Tag Archives: Robert Frost

The Arts: Pulitzer Prizes

This photo by the AP's Oded Balilty won the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News Photography. Uploaded by ap.org.

It’s ironic that Joseph Pulitzer, a newspaper owner noted in his time for shaping the truth to fit his personal views, has become synonymous with excellence in journalism and literature. Pulitzer arranged his estate so that, upon his death in 1911, a significant sum would go to New York’s Columbia University to establish a school of journalism and to recognize excellence in his lifetime profession.

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Today, Pulitzer Prizes are awarded in 21 categories, from the broad (Fiction) to the very narrow (Editorial Cartooning). Winners receive a $10,000 cash prize, though the increase in earnings that comes from identifying oneself or one’s works as “Pulitzer Prize Winner” can be substantial.

Looking at past winners of the prizes reveals some exceptionally deserving works. Tom Shales for Criticism… The Road by Cormac McCarthy and The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway in Fiction… Driving Miss Daisy by Alfred Uhry, and South Pacific by Rogers and Hammerstein in Drama… Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copland in Music… Edwin Arlington Robinson, Robert Frost, and Marianne Moore in Poetry… Charles Krauthammer in Commentary… and David McCullough for John Adams in Biography.

Joseph Pulitzer was respected during his lifetime for his intense personal drive and passions. But he rehabilitated his less savory journalistic tendencies by attaching his name to an enduring award for excellence. By the way…the award’s powers that be tell us that the correct pronunciation is “Pull it, sir.” So now we know.

A great video featuring Pulitzer Prize winning photographs of recent years:

The Arts: Andrew Wyeth

Christina's World is Wyeth's most famous image. It depicts his neighbor in Maine who, due to an unknown illness, was unable to walk. Uploaded by bu.edu.

“The Painter of the People.” Some artists would recoil from that reputation, fearing it describes someone like Thomas Kincaid. For Andrew Wyeth, it simply meant that he painted recognizable scenes in a realist style they could appreciate. For Wyeth, it’s high praise indeed.

Those who paint in a realist style are often given short shrift by the high muckamucks of the art establishment. Seems to me, however, that we can appreciate both the brilliance of an innovative abstractionist and the discipline of a gifted realist. And that, Wyeth most certainly is.

He painted the people and landscapes around his home in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania and his summer home in Cushing, Maine. He was influenced by the poetry of Frost (Great American Things, April 27, 2009) and Thoreau, particularly their representation of nature. Of course his father, N.C. Wyeth, gave him every advantage, as well as training from an early age.

And the finished paintings? Well, they speak for themselves.

“Snow Hill”

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“Late Harvest”

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“Master Bedroom”

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“The Meter Box”

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“Big Room”

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“Red Barn”

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“Wind from the Sea”

Uploaded by gwennseemel.com.