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.

Pages

Fine Art
1:08 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Girls Are Taught To 'Think Pink,' But That Wasn't Always So

Photographer JeongMee Yoon felt her daughter's life was being overtaken by pink. She illustrated that in her 2006 portrait Seo Woo and Her Pink Things.
JeongMee Yoon Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Jenkins Johnson Gallery

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 6:23 am

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 "Think Pink" explores the history and social impact of the color.

Read more
The Salt
3:22 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Japanese Tea Ritual Turned 15th Century 'Tupperware' Into Art

Courtesy Freer Gallery of Art

Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 3:24 am

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.

The jars were "the Chinese version of Tupperware," says Andrew Watsky, a professor of Japanese art history at Princeton.

Read more
Books News & Features
1:00 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Re-Released Recordings Reveal Literary Titans In Their Youth

James Baldwin, shown here in 1964, was the first in a series of authors Harry and Lynne Sharon Schwartz recorded.
Jenkins Getty Images

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 11:19 am

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.

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.

Read more
Oscars 2014: The 86th Annual Academy Awards
1:20 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Keen Eyes, Uncanny Instincts Keep Films In Sharp Focus

On location for Walk of Shame, camera crew members Larry Nielsen (center) and Milan "Miki" Janicin (right) help set up a crane shot. The wireless focus remote Nielsen will use is hanging from that purple carabiner on his jacket.
Cindy Carpien NPR

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 12:41 pm

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.

"No," says focus puller Baird Steptoe. "We do not look through the camera at all."

Steptoe has worked as a first assistant cameraman on films from The Sixth Sense to Thor to last year's Grownups Two. He says he's learned to judge distances — precise distances — with his naked eye alone.

"I mean, I can tell you roughly from you to me right now," he says. "I would say about 2-11."

Read more
Hollywood Jobs
1:28 am
Thu February 27, 2014

'Clap!' On Set, The Signature Sound Of The Slate

The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Given the crowded location, "I'm actually on the phone with my first assistant, so he could let me know when the camera is rolling," Janicin says." href="/post/clap-set-signature-sound-slate" class="noexit lightbox">
Milan "Miki" Janicin slates a scene on a location shoot for The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Given the crowded location, "I'm actually on the phone with my first assistant, so he could let me know when the camera is rolling," Janicin says.
Sidney Ray Baldwin

Originally published on Thu February 27, 2014 11:12 am

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.

"Miki's hitting the sticks on this one," says assistant cameraman Larry Nielsen, pointing to his assistant.

Read more
Remembrances
3:13 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

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

Actor/comedian Sid Caesar
NBC NBC via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 6:00 pm

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.

Read more
Remembrances
2:29 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

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.

The Picture Show
1:24 am
Mon February 10, 2014

'Life' Photographer Showed Africa Through A New Lens

Fon appliqué workers in 1971, Abomey, Republic of Benin.
Eliot Elisofon National Museum of African Art

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 10:05 am

Before World War II, many Americans got exaggerated ideas about Africa from movies like Tarzan the Ape Man — movies that were filmed on Hollywood sound stages.

It took time to change that view. But after the war, Life magazine photographer Eliot Elisofon sought to shed a new light on the vast and variegated continent.

Read more
Photography
1:16 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Portrait Show Brings Photographer-Subject Encounters Into Focus

Untitled (Kate #18) by Chuck Close.
Chuck Close Courtesy of Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 7:45 am

When someone takes our picture, we usually deliver a mile-wide grin, but there's not a smile in the room at the Phillips Collection's photography show in Washington.

The exhibit mostly consists of portraits of inner lives, taken by various photographers, and it's about the encounter between the two participants. Susan Behrends Frank curated the small show, called "Shaping a Modern Identity," which is running through Jan. 12.

Read more
The Salt
12:57 am
Fri November 22, 2013

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

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

Originally published on Wed February 5, 2014 12:35 pm

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.

Read more
Fine Art
1:22 am
Mon November 11, 2013

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

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.

Originally published on Mon November 11, 2013 1:08 pm

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.

Read more
Books News & Features
1:17 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Pen Pal Of Young 'Jerry' Salinger May Have Been First To Meet Holden

J.D. Salinger wrote nine letters and postcards to aspiring Canadian writer Marjorie Sheard.
Graham Haber The Morgan Library & Museum

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 7:47 am

Fans of the reclusive J.D. Salinger are in their element these days.

Read more
Monkey See
8:15 am
Mon October 7, 2013

A Hint That J.D. Salinger Kept Writing, From A Story He Didn't Write

J.D. Salinger shown in September 1961.
AP

With J.D. Salinger in the news three years after his death (and the new documentary and biography must have that obsessively private author spinning in his grave), I'm reminded of my conversations in the 1970s about Salinger with the editor of The New Yorker, William Shawn.

Read more
Art & Design
1:18 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Exhibit Explores How Dior's Designs Echo Impressionist Paintings

Laziz Hamani

Originally published on Thu September 19, 2013 7:44 am

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.

Read more
Books
1:01 am
Tue September 3, 2013

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

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

Originally published on Tue September 3, 2013 1:30 pm

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.

Read more
Photography
12:56 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Haunting Images Chronicle 165 Years Of A World At War

An American soldier reads a letter from home, while taking a break from repairing a tank tread in Lang Vei, Vietnam, in March 1971.
David Burnett/Contact Press Images

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 7:46 am

D-Day soldiers landing on Omaha Beach. A naked Vietnamese girl running from napalm. A Spanish loyalist, collapsing to the ground in death. These images of war, and some 300 others, are on view at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., in an exhibition called WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath. Pictures from the mid-19th century to today, taken by commercial photographers, military photographers, amateurs and artists capture 165 years of conflict.

Read more
Books
1:00 am
Thu August 1, 2013

How Andrew Carnegie Turned His Fortune Into A Library Legacy

Carnegie ultimately gave away $60 million to fund a system of 1,689 public libraries across the country. "In bestowing charity the main consideration should be to help those who help themselves," he wrote.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 2:03 pm

Andrew Carnegie was once the richest man in the world. Coming as a dirt poor kid from Scotland to the U.S., by the 1880s he'd built an empire in steel — and then gave it all away: $60 million to fund a system of 1,689 public libraries across the country.

Carnegie donated $300,000 to build Washington, D.C.'s oldest library — a beautiful beaux arts building that dates back to 1903. Inscribed above the doorway are the words: Science, Poetry, History. The building was "dedicated to the diffusion of knowledge."

Read more
News
5:07 am
Sun July 28, 2013

This Fountain Of Youth Has A Little Extra Zing

Originally published on Sun July 28, 2013 12:21 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:

Read more
Art & Design
4:15 am
Sun July 28, 2013

Stories Of Race In America Captured On Quilt And Canvas

As a black, female artist in the 1960s, Ringgold says there were "a lot of people trying to get in my way and keep me from doing what I was doing." Above, a 1965 self portrait.
Jim Frank On loan from Elizabeth A. Sackler

Originally published on Mon July 29, 2013 10:31 am

Artist Faith Ringgold is best known for what she calls her story quilts — large canvases made in the 1980s, on which she painted scenes of African-American life: sunbathing on a tar roof, a mother and her children, a quilting bee. She frames the canvases in strips of quilted fabric, carrying out an old African, and African-American quilt-making tradition.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington is showing an earlier aspect of Ringgold's art: big, strong, vivid paintings from the 1960s that reflect the violence and social upheaval of that time.

Read more
Fine Art
12:54 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Naked Or Nude? Wesselmann's Models Are A Little Bit Of Both

scandalous 1863 Olympia, Tom Wesselmann created The Great American Nude #26." href="/post/naked-or-nude-wesselmanns-models-are-little-bit-both" class="noexit lightbox">
Nearly 100 years after Edouard Manet painted his scandalous 1863 Olympia, Tom Wesselmann created The Great American Nude #26.
Estate of Tom Wesselmann/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Originally published on Wed July 17, 2013 3:08 am

Sixties pop artist Tom Wesselmann liked women, and saluted them on his canvases — or, sometimes, just parts of them: perfect glossy red mouths with lips parted to reveal pink tongues; nipples, even on the oranges he paints. These are just a few of the images that might make you blush in a Wesselmann retrospective now on view at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond.

"I don't think you could ask for a more literal interpretation of the objectification of parts of the female body," says curator Sarah Eckhardt.

Read more
Fine Art
12:59 am
Thu July 11, 2013

At 90, Ellsworth Kelly Brings Joy With Colorful Canvases

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

Originally published on Thu July 18, 2013 2:52 pm

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.

Read more
Fine Art
2:04 am
Thu June 27, 2013

A Paris Vacation For Nashville Millionaires' French Art

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

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 10:05 am

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.

Read more
Books News & Features
12:53 am
Mon June 10, 2013

In 'Shocked,' Patricia Volk Honors Two Formative Femmes

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

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 10:14 am

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.

Read more
Dance
1:03 am
Thu May 30, 2013

Modern Movement: How The Ballets Russes Revolutionized Dance

Click here to see the full costume." href="/post/modern-movement-how-ballets-russes-revolutionized-dance" class="noexit lightbox">
Vaslav Nijinsky as the faun at the premiere of the Ballets Russes' production of Afternoon of the Faun at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris in May 1912. Click here to see the full costume.
Edward Gooch Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 30, 2013 8:30 am

If your idea of ballet is a flurry of tutus and toeshoes, a new exhibition at the National Gallery of Art in Washington will expand your vision. "Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes" shows the revolutionary impact a group of dancers, composers, artists and choreographers made on classical dance at the start of the 20th century.

Read more
Architecture
1:24 am
Mon April 29, 2013

How One Family Built America's Public Palaces

The elaborately tiled City Hall subway station in New York City — still extant but now closed to the public, alas — used the Guastavino touch to convince wary city dwellers to head underground for a train trip.
Michael Freeman National Buildling Museum

Originally published on Mon April 29, 2013 9:52 am

Read more
Author Interviews
1:03 am
Mon April 15, 2013

Friedkin, Who Pushed Film Forward, Looks Back

HarperCollins Publishers

Originally published on Tue April 23, 2013 11:08 am

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.

Read more
Commentary
3:11 am
Sat April 13, 2013

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

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

Originally published on Sat April 13, 2013 8:11 am

  • Susan Stamberg Hosts 'All Things Considered' On July 10, 1972
  • Barbara Hoctor And Bob Edwards On 'Morning Edition,' Dec. 31, 1979
  • Senior News Analyst Daniel Schorr On 'Weekend Edition,' Feb. 19, 1994
  • Susan Stamberg's Voice In NPR's Elevators At 1111 North Capitol
  • 'All Things Considered' Story On The Move From M Street In 1994

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.

Read more
Movies
1:21 am
Thu April 11, 2013

Painting 'Renoir' In Finely Detailed Strokes

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

Originally published on Thu April 11, 2013 8:59 am

Read more
Art & Design
2:41 am
Mon March 11, 2013

For John Baldessari, Conceptual Art Means Serious Mischief

Courtesy the artist/John Baldessari Studio

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

Read more
Fine Art
12:38 am
Fri March 1, 2013

Vermeer's 'Woman In Blue' Brings Her Mystery, Allure To L.A.

The Getty Museum is the last€” and only U.S. stop on the world tour of Woman in Blue Reading a Letter.
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam. On loan from the City of Amsterdam (A. van der Hoop Bequest) Courtesy of the J. Paul Getty Trust

Originally published on Fri March 1, 2013 3:41 am

Johannes Vermeer's Girl With a Pearl Earring is easy to fall in love with — she's young, dewy, beautiful (Scarlett Johansson played her in the 2003 movie about the painting), and she looks right at you. But the 17th-century Dutch master's Woman in Blue Reading a Letter is different — her face is shadowed and she stands in profile, totally absorbed in her letter.

Read more

Pages