Episode #205

Preservation, Stop Sign, Sacred Harp

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Saturday, February 03, 2001

We find out how a painter scooped a scientist in a major discovery about perception, and figure out why a stop sign has eight sides. And Kurt Andersen talks with radio producer David Isay about the art of preservation, with stories about rescuing sacred music and restoring modern sculpture made out of some unusual materials.


David Isay

Commentary: World War II Memorial

Kurt Andersen weighs in on the design for the World War II Memorial on the Washington Mall.


Design for the Real World: Stop Sign

Graphic Designer Steven Heller gives insight on the street sign no one can ignore. 


How Art Works: Painting & Neurology

For Denis Pelli, a professor of psychology & neural science at NYU, the grid paintings by Chuck Close were a revelation. The painter was an unwittingly collaborator with Pelli on a significant neurological discovery.


David Isay on the Art of Preservation

Kurt Andersen and the MacArthur Genius-recipient and award-winning radio producer David Isay talk about the art of preservation.

Isay spent much of his time in radio producing stories about preserving memory, physical space, or artistic endeavors. He is the founder of Sound Portraits Productions, and his documentaries heard on public radio ...


Disappearing Drafts

With the ease of editing on computers, and the lack of scrawled changes in the margins of authors' manuscripts, historians may have lost a significant step to understanding writers' creative processes.


Sacred Harp

Sacred Harp singing is a tradition that began in the 19th century in the Deep South and gradually died out in the 20th. The music's unearthly allure for people across the country contributes to its resurgence today.


Conserving the Contemporary

The unusual materials used by some contemporary artists pose great challenges to the museum conservators who try to preserve their pieces.



Studio 360's own archivist and master conservator and preserver of sound, Andy Lanset, explains the process of cleaning and restoring the sound from a huge archive of aging recordings going back to the early days of radio.