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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Fine Art
1:35 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 Thu May 21, 2015 8:47 am

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
1:21 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 11:59 am

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
2:28 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 11:48 am

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
3:12 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 8:05 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
3:07 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 5:56 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
1:09 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 7:04 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
1:55 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 1:52 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
1:33 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 1:14 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
1:29 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 6:48 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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Hollywood Jobs
1:22 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Never Seen And Sometimes Barely Heard, Loopers Fill In Hollywood's Soundtrack

Loopers (from left) Nathalie Ciulla, Lanei Chapman, Aaron Fors and Catherine Cavadini walk through the studio lot after a looping session.
Cindy Carpien NPR

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 4:33 pm

When the Oscars are handed out on Sunday, the red carpet, the ceremony, the films and people who are honored, will be all about being seen. But there's a group of actors who will never be seen on screen. They're only heard — and barely.

Loopers are voice actors whose work begins after the show or film is shot and edited. Their job is to record what people in the background of a scene could be saying. Their dialogue is never really heard at full volume — and it's mostly ad-libbed.

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The Salt
2:35 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Hollywood Food Stylists Know: You Can't Film Styrofoam Cake And Eat It, Too

Food stylist Melissa McSorley demonstrates how she prepared the Cubano sandwich from the movie Chef.
Cindy Carpien NPR

Originally published on Fri February 20, 2015 1:13 pm

In the parking lot of a small Los Angeles studio, food stylist Melissa McSorley is re-creating the dish that saved the day for the hero of a recent film. "The Cubano sandwich ... was the heart and soul of the movie Chef," she says.

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Fine Art
1:38 am
Wed February 4, 2015

Beautiful Bird Exhibit Spotted At Smithsonian

Courtesy of the artist and Gallery Wendi Norris Smithsonian American Art Museum

Originally published on Wed February 4, 2015 9:22 am

It's been a cold winter in Washington, D.C., but over at the Smithsonian's American Art Museum, there's a flutter of exotic real and imaginary birds, created by 12 contemporary artists, in an exhibit called "The Singing and the Silence: Birds in Contemporary Art."

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Art & Design
1:17 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Mother, Empress, Virgin, Faith: 'Picturing Mary' And Her Many Meanings

Curator Timothy Verdon says "Mary is unexpectedly fashionable" in Fra Filippo Lippi's Madonna and Child, painted in the 1460s.
Provincia di Firenze, Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Florence National Museum of Women in the Arts

Originally published on Wed December 24, 2014 8:56 am

This Christmas, images of the Virgin Mary created over five centuries glow on the walls of the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. Mary's role as Woman, Mother and Idea is portrayed by Michelangelo, Botticelli, Caravaggio, Rembrandt as well as other major and lesser-known artists from the 1400s through the 1900s.

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Fine Art
5:47 am
Sat December 20, 2014

Turner Was A Brute, But He Painted With Romantic Radiance

Originally published on Sat December 20, 2014 9:39 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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Fine Art
1:21 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Painting Or Photograph? With Richard Estes, It's Hard To Tell

Richard Estes, Jone's Diner, 1979, oil on canvas. (Private collection.) Click here for a closer look.
Courtesy of Marlborough Gallery/Smithsonian American Art Museum

Originally published on Sun January 4, 2015 3:04 pm

American painter Richard Estes has made a career out of fooling the eye. His canvases look like photographs — but they're not.

"You can't see my paintings in reproduction," the 82-year-old artist says. That's because, in reproduction, the paintings — especially his New York cityscapes from the late 1960s — look like photos. He's called a photo-realist, or hyper-realist — an intense observer of the built environment. But he doesn't paint the view from his apartment window.

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Art & Design
2:00 am
Fri November 28, 2014

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

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

Originally published on Fri November 28, 2014 5:16 am

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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The Salt
2:18 am
Fri November 21, 2014

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

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

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 11:42 am

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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Arts & Life
2:57 am
Fri October 31, 2014

The Colorful, Blossoming D.C. Arts Scene In The 1950s, '60s

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 5:42 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Theater
2:23 am
Mon October 20, 2014

'Little Dancer' Musical Imagines The Story Behind Degas' Mysterious Muse

Edgar Degas' Little Dancer Aged Fourteen is on display at the National Gallery of Art until Jan. 11.
Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon/ Courtesy of the National Gallery

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 9:31 am

A century-old teenager is the focus of a musical and an art exhibit in Washington, D.C., right now. The National Gallery of Art is showing Edgar Degas' statue Little Dancer Aged Fourteen in conjunction with the Kennedy Center's Oct. 25 opening of Little Dancer, a new show inspired by the sculpture.

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Fine Art
1:32 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Now That's An Artifact: See Mary Cassatt's Pastels At The National Gallery

These pastel boxes originally owned by Mary Cassatt were acquired recently by the National Gallery of Art. Click here for a closer look.
National Gallery of Art

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 11:20 am

Imagine if you could see the pen Beethoven used to write his Symphony No. 5. Or the chisel Michelangelo used to sculpt his David. Art lovers find endless fascination in the materials of artists — a pen, a brush, even a rag can become sacred objects, humanizing a work of art.

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Photography
1:21 am
Thu September 11, 2014

Minor White, Who Lived A Life In Photographs, Saw Images As Mirrors

Tom Murphy, San Francisco, 1948 gelatin silver print
The Minor White Archive, Princeton University Art Museum

Originally published on Thu September 11, 2014 10:53 am

When we point smartphones at our kids or smile for a selfie, we're not necessarily thinking of photography as an art form. But in the early days of the medium, when big cameras and flashbulbs were lugged around and propped on tripods, art was often the goal. An exhibition at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles focuses on the work of one such photographer, Minor White.

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Books
1:35 am
Thu August 14, 2014

For Would-Be Screenwriter, Enough False Starts To Fill A Book

Originally published on Thu August 14, 2014 7:25 am

There's a running joke in Los Angeles that everybody — from your dog walker to your dry cleaner — is writing a screenplay. Curt Neill is one of those aspiring screenwriters — a sketch comedian who has tried to write screenplays, but never finished one. "I've never even gotten close," he admits in Caffe Vita, an LA coffee shop where he writes.

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Architecture
3:07 am
Thu July 31, 2014

Best Seat In The House Of Worship: The Temple Hollywood Built

The Wilshire Boulevard Temple (pictured above circa 1939) was dedicated 85 years ago in 1929. Rabbi Steve Leder says, "This was the Los Angeles Jewish community's statement to itself — and to the majoritarian culture that surrounded it — that 'We are here, and we are prepared to be a great cultural and religious and civic force in our community.' "
Courtesy Los Angeles Public Library

Originally published on Thu July 31, 2014 11:43 am

There's an 85-year-old building on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles that has been a venue for the Dalai Lama, the LA Philharmonic and even scenes in Entourage and The West Wing. But extracurricular activities aside, the Wilshire Boulevard Temple is a house of worship. Recently refurbished, and given a preservation award by the Los Angeles Conservancy, the temple has a special place in the history of Hollywood.

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Fine Art
2:45 am
Tue July 22, 2014

With Swirls Of Steel, These Sculptures Mark The Passage Of People And Time

Albert Paley's iron and steel gates, archways and free-standing sculptures are eye-catching landmarks. His 2010 steel work Evanesce stands in Monterrey, Mexico. "American Metal: The Art of Albert Paley" is on display at the Corcoran Gallery of Art until September.
Agencia para la Planeacióndel Desarrollo Urbano de Nuevo León Courtesy Paley Studios

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 11:13 am

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.

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. His gates, archways and free-standing sculptures are eye-catching landmarks.

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Fine Art
1:24 am
Thu July 10, 2014

For Paul Cezanne, An Apple A Day Kept Obscurity Away

Apples and Cakes (Pommes et gateaux) by Paul Cezanne, 1873-1877.
Christie's Images Limited Courtesy of the Barnes Foundation

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 4:30 pm

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.

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Movie Interviews
1:26 am
Tue June 24, 2014

The Turbulent Love Story Behind Yves Saint Laurent's Revolutionary Rise

Yves Saint Laurent works with a model at his Paris fashion house in 1965. A new film follows the designer's rise in the fashion world.
Reg Lancaster Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 10:39 am

In 2009, Forbes rated 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 Yves Saint Laurent. In it, their relationship is both interactive and supportive.

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Fine Art
1:08 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Meet The Models: Exhibit Explores The People Behind The Paintings

In 1930, Grant Wood had his sister Nan pose for American Gothic. "The public reaction to the painting was so rough on her that her brother Grant felt bad for her," curator Elizabeth Botten says.
Art Institute of Chicago, Friends of American Art Collection AP

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 12:17 pm

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.

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. But it felt as if something had been taken from me.

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Fine Art
12:56 am
Thu May 29, 2014

As Portraits Became Passé, These Artists Redefined 'Face Value'

Joan Brown's 1970 Self-Portrait with Fish and Cat is the first image you see at the National Portrait Gallery's "Face Value" exhibit.
Estate of Joan Brown Courtesy of George Adams Gallery/National Portrait Gallery

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 11:34 am

"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.

Bay area artist Joan Brown's image is the first thing you see at a new National Portrait Gallery exhibition called "Face Value: Portraiture in the Age of Abstraction." Brown's painting, like so many in this Smithsonian show, is powerful and funny.

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Fine Art
12:57 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Impressionists With Benefits? The Painting Partnership Of Degas And Cassatt

In a letter, Mary Cassatt describes working on Little Girl in a Blue Armchair (1878) with Edward Degas. An X-ray of the painting reveals brush strokes unlike Cassatt's regular strokes.
National Gallery of Art

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 7:50 am

In her novel I Always Loved You, 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. The kiss in the novel is pure fiction, but then again, "nobody knows what goes on in their neighbor's house, let alone what happened between two artists 130 years ago," Oliveira says.

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Fine Art
1:23 am
Mon May 12, 2014

One Collector's Plan To Save Realistic Art Was Anything But Abstract

Two pensive women share a mysterious, intense moment in Raphael Soyer's 1980 Annunciation.
Smithsonian American Art Museum

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 12:56 pm

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.

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