Cathleen McGuigan

Energy Burst

Infused with new energy from the world's top architects, New York's skyline is soaring again.

Ending the Era of the Starchitect

For the last decade, American museums have been on a building binge. The "Bilbao effect"—the urgent desire to replicate the success of Frank Gehry's 1997 Guggenheim Museum in Spain—sent museum bigwigs scurrying to erect daring designs bearing the stamp of a big-name architect.

Where Memory Endures

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is so iconic, you tend to forget the political tempest that surrounded it more than 25 years ago. After the design--by a then-unknown Yale undergrad named Maya Lin--beat out 1,420 contenders in a blind competition, big shots such as Ross Perot, as well as 27 Republican congressmen, tried to block the starkly elegant plan.

Luciano Pavarotti, 1935–2007

Luciano Pavarotti was one of the biggest opera stars of the last century, but he was much bigger than opera. A lyric tenor whose remarkable voice was so honeyed and brilliant that even non-opera lovers were readily moved by its beauty, he married his natural musicality with a blatant gift for showmanship.

Liu: China's Fight to Spin the '08 Olympics

Architects in China have rarely had to worry about a lack of work; a few years ago, according to a report by Rem Koolhaas and his students at Harvard, China already had "one tenth the number of architects as in the U.S. designing five times the volume of projects." But the work tends to be grim; most designers toil in government institutes, churning out blueprints for one soulless high-rise after another.

A Certain Sense of Calm

Earlier this month at the Venice Biennale, Karl Lagerfeld introduced an unusual accessory for Chanel: pale-colored, curvy and soft-looking, it was hard to tell from a picture whether it was some kind of jaunty tote bag or perhaps a fetching new hat.

Vanessa Redgrave at 70: A Magical Role

Vanessa Redgrave is standing in the damp chill of a New York City street smoking a cigarette. It's early January and she's just given a talk, with writer Joan Didion, about "The Year of Magical Thinking," the upcoming one-woman Broadway show that Didion adapted from her 2005 memoir of her husband's death.