Bob Batchelor – Rookwood: The Rediscovery and Revival of an American Icon
Art / December 14, 2020

  December 14, 2020 – In 1880, Maria Longworth Nichols Storer founded Rookwood Pottery in Cincinnati, aiming to give American artists a place to produce quality pieces to beautify the home, but also practical ceramics and tile. It grew into a world-renowned success, one that endures to this day. Spinning the pottery wheel for us is Bob Batchelor who brings us the illustrated history Rookwood: The Rediscovery and Revival of an American Icon — a Publishers Weekly Holiday Gift Guide 2020 Selection. We previously caught up with Bob to chat about his books The Bourbon King: The Life and Crimes of George Remus, Prohibition’s Evil Genius and Stan Lee: The Man behind Marvel. Bob Batchelor is a cultural historian who has written or edited more than two dozen books on popular culture and American literature, including books about John Updike, The Great Gatsby, and Mad Men. Find him at, on Facebook, or at the Twitter and Instagram handle @BobPBatchelor.     Podcast: Download (Duration: 1:21:47 — 187.2MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Sunny Stalter-Pace – Imitation Artist: Gertrude Hoffmann’s Life in Vaudeville and Dance
Art , New York / July 27, 2020

July 27, 2020 – Video killed the radio star, and the talkies killed Vaudeville, but some legends adapt to changing times. In this episode, we meet one such innovator, who made a series of leaps from New York City’s Hippodrome to Hollywood, with many entertaining stops and in between. Born in the San Francisco of 1883 as Katherine Gertrude Hay, Gertrude Hoffman broke into show business as a mimic, copying highbrow performances from Europe and popularizing them for a broader American audience. She started as a pantomime ballet girl in the Gay Nineties, grew up with Vaudeville, and later worked as a choreographer and teacher, living well into the 1960’s. Joining us in our time machine is the Hargis associate professor of American literature at Auburn University, Sunny Stalter-Pace, who brings us, Imitation Artist: Gertrude Hoffmann’s Life in Vaudeville and Dance. Find our guest online at or on Twitter @SLStalter.       Podcast: Download (Duration: 1:00:30 — 138.5MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Christopher Bonanos – Flash: The Making of Weegee the Famous
Art , New York / November 19, 2018

November 19, 2018 – Our time machine hauls out the big, bulky Speed Graphic camera and watches the ultimate watcher of watchers in 1930s, ’40s and ’50s New York City: Arthur Fellig. Helping haul the tripod around to various crime scenes and disasters is Christopher Bonanos who brings us Flash: The Making of Weegee the Famous. Even if you don’t know the name, you’ve seen his gritty images from the 1930s through ’50s. It’s an incredible body of work produced by a photographer who hammed up claims of an uncanny ability to show up at a crime scene just as the cops did — a human Ouija board. Christopher Bonanos is city editor at New York magazine where he covers arts and culture and urban affairs. His previous book is Instant: The Story of Polaroid. Follow him on Twitter @HeyBonanos and @PolaroidLand on Instagram.         Podcast: Download (Duration: 54:36 — 125.0MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | RSS | More

Sandra Neil Wallace – Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went from the Football Field to the Art Gallery
Art , Civil Rights / February 12, 2018

February 12, 2018 – For Black History Month, our time machine piles readers 4 to 8 years old into their car seats, and introduces them to a hero who overcame segregation and many other obstacles, to pursue his artistic dream — and that’s after being a star NFL player. Returning to the show is Sandra Neil Wallace, who last joined us with her husband and co-writer Rich Wallace to discuss their books Bound by Ice: A True North Pole Survival Story and Blood Brother: Jonathan Daniels and His Sacrifice for Civil Rights. You can hear those conversations in our archives at or wherever you catch the show. Sandra’s latest book is titled Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went from the Football Field to the Art Gallery. In it, young readers will find the story of a pro-football player, brought to life with by Sandra’s prose and Bryan Collier’s watercolors. Bryan Collier is an award-winning illustrator, whose art won first place in a 1985 congressional competition and later earned him a scholarship to New York City’s Pratt Institute. Watch him draw at this Facebook Live event or check out his work at You’ve seen Sandra Neil Wallace’s work as a…

Miles J. Unger – Michelangelo
Art / August 8, 2016

August 8, 2016 – This week, our time machine whisks us back to meet the great master, Michelangelo: Sculptor, painter, architect, poet, and engineer. He was also the original brooding artist, who for the first time connected the artist to the work, a link we consider essential today. Our guide is Miles J. Unger, here to explore what the great artist is whispering to us across the centuries with his new book, Michelangelo: A Life in Six Masterpieces. The title calls this great master down from his Renaissance perch on the scaffold and brings him to a more human level, so we can better understand his genius through: the Pietà, the Last Judgment, the David, the Medici tombs, the story of Creation on the Sistine Chapel ceiling, and the soaring dome and vaults of St. Peter’s Basilica. Miles J. Unger currently writes for the Economist, and lived in Florence for five years, deepening his knowledge of Italian culture and language. He also served as Managing Editor of Art New England, and has published in numerous other places including the New York Times. You can learn more about him at Miles J. — that’s Miles, the letter J, Unger Dot…