A Modest Proposal

As Western economies begin to recover, extravagant, eye-popping architecture is giving way to a subtler new aesthetic. In the U.S. and Europe, architectural values are shifting from can-you-top-this designs toward more efficient, functional building.

A Blind Man's Inspiring Life

Every day, the headlines are heartbreaking: the children orphaned in Haiti, the victims of bomb blasts in Baghdad—to say nothing of all the people who don't make the news with their pink slips or foreclosure notices.

The Roosevelts in New York

What bride wouldn't be thrilled by the gift of a splendid new house, big enough for a growing family? Yet in 1908, when 26-year-old Franklin D. Roosevelt came home for the first time to 49 East 65th Street, just off New York's Park Avenue, he found his wife, Eleanor, in tears. "This was not her house, she sobbed," according to the biographer Joseph Lash. "She had not helped plan it, and this wasn't the way she wanted to live." The brick-and-limestone townhouse had been built by Franklin's...

Aline Saarinen: '50s Wonder Woman

Today, except for a few projects like the moribund TWA terminal at JFK, Eero Saarinen is better known for his furniture than his buildings. His "womb" chairs and pedestal tables (designed, he said, to "clear up the slum of legs" in the American home) are still big sellers for Knoll.

In Dallas, Even the Arts Are Big

When President Eisenhower stuck a silver shovel in the dirt at the groundbreaking for Lincoln Center in 1959, he talked about America's desire to share "the good things of life with all our citizens." The architects of the arts complex apparently didn't get the message.

Art: CAI Guo-Qiang's 'Head On'

Of all the astonishing works in Cai Guo-Qiang's exhibition "I Want to Believe" at New York's Guggenheim Museum, the one I can't get out of my head is "Head On." The piece consisted of 99 full-size synthetic wolves stampeding up the museum's spiral ramp with such force that the front of the pack lifts up into an arc of flight, like Santa's reindeer—only to crash headlong into a wall of glass.

Metropolitan Museum of Art Gets New Director

After a closely watched international search, the trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York have chosen a new director—only the ninth in the Met's 138-year history—and they found him right under their noses: tapestries specialist Thomas Campbell, 46.

Waterfalls and New York City

The buzz on "The New York City Waterfalls" was loud enough that a boatload of reporters chugged out into New York Harbor one recent steamy morning with the installation's artist, Olafur Eliasson, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg for a first, up-close look at the project: four cascades, ranging in height from 90 to 120 feet, installed at sites along the East River.

Building Moments

Pritzker Prize winner Jean Nouvel on his battle to reshape a world of cities that all look the same.

Theater of War

'South Pacific' is getting its first Broadway revival in nearly 60 years, and it looks as good as new.

Art: Pop Goes the Easel

Gunpowder is a pretty destructive art material. Cai Guo-Qiang uses it on paper and in sculpture-like pyrotechnics. The results are explosive—and gorgeous.

A Model Photographer

The camera loved Lee Miller, and so did a long string of men. But she was able to turn her beauty and her talent into an unlikely, and daring, second career.

How To Act Presidential

If you're suffering from P.P.E.—Premature Political Exhaustion—and wondering how you'll make it to this fall's election, here's an antidote. "November," a new Broadway comedy by David Mamet, introduces you to a candidate you'd never vote for, no matter what your partisan leanings.

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