Robert Altman

Robert Altman’s entire career, which ranged from episodes of “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” in 1957 to the pleasant and strangely elegiac A Prairie Home Companion last year, was summed up after the 1992 Academy Awards. A television journalist asked the director of The Player , perhaps the best movie ever made about the inner workings of Hollywood, why the industry’s research tanks couldn’t determine what moviegoers wanted to see.Read more »

The Buyable Past

Russel Wright Aluminum

Aluminum ore, prevalent in the earth’scrust from time immemorial, wasn’t transformed into metal until the 1800s. The initial cost of the process was exorbitant, and by the third quarter of the century it remained high enough to make aluminum as expensive as silver. Both metals were then considered precious, and aluminum was used in the King of Denmark’s crown as well as in the facing of the Washington Monument.Read more »


Russel Wright: Creating American Lifestyle was published to accompany an exhibition at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. Dealers that showcase his wares include All Wright ( ) and Mood Indigo ( ). Wright aluminum items are sometimes reproduced to precise specifications, and examples can be found at Highbrow Furniture ( ).Read more »

History Now

“They Were Always in My Attic” Why 1848? Screenings The Buyable Past Resources

“They Were Always In My Attic”

The Smithsonian gets a remarkable new archive


Do you want Constitution Avenue or Independence?”asks 81-year-old Frank Kameny, from the passenger seat, as he guides the much younger man who’s driving to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History from Kameny’s modest brick house in northwest Washington. Kameny was already living in the house in 1957 when he got fired from his job as an astronomer with the Army Map Service and began an 18-year campaign, finally successful, to end the U. S.

Homosexuals picket the White House, October 1965; a 1963 button sets forth the movement's goal.
kameny papers project2007_1_10
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Why 1848?

Kurt Andersen gives a neglected year its due

Kurt Andersen, the founder of Spy magazine, is the author of Turn of the Century , a scathingly funny satire of American mores at the end of the last millennium, and now Heyday (Random House, 640 pages, $26.95), an exhilarating cutaway view of America in the pivotal year of 1848. I spoke with Andersen about his new book and the state of the American historical novel.— Allen Barra Read more »