Jessica Lange & Leaves of Grass

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Saturday, March 01, 2014 - 03:49 PM

Jessica Lange (far left) in a scene from American Horror Story Jessica Lange (far left) in a scene from American Horror Story (Michele K. Short/ FX)

Kurt talks with Jessica Lange talks about the thrill of playing an evil witch on American Horror Story. We learn how Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, a radical, polyamorous book of poems became an American Icon. And an artist paints combat scenes in Iraq after being inspired by Winslow Homer's Civil War paintings.

 

Jessica Lange in <em>American Horror Story<em/> Michele K. Short/ FXJessica Lange

The Oscar-winning actress Jessica Lange started her career as the ultimate ingénue — the beautiful helpless blonde in King Kong, then the sweet soap opera actress in Tootsie. Her roles have gotten steadily darker, and now she’s leading the cast of the FX series American Horror Story. “The rational and the reasonable, that stuff doesn’t interest me as much as the emotional frailty or borderline madness,” Lange tells Kurt. (Originally aired: November 1, 2013)

 

American Icons: Leaves of GrassLeaves of Grass

A consummate patriot, Walt Whitman set out to invent a radically new form of poetry for a new nation. His book was first viewed as bizarre and obscene — one reviewer said that the author should be publicly flogged. But revising and adding to the book until his death, Whitman accomplished his goal, creating a new Bible for American poets. Poet Matt Miller reveals a secret to the making of this unprecedented work. (Originally aired: September 27, 2013)

 

Winslow Homer, Rainy Day at Camp. 1871Aha Moment: Winslow Homer

Steve Mumford traveled to Iraq several times to chronicle the war as a painter and illustrator. Mumford traces his desire to chronicle military life to the paintings Winslow Homer made during the Civil War. In Iraq, Mumford was constantly mindful of Homer’s approach to his Civil War paintings. “It was exactly that insistence that he had on being true to not just what he saw, but to the spirit of what he saw, that makes the work seem so contemporary today. And it’s certainly something that I strive for.” (Originally aired: March 22, 2013)


Slideshow: Illustrating War

© The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Winslow Homer, Rainy Day in Camp, 1871.

Courtesy of Postmasters Gallery, NYC

Steve Mumford, Untitled.

A squad from 3rd Platoon, 81 Mortars, 2/3 Marines sets up an overwatch for a vehicle stop and search in a cemetery in Nawa, Helmand Province, Afghanistan. February 2011.

Courtesy of Postmasters Gallery, NYC

Steve Mumford, Untitled.

Arkansas National Guardsman Jerry Holland on foot patrol on Haifa Street, Baghdad, Iraq. November 2004.

Courtesy of Postmasters Gallery, NYC

Steve Mumford, Untitled.

Sniper team leader attached to 3/6 Marines, Helmand Province, Afghanistan. June 2010.

Steve Mumford, Going Back In, 2006.

Courtesy of Postmasters Gallery, NYC

Steve Mumford, Untitled.

Wounded soldier at the Baghdad ER, 28th Combat Support Hospital, Iraq. October 2007.

Steve Mumford, Dying Soldier, 2009.

This US soldier was pronounced dead at the Baghdad ER, Iraq. April 12, 2007.

Steve Mumford, Empire, 2010.

Prisoners are loaded onto a C-17 at Diamondback Airbase, Mosul, Iraq. April 19, 2008.

Courtesy of Postmasters Gallery, NYC

Steve Mumford, Untitled.

Insurgent suspects at a US/Iraqi MP base, Samara, Iraq. October 2003.

Courtesy of Postmasters Gallery, NYC

Steve Mumford, Untitled.

At the beginning of an incursion by 3rd Squad, 2nd Platoon, Echo Co into hostile Trek Nawa, an Afghan soldier on point shoots the first of two dogs. Steve Mumford writes, “Sgt Joseph Perez eventually ran up front to tell him to knock it off. The villagers demanded compensation but were refused.” Helmand Province, Afghanistan. February 2011.

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