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March/April 2010

In This Issue
March/April 2010

Self Portrait with Rita, Thomas Hart Benton

Portrait of the Artist Before and After

Thomas Hart Benton was famous when he wrote his autobiography, forgotten when he updated it.

By Daniel Grant

Volume 31, Issue 2

Thomas Hart Benton (1889-1975), The Yankee Driver, 1923, oil on canvas, 26 x 23 3/4 in.

The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Art © T. H. Benton and R. P. Benton Testamentary Trusts / UMB Ba

  • Features

    Whalemen remove the jaw of a sperm whale

    Whaling The Old Way

    Life on a nineteenth-century whaler was thrilling, tedious, and often disgusting.

    By James Williford
    Mount Auburn Cemetery

    Sweet Auburn

    Cambridge's pastoral gateway to paradise set the trend for modern cemeteries.

    By Sarah Stewart Taylor
    Manuscript from Michael of Rhodes

    Sailor of Fortune

    Michael of Rhodes was not your typical fifteenth-century Venetian, and he left his manuscript as proof.

    By Anna Maria Gillis
    Portable amulet shrine from eastern Tibet

    American Zenophilia

    Our fascination with Buddha goes well beyond power drinks and movie stars.

    By Sarah Pulliam Bailey

    Eight Who Make a Difference

    The 2009 Humanities Medalists.

  • Departments


    Hollywood by Design

    Oklahoma remembers the career of costumier Edith Head.

    By Laura Wolff Scanlan

    Vegas’s Revolutionary Recluse

    Nevada pays tribute to the vision of Howard Hughes.

    By Laura Wolff Scanlan

    Better Living through Spelling

    Connecticut celebrates Noah Webster.

    By Laura Wolff Scanlan

    Songs of the Times

    Idaho listens to the songs of its people.

    By Amy Lifson


    Remains of the Day

    By Between June 14 and July 27, 1794, hundreds of nobles, shopkeepers, clergy, corset makers, vintners, and other “suspicious” citizens were executed by guillotine at Place de la Nation in Paris.

    By Amy Lifson

    Great Scott!

    In an “abandoned tramp’s hotel that had become too filthy even for the tramps,” a bohemian circle of actors, writers, and society figures founded Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré in 1919, one of the fi

    By Steve Moyer

    Fashion Statements

    The caftan-like shape is typical of Palestinian dresses, but the woven stripe pattern, the appliquéd areas on the shoulders, sleeves, and skirt, the densely embroidered chest square, and the color sch

    By Steve Moyer

    Impertinent Questions

    Impertinent Questions with Edwin L. Battistella

    On the self-help career of grammarian Sherwin Cody.

    By David Skinner (Edited by)

    Executive Function

    Wisconsin’s Dena Wortzel

    Dena Wortzel finds common ground between rural and urban communities.

    By Jenny Price


    Editor's Note, March/April 2010

    A few weeks ago, zipping through some recent American writings on Buddhism, I came across an article by a Buddhist named Damaris Williams. It was about a meditation marathon she’d taken part in.

    By David Skinner