Arts & Culture

Interviews and stories about art, culture, music, books, food / dining and sports.

Chipstone Gallery, Milwaukee Art Museum

There is a small square gate legged card table located in the Chipstone Gallery at the Milwaukee Art Museum. We know that it was made in the 1800's and It's attributed to Benjamin Frothingham, a cabinet maker in Boston. We know that during it's day, it was likely used to play games, with three to four players. We know that they would have sat close to each other, possibly touching and just maybe flirting if those playing were courting. We know that the table would have been closed when not in use, hence the gate leg (a leg that swings open to support the top when the table was in use).

This week, we've invited Alan Cumming, actor, singer, author, director and proud son of Scotland, to play our quiz. He's currently on tour performing songs from his new album, Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs.

Since Cumming plays Eli Gold on the TV series The Good Wife, we're asking him to answer three questions about bad wives.

Ex Fabula: Holiday Craze

Dec 3, 2016
Photo by Art Montes / Ex Fabula

We made it through the first big shopping weekend of the holiday season. On Black Friday, many of us ventured out early, either as a family outing or as a solo hunt for savings. Others skipped the stores all together and chose sweatpants over sales.

Parking is just one of the many reasons some of us chose sweatpants over savings on Thanksgiving weekend. Bringing the kids along can be another - just ask Christopher Spencer’s mother.

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Much of the world is getting to know the work of Kathleen Collins - all the more to regret that she's not around to hear the praise. Kathleen Collins was a writer and filmmaker who died in 1988 of breast cancer. She was 46 years old.

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We began a series last week in which some of our colleagues here are invited to share family holiday recipes. Linda Wertheimer talked about her family leftover turkey tacos but said her plans this year were thrown off by her Thanksgiving dinner host.

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If you're curious about what people really think about some of the hottest of hot-button food controversies, the Pew Research Center has just the thing for you: a survey of attitudes toward genetic modification, organic food and the importance of eating healthfully.

The survey results are published in a 99-page report that can keep you occupied for days. But if you're pressed for time, here are some of the most interesting highlights that caught our eye.

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Let's pause now to remember a British actor best known for playing a Spanish waiter in a 1970s BBC series that lasted only 12 episodes - Andrew Sachs. He died at age 86. As NPR's Ted Robbins tells us, his relatively small role left a big impression.

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Bonnie Mackay has written an unusual sort of memoir: Tree of Treasures is the story of her life, told through Christmas tree ornaments.

Mackay is something of an ornament aficionado — starting with the first tree she decorated with a friend from college.

"We called it the tree of disarray ... " she tells NPR's Ari Shapiro. They adorned it with unconventional objects, including jewelry, scarves and kitchen items.

This is a story about love and transformation. But first, it starts with resistance.

At 75, Chanjae Lee absolutely hated the idea of learning this bizarre thing called Instagram. He had never used the Internet before, never once owned an email account, and never understood the concepts behind Google or Facebook. Why did he have to learn Instagram?

It was because he missed his grandchildren, dearly.

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