Skip to main content Skip to footer site map


Reset Filters
S8 Ep2
Martha Graham: Revolt and Passion
Martha Graham’s impact on dance was staggering & often compared to that of Picasso’s on painting, Stravinsky’s on music, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s on architecture. Her contributions transformed the art form, revitalizing and expanding dance around the world. In her search to express herself freely and honestly, she created the Martha Graham Dance Company, one of the oldest dance troupes in America.
Premiered: 5/13/1994
S11 Ep3
Man Ray: Prophet of the Avant Garde
Man Ray, the master of experimental and fashion photography was also a painter, a filmmaker, a poet, an essayist, a philosopher, and a leader of American modernism. Known for documenting the cultural elite living in France, Man Ray spent much of his time fighting the formal constraints of the visual arts. Ray’s life and art were always provocative, engaging, and challenging.
Premiered: 4/9/1997
S5 Ep6
Edward R. Murrow: This Reporter
Edward R. Murrow began a journalistic career that has had no equal. From the opening days of World War II through his death in 1965, Murrow had an unparalleled influence on broadcast journalism. His voice was universally recognized, and a generation of radio and television newsmen emulated his style.
Premiered: 7/30/1990
S16 Ep9
Gene Kelly: Anatomy of a Dancer
Gene Kelly
The potency of Kelly’s gifts, his remarkable achievements in dance and choreography and the creativity and charisma with which he exploded in a handful of films continues to endure and to inform. Gene Kelly’s final filmed words are from 1994’s That’s Entertainment III quoting Irving Berlin, he remarked: “The song has ended, but the melody lingers on.”
Premiered: 3/3/2002
S4 Ep3
Satchmo: The Life of Louis Armstrong
From a New Orleans boys’ home to Hollywood, Carnegie Hall, and television, the tale of Louis Armstrong’s life and triumphant six-decade career epitomizes the American success story. His trumpet playing revolutionized the world of music, and he became one of our century’s most recognized and best loved entertainers.
Premiered: 7/31/1989
S18 Ep3
Balanchine – Master of The Dance
By the time of his death on April 30, 1983, George Balanchine had created over 400 works and was recognized as a 20th-century master alongside Picasso and Stravinsky. Here is the story of how the man born Georg Melitonovitch Balanchivadze in St. Petersburg, Russia in 1904 went on to become the artistic director and primary choreographer of the New York City Ballet.
Premiered: 1/14/2004
S18 Ep2
James Brown: Soul Survivor
“The Hardest-Working Man in Show Business,” “Soul Brother Number One,” “the Godfather of Soul,” — in whatever guise, James Brown is unquestionably one of the most charismatic musical icons of the 20th century. An irrepressible performer, ruthless but highly proficient bandleader, awesome dancer, and, unquestionably, the man who flipped soul music on its head.
Premiered: 10/29/2003
S5 Ep3
John Cassavetes: John Cassavetes
John Cassavetes was born in New York City on December 9th, 1929. After graduating from high school, he attended Mohawk College and Colgate University before graduating from the New York Academy of Dramatic Arts in 1950. Throughout the early 1950s he worked as an actor in films including FOURTEEN HOURS (1951) and TAXI (1953).
Premiered: 7/9/1990
S17 Ep2
Lon Chaney: Thousand Faces
Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, or Clara Bow, were stars who created trademark personas and spent their entire careers testing the limits of those characters. For many in the industry, both then and now, this type of career is considered the pinnacle of success, but for one actor it was the antithesis of the his art. For Lon Chaney, the art of acting was the art of continual transformation.
Premiered: 10/30/2002
S15 Ep3
George Cuckor: On Cukor
Cukor was an American film director. He mainly concentrated on comedies and literary adaptations. His career flourished at RKO when David O. Selznick, the studio's Head of Production, assigned Cukor to direct several of RKO's major films, including What Price Hollywood? (1932), A Bill of Divorcement (1932), Our Betters (1933), and Little Women (1933)
Premiered: 11/22/2000
S4 Ep7
Jasper Johns: Ideas in Paint
Jasper Johns
In the late 1950’s, Jasper Johns emerged as force in the American art scene. His richly worked paintings of maps, flags, and targets led the artistic community away from Abstract Expressionism toward a new emphasis on the concrete. Johns laid the groundwork for both Pop Art and Minimalism.
Premiered: 9/11/1989
S1 Ep11
Georgia O'Keefe: Georgia O'Keefe
Among the great American artists of the 20th-century, Georgia O’Keeffe stands as one of the most compelling. For nearly a century, O’Keeffe’s representations of the beauty of the American landscape were a brave counterpoint to the chaotic images embraced by the art world.
Premiered: 9/1/1986
S15 Ep8
Edward Curtis: Coming to Light
Beginning in 1900 and continuing over the next thirty years, Edward Sheriff Curtis, or the “Shadow Catcher” as he was later called by some of the tribes, took over 40,000 images and recorded rare ethnographic information from over eighty American Indian tribal groups, ranging from the Eskimo or Inuit people of the far north to the Hopi people of the Southwest.
Premiered: 4/23/2001
S2 Ep5
George Gershwin: George Gershwin Remembered
George Gershwin was born in Brooklyn in 1898, the second of four children from a close-knit immigrant family. He began his musical career as a song-plugger on Tin Pan Alley, but was soon writing his own pieces. Gershwin’s first published song, “When You Want ‘Em, You Can’t Get ‘Em,” demonstrated innovative new techniques, but only earned him five dollars.
Premiered: 8/24/1987
S23 Ep1
Jerome Robbins: Something to Dance About
Jerome Robbins
Jerome Wilson Rabinowitz was born in New York on October 11, 1918 and raised in Weehawken, New Jersey. Deprived of a college education by the Depression, he began his career as a dancer in the experimental troupe of Gluck Sandor. George Balanchine cast him in the chorus of a pair of Broadway shows, and soon after, he got into Ballet Theatre (later American Ballet Theatre).
Premiered: 2/18/2009


PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.