Jack Hitt says if you drill down into the American spirit to find out what makes Americans so American, you'll find it's the fact that we're all amateurs at heart. In his new book, Bunch of Amateurs: A Search for the American Character, he pinpoints the first American to use the amateur label to his advantage: Benjamin Franklin.
Credit Tom Crane / The Barnes Foundation Philadelphia
After years of bitter controversy, the Barnes Foundation opens the doors of its new location in downtown Philadelphia on Saturday. Since 1922, the collection has been housed in the Philadelphia suburbs, where critics say the collection's owner would have wanted it to stay.
Credit George Widman / AP
Albert Barnes built this gallery for his art collection in Merion, Pa., a Philadelphia suburb, in 1922. He wanted his institution to be a school for art appreciation, not an ordinary museum.
Credit Matt Rourke / AP
The lighting in the galleries of the new building (shown above) is a dramatic improvement over the lighting in the Merion building. But that's the biggest change; Barnes Foundation officials promised a Pennsylvania judge they would preserve the dimensions of the original galleries in the collection's new home.
Credit The Barnes Foundation
Barnes Foundation officials say the new facility — with classrooms, a lecture hall and modern library — will help them better carry out the foundation's core educational mission. Above, the view of the new building from 21st Street.
The Barnes Foundation opens the doors of its new gallery in downtown Philadelphia on Saturday. Its collection of paintings by Matisse, Picasso, Renoir, Cezanne and many more is now hanging in galleries designed to replicate those at the Barnes' old home in suburban Merion. The move follows a decade of bitter debate over the future of this multibillion-dollar collection.
A woman holds a photo of Guldunya Toren, an unmarried mother allegedly killed by her brothers for having a child out of wedlock, outside parliament in Ankara, Turkey, in 2004. Her case prompted huge protests and forced Turks to realize that the justice system often fails to protect at-risk women.
Credit Peter Kenyon / NPR
Hayrettin Bulan, a women's rights activist, points to cases of abused Turkish women. His proposal to arm and train women in self-defense has reignited a debate in Turkey about how best to combat violence against women.
In Turkey, hundreds of women die each year at the hands of a husband or family member, in a society that critics say too often ignores violence against women. After years of frustration, one organization has shaken up the debate with a controversial proposal: arming women and training them to defend themselves.
Looking back, Yagmur Askin thinks perhaps she should have paid more attention on her wedding day, when her husband's family welcomed her by saying, "You enter this house in a bridal gown, and you'll leave it in a coffin."
Camp David, in the Maryland hills outside Washington, D.C., is usually a place for the president and his family to get away from work, a wooded refuge with a swimming pool, tennis courts and a putting green.
This weekend, though, President Obama is bringing work with him to the camp — along with the leaders from most of the countries with the world's largest economies.
The Group of Eight is meeting in the rustic setting, but the agenda will be all business.
Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors, and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:
And we briefly note the passing of one of the world's great opera singers: German baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau died today. He was 86. From his first recital in Berlin in 1947 until his retirement in 1992, Fischer-Dieskau is in demand at opera houses and concert halls the world over. He was especially known for his interpretations of Schubert songs, like this one from the song cycle "Winterreise" or "Winter Journey."
Back in 1969, when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon, there were no guarantees. There were no guarantees that they'd make it there and there were no guarantees that they could make it back home.
President Richard Nixon and his speech writer William Safire knew that. So, imagining a situation in which the American astronauts were doomed in an alien land, Safire drew up a plan to mark their inevitable demise in a dignified way.
It was almost one year ago that the space shuttle Atlantis rose into the sky on a pillar of flame for the last time. The shuttle program ended forever with that mission. American astronauts were left to hitch rides on Russian space capsules, and American kids were left with no tangible direction forward for their dreams of a high-tech, space-happy future.
Tomorrow morning, the unmanned Falcon 9 rocket is scheduled to lift off from Cape Canaveral so that supplies can reach the space station.