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.



Fri March 2, 2012
Fine Art

In 'Ocean Park,' Gentle Portraits Of California Light

Originally published on Fri March 2, 2012 8:31 am

Richard Diebenkorn's 1975 work Ocean Park #79, features pastel blues, lavenders and aquas β€” and thin strips of deep red and green at the top to draw the viewer's gaze upward.
The Estate of Richard Diebenkorn Courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art

In the late 1960s, while America was in turmoil over the Vietnam War and the assassinations of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy, a painter in Santa Monica, Calif., was creating a series of tranquil, glowing canvases that made his reputation and transfixed art lovers. Those works β€” the Ocean Park series β€” are now on view at the Orange County Museum of Art, about an hour's drive from the place where they were painted.

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Fri February 24, 2012
Hollywood Jobs

The Extraordinary, Ordinary Life Of Alexander Payne

Alexander Payne's The Descendants has been nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Editor and Best Actor. Payne co-wrote and directed the film, which stars George Clooney as an indifferent dad struggling to raise two daughters.
Tiziana Fabi AFP/Getty Images

Alexander Payne watches a movie every day β€” or tries to, anyway. Lately, the writer and director of The Descendants has been busy going to nomination and awards dinners, in advance of Sunday's Oscar night β€” when the Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay prizes could be his.

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Thu February 23, 2012
Movie Interviews

Private Screening: How Hollywood Watches Its Work

At the Charles Aidikoff Screening Room on Rodeo Drive, filmmakers can screen their works in progress for an invite-only audience in the small, 57-seat theater. The screening room is also rented to show films to members of the Academy and the press.
Cindy Carpien NPR

Before they made it to the Oscars, the nominated films β€” not to mention all the films that didn't make the cut β€” were viewed by some 6,000 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Many of those movies were shown in small, private, rented screening rooms all over Hollywood.

The studios have their own screening rooms, of course, but often directors want a more private place to screen works in progress β€” with no studio suits in sight.

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Tue January 17, 2012
Author Interviews

The Charmed and Charming Life of Rosamond Bernier

Originally published on Tue January 17, 2012 10:48 am

In 1947, Vogue magazine sent Rosamond Bernier to Paris to cover European cultural life as it recovered after World War II. She met everyone who was anybody β€” Pablo Picasso befriended her, Henri Matisse gave her fashion tips, Alice B. Toklas baked for her. Bernier's memoir Some of My Lives is a lively compendium of this movable feast of art and genius β€” and of the author's own considerable charm.

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Mon January 9, 2012
Music Interviews

What Makes Newton-John Get 'Physical' At The Gym

Olivia Newton-John on the cover of Physical.
Courtesy of the artist

Aside from watching all the new shows on TV, many people in the New Year will hit the gym, and we're doing our part to help. For the next couple weeks, we're asking athletes, actors and others what music gets them moving.

"Physical" has been a gym-goer's favorite for decades, but Olivia Newton-John says it didn't start out that way.

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Mon January 9, 2012

Dancing Through History With First Ladies' Gowns

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:09 am

First lady Michelle Obama's inaugural gown.
Hugh Talman Courtesy of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History

Every four years in January, Washington, D.C., plays host to the country's biggest "prom." Inaugural balls bring out happy winners, administration bigwigs and a gown β€” on the first lady β€” that will become a part of history.

An exhibition at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History displays some of those gowns. NPR Special Correspondent Susan Stamberg took her dance card to the show.

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Mon December 19, 2011

Powerful Portraits Capture China's Empress Dowager

Originally published on Mon December 19, 2011 7:20 am

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery SC-GR-254

Intrigue! Riches! Sex! Some violence! Not the latest movie plot, but a story that lurks in the background of some 100-year-old photographs of The Empress Dowager β€” once the most powerful woman in Asia. The mostly black-and-white photos languished for decades in the archives of the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Now, they are on display and give a glimpse of Old China at a time when today's China is the picture of modern power.

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Fri December 9, 2011
Best Books Of 2011

Booksellers' Picks: Catch The Year's Freshest Reads

Priscilla Nielsen for NPR

This winter, our independent booksellers have selected books that range in subject from toasters to typeface, odd bookmarks to old Volkswagons, department stores to pasta design. Whether you need a picture book for a toddler, kid lit for a young reader, or quirky non-fiction for the grown-up set, these booksellers have just the thing on their shelves.

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Fri November 18, 2011

Mrs. Stamberg's Relish Goes To Washington

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:16 am

Thanksgiving At The White House: First families have a lot to be thankful for β€” including the world-class chefs who make their food. Susan Stamberg shares her mother-in-law's cranberry relish recipe with two veteran presidential chefs. They say it reminds them of the infamous "cheddar cheese ring" from the Carter administration.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

All families have Thanksgiving traditions, and longtime NPR listeners know that Susan Stamberg is always willing to divulge her own. Every year since 1972, Stamberg has shared her mother-in-law's now famous cranberry relish recipe on the radio. Stamberg says the relish β€” a shocking pink, like Pepto-Bismol β€” sounds terrible, but tastes terrific.

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Thu November 10, 2011
Fine Art

For Gertrude Stein, Collecting Art Was A Family Affair

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:20 am

The Magnes Collection of Jewish Art and Life

A reunion of art is taking place in Paris right now. Works that haven't been there together in almost a century are reunited once again. The art was collected by writer Gertrude Stein and her brothers starting in the early 1900s. The Steins bought paintings right out of the studios of young avant-garde artists β€” Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and others who would become masters as the 20th century progressed.

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Mon September 26, 2011
Fine Art

Andy Warhol's 'Headline': Sensationalism Always Sells

Originally published on Mon September 26, 2011 2:52 pm

By 1985, Warhol's style had evolved substantially; on this untitled headline piece, he collaborated with Keith Haring.
National Gallery of Art

Pop artist Andy Warhol died in 1987, but he's making his presence felt around the nation's capital these days. He's featured in an art fair, in restaurants, in galleries and in two major museums. The Hirschhorn Museum is exhibiting silkscreens and paintings Warhol did β€” of photographs of shadows. And the National Gallery of Art has its first one-man Warhol show, Headlines, focused on a series of paintings he made of Page One tabloid headlines.

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Fri September 9, 2011
Fine Art

At Maison Lesage, Beauty Embroidered By Hand

In 1992, Lesage started an embroidery school to pass on to a new generation the techniques of an art form threatened by mass-produced fashion.
Olivier Saillant Maison Lesage

A friend's son recently got a tattoo β€” and she was appalled. Forty years ago, she'd given birth to a perfect, pink-skinned cherub. Now, bright blue wings, dark red hearts and some birds were inscribed on his bicep. Comfort, however, came in the words of France's top embroiderer: "It's human nature to want to look different," said Francois Lesage. "Self-adornment goes back to the Lascaux Caves! Think of scarification. That's the ancestor of embroidery."

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Thu August 18, 2011

Wendy Wasserstein, 'Lost' And Found

From the late 1970s until her death in 2006, at the age of 55, playwright Wendy Wasserstein was a force in the New York theatre. She won the Pulitzer, the Tony and many other awards for writing about her generation of educated, successful women struggling to balance their professional and family lives.

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Mon August 15, 2011
The Picture Show

Jumping Dogs And Photo-Toons: Meet Photographer Elliott Erwitt

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:34 am

Paris, France, 1989
Elliott Erwitt Magnum

Photographer Elliott Erwitt loves babies, bare bottoms and dogs β€” specifically, jumping dogs. And he'll go to great lengths β€” however unorthodox β€” to get the shot. To get a dog to jump? Bark at it, Erwitt says: "You have to speak their language. ... Sometimes they bark back, sometimes they jump." But it's a perilous approach. "Once, one of them peed on my leg as a consequence," he says.

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Mon August 8, 2011
The Picture Show

Little Pictures, Big Lives: Snapshots Of American Artists

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:35 am

Aline Saarinen taking a photograph, circa 1955
Archives of American Art/Smithsonian Institution.

Whether you're on vacation or stay-cation this summer, chances are you're taking pictures. Smartphones make picture-taking easier and more popular than ever. But in earlier years, photography was more of an event. At the Smithsonian's Archives of American Art, an exhibition called "Little Pictures, Big Lives" shows snapshots from the 1920s through the '60s. And many of the people in these photos happen to be some of this country's greatest artists.

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Thu July 28, 2011
Art & Design

Form And Function Meet In 'Modern By Design'

Originally published on Thu July 28, 2011 7:12 am

The High Museum of Art commissioned nendo, a Japanese design collective, to create Visible Structures β€” a 12-piece installation of furniture made out of form core and cardboard, reinforced with graphite tape.
Masayuki Hayashi


Thu July 21, 2011
Books News & Features

Stieglitz And O'Keeffe: Their Love And Life In Letters

Alfred Stieglitz attached this photograph to a letter for Georgia O'Keeffe, dated July 10, 1929. Below the photograph he wrote, "I have destroyed 300 prints to-day. And much more literature. I haven't the heart to destroy this..."
Yale Collection of American Literature, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

From 1915 until 1946, some 25,000 pieces of paper were exchanged between two major 20th century artists. Painter Georgia O'Keeffe and photographer Alfred Stieglitz wrote each other letters β€” sometimes two and three a day, some of them 40 pages long. The correspondence tracks their relationship from acquaintances to admirers to lovers to man and wife to exasperated β€” but still together β€” long-marrieds.

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Thu June 30, 2011

Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone With The Wind' Turns 75

Margaret Mitchell, pictured above in 1941, started writing while recovering from an ankle injury in 1926. She had read her way through most of Atlanta's Carnegie Library, so her husband brought home a typewriter and said: "Write your own book to amuse yourself." The result was Gone with the Wind.
Al Aumuller/Telegram & Sun Library of Congress

In June 1936, a blockbuster of a book was published; it gave the world a sense of the Old South, an unforgettable heroine and (in the movie version) the phrase "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn."

Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind sold one million copies in its first six months, won the Pulitzer Prize in 1937, and brought an explosion of unexpected, unwished for celebrity to its author.

In Mitchell's hometown of Atlanta, Ga., a lovely old apartment building on South Prado Street bears a big, brass plaque. It reads:

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Thu June 9, 2011
Music Interviews

A Big, Phat 'Rhapsody In Blue'

Originally published on Fri June 10, 2011 9:13 pm

Gordon Goodwin arranged "Rhapsody In Blue" for his Big Phat Band.
Concord Music Group

When one of this country's greatest composers died at age 39, novelist John O'Hara said, "George Gershwin died on July 11, 1937. But I don't have to believe it if I don't want to."

As is true for so many top musicians, Gershwin's works β€” his popular songs, his opera Porgy and Bess, his jazz-informed classical compositions β€” live on. Now, there's a new version of one of Gershwin's best-loved orchestral pieces, arranged for a brassy big band.

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Fri June 3, 2011
Fine Art

Gustave Caillebotte: Impressions Of A Changing Paris

Impressionist paintings of Paris often depict a city full of sun-dappled socialites: dancing, shopping, boating and schmoozing. But for painter and art patron Gustave Caillebotte, Paris was a darker, lonelier place. His 1877 work, Paris Street; Rainy Day, shows Parisians making their way down a vast street on a dreary day. (Click enlarge to see the full painting.)
The Art Institute of Chicago

In the 1870s, an Emperor and a Baron undertook the remaking of Paris: Napoleon III and Baron Georges-Eugene Haussmann's urban renewal project converted clusters of medieval warrens into the Paris we know today, with its grand boulevards and rows of handsome buildings. Impressionist painters showed that new Paris on their canvases β€” but one of them had a very different perspective.

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Mon May 30, 2011

Indy Booksellers Target Summer's Best Reads

Chris Silas Neal

Some of the best summers are those filled with journeys, reunions and good food. We hope that all three figure into your summer plans this year. As it happens, those themes also happen to be featured prominently in some of the books that our trusty independent booksellers are recommending for your summer reading pleasure.

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Wed May 18, 2011
Fine Art

Gabriel Metsu: The Dutch Master You Don't Know

In his 1664 painting, A Man Writing a Letter, Metsu depicts a handsome young scribe penning his correspondence in an opulent study.
Roy Hewson National Gallery of Ireland

When it comes to Dutch painters, Rembrandt and Vermeer are the best known. But have you ever heard of Gabriel Metsu? Vermeer and Metsu were contemporaries, but Metsu was the star in the Golden Age of Dutch painting during the 17th century β€” and long afterward.

"Metsu was still the top boy in the 19th century," says David Jaffe of the National Gallery in London. "Vermeer is a very early 20th-century discovery."

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Tue April 26, 2011

The Golden Gate Bridge's Accidental Color

You'd think the color of the most photographed bridge in the world would have a more exciting name than "international orange." Something like "vermilion" or "terra cotta" or "burnt sienna" might seem more appropriate.

Whatever you call it, it's the vivid, unmistakable color of the Golden Gate Bridge, which turns 75 next year. But back in the 1930s, the now-iconic hue was a radical choice.

'Unique And Unconventional Treatment'

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