.

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12:03am

Fri February 22, 2013
Hollywood Jobs

For Publicist Marvin Levy, It's All About Eyeballs

Originally published on Fri February 22, 2013 11:14 am

Spielberg's Schindler's List will mark its 20th year in 2013. Levy was in charge of the publicity campaign for the film and still has his original press kit.
David Gilkey NPR

Steven Spielberg's film Lincoln has earned 12 Academy Award nominations, including best picture and best director. Another Spielberg film — the multi-Oscar winning Schindler's List — will be celebrating 20 years since its release. These films have at least two important things in common: Spielberg and publicist Marvin Levy.

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12:05am

Thu February 21, 2013
Hollywood Jobs

For Film Set Decorators, Tiny Details Count

Originally published on Thu February 21, 2013 3:07 pm

The third floor of the Warner Brothers Prop House holds a host of antiques available for rent by set decorators working on television and films. Each of the building's four floors is as big as a football field.
David Gilkey NPR

Picture Rick's smoky cafe in Casablanca, Lincoln's office at the White House of the 1860s, or the Mos Eisley cantina on the desert planet of Tatooine: A production designer came up with the overall look of those movie sets. But the booze on Rick's bar or the pens on Lincoln's desk — it took a set decorator and a crew to make them look authentic and believable.

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4:04am

Mon February 11, 2013
Music Interviews

Hollywood's 'Hooray': Hardly A Happy Hymn

Originally published on Mon February 11, 2013 11:41 am

Doris Day's somber 1958 version of "Hooray for Hollywood," which was included on an album of the same name, better reflects the song's creatively complicated lyrics.
Sony Picture Archives

When the Oscars are handed out later this month, the ceremony will most likely be punctuated by music that has pretty much come to stand for movies and Movieland. Ironically, the composer grew up in Detroit, and the lyricist came from Savannah, Ga. — yet together they wrote the quintessential Tinseltown anthem.

"Hooray for Hollywood" was written for the Warner Brothers film Hollywood Hotel. It was a corny little "let's-go-to-Hollywood-and become-stars" movie from 1937, with some cute dialogue.

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3:28am

Tue January 29, 2013
Arts & Life

From Aleppo, An Artifact Of A Calmer Age

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 11:57 am

The silken tassel on this skull cap, woven in Aleppo around 1800, recalls a more prosperous and tranquil time in that now-beleaguered Syrian hub.
Courtesy of The Textile Museum

Over the past six months, the headlines from Aleppo, Syria, have been horrifying. As the conflict between rebel forces and the government continues, the city has been overrun by tanks and artillery, and assaulted by shots, explosions and fires.

But Aleppo's present belies a much richer past. It's Syria's largest city, and one of the world's oldest continually inhabited urban areas. Over the centuries, it has served as a major crossroads for trade and commerce.

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3:20am

Tue December 18, 2012
History

WWII 'Canteen Girl' Kept Troops Company From Afar

Originally published on Tue December 18, 2012 6:07 am

During World War II, "Canteen Girl" Phyllis Jeanne Creore spoke and sang to the troops and their loved ones for 15 minutes every week on NBC radio.
Courtesy of Phyllis Jeanne Creore Westerman

American service members have long spent holidays in dangerous places, far from family. These days, home is a video chat or Skype call away. But during World War II, packages, letters and radio programs bridged the lonely gaps. For 15 minutes every week, "Canteen Girl" Phyllis Jeanne Creore spoke and sang to the troops and their loved ones on NBC radio.

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1:00am

Wed December 12, 2012
The Record

Ravi Shankar, Who Brought Eastern Music To Western Legends, Dies

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 8:40 am

Ravi Shankar circa 1960 in the U.K.
David Redfern Redferns

3:23am

Mon December 10, 2012
Fine Art

Hopper's Lonely Figures Find Some Friends In Paris

Originally published on Mon December 10, 2012 11:07 am

Edward Hopper is well-known in the U.S. for paintings such as Nighthawks (1942)pensive, lonely portraits of people sitting together yet alone. He was less well-known in France, but an exhibit of his work at the Grand Palais has drawn impressive crowds.
The Art Institute of Chicago, Friends of American Art Collection Courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago

Earlier this summer, I looked for Edward Hopper's Morning Sun at its home in the Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio. In the painting, a woman sits on a bed with her knees up, gazing out a window. She's bare, but for a short pink slip. The iconic Hopper is a must-see, but on the day I visited, it was on loan to an exhibition in Madrid.

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5:00am

Thu November 29, 2012
Movies

Leslie Caron: Dancing From WWII Paris To Hollywood

Originally published on Thu November 29, 2012 9:40 am

Leslie Caron starred in a 1953 production of La Belle au Bois Dormant, or Sleeping Beauty, choreographed by Roland Petit. Caron trained with the Conservatoire de Paris before joining Petit's company, Les Ballets des Champs-Elysées.
Baron/Hulton Archive Getty Images

In the 1950s, the moviegoing world fell in love with a young French ballerina and actress named Leslie Caron. She brightened the silver screen in musical films like 1958's Gigi, where she played a young courtesan-in-training who befriends a rich, handsome suitor in 1900s Paris.

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3:28am

Tue September 25, 2012
Fine Art

Print-Inspired Art: All The News That's Fit To Paint

Originally published on Tue September 25, 2012 12:00 pm

Alfredo Ramos Martinez painted Head of a Nun, tempera on newspaper, in 1934.
Gerard Vuilleumier The Alfredo Ramos Martinez Research Project, Reproduced by Permission

The print newspaper industry may be struggling, but newsprint is alive and well on the walls of a new exhibition at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. The show is called "Shock of the News" — and it examines a century's worth of interaction between artists and the journals of their day.

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3:25am

Mon August 20, 2012
Art & Design

Hopper's Pensive Lady In Pink Travels The World

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 1:50 pm

Edward Hopper's wife, Josephine N. Hopper, served as his model for 1952's Morning Sun.
Columbus Museum of Art/Howald Fund

It's one of the ultimate images of summer: a woman in a short, pink slip sits on a bed, her knees pulled up to her chest, gazing out a window. Her hair is tucked back into a bun. Her bare arms rest lightly on her bare legs.

Edward Hopper painted her in 1952 for a work called Morning Sun. The picture has been widely reproduced for decades. But on a recent visit to its home at the Columbus Museum of Art in Columbus, Ohio, it was nowhere to be found.

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5:53am

Sat August 4, 2012
Opinion

India's Blackout A Reminder Of How Far We've Come

Originally published on Sun August 5, 2012 11:43 am

A girl prepares a meal by candlelight in Jammu, India, during the massive blackout last week.
Channi Anand AP

This week, the world's largest democracy experienced the world's largest power outage. Nearly 700 million — that's more than half a billion — Indians were said to have been without power Tuesday. No air conditioning. No traffic lights. No metro system.

Most of the power is back now, but the outage had resonance for me from the long-ago years when I lived in New Delhi and experienced power failures almost as regularly as I did steaming cups of dark, sweet Indian tea.

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3:02am

Tue June 26, 2012
Fine Art

Reflective Art Brings Light, Color To Historic Spaces

Originally published on Tue June 26, 2012 1:03 pm

Andy Cao and Xavier Perrot's Red Bowl installation in Beauvais, France, recalls the way lepers once bathed in animal blood in an effort to cure themselves and avoid being ostracized to the one-time leprosarium where the installation is located.
Courtesy of Cao | Perrot Studio

This is a story about amazing beauty, imagination and magical effects — and it begins, ironically enough, at a one-time leprosarium, or hospital for lepers, in Beauvais, France, a small town outside Paris.

Lepers were sequestered in Beauvais in the 12th century. That history is now noted in an outdoor art installation made up of slim metal rods that curve up into the shape of a bowl. Each rod is tipped with a red, marble-sized glass ball.

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3:03am

Tue June 19, 2012
Fine Art

Vuillard: A Parisian Painter And His Jewish Patrons

Originally published on Tue June 19, 2012 3:19 pm

Lucy Hessel, depicted above at the seaside in 1940, was Vuillard's friend, muse and lover for more than 40 years. She was also the wife of art collector and Vuillard supporter Jos Hessel. Vuillard was with Hessel when he died in June 1940.
Hammer Museum, Los Angeles

In 1940, a week after the Germans occupied France, a popular painter died of a heart attack outside Paris in the embrace of his powerful patrons. An exhibition at the Jewish Museum in New York explores the life of Edouard Vuillard, a non-Jewish artist, and the circle of Jewish tastemakers who supported him.

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3:18am

Tue May 22, 2012
Movies

Power Couple, Covering War (And Waging Their Own)

Originally published on Tue May 22, 2012 8:11 am

HBO's Hemingway & Gellhorn tracks the relationship between Ernest Hemingway (Clive Owen) and war correspondent Martha Gellhorn (Nicole Kidman) as Gellhorn begins to develop her voice as a war correspondent, beginning with the Spanish Civil War.
HBO

Before Christiane Amanpour, before Ann Garrels, before Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, there was Martha Gellhorn, one of the first great female war correspondents.

From the Spanish Civil War through Vietnam, she covered every major conflict of the day. But Gellhorn's reputation as a journalist was sometimes overshadowed by her marriage to one of the great American writers, Ernest Hemingway.

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