Category Archives: Podcasts

Art as Experience is an hour-long conversation between Tom Xenakis and Sheila Blake after their visit to an exhibition, serving as a guide for taking a longer look at art.

Tudor Place, Washington DC’s Historic House

We visit Tudor Place in the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington DC, the home for over two hundred years of descendants of Martha Washington.  The family retained this house over this entire period, through the Civil War, the gilded age, the Roaring Twenties, until the last owner deeded it to the foundation that now runs it as a museum.  The family, apparently, never threw anything out, so it is a treasure lode for objects of the past, both exquisite and utilitarian.  The museum is dedicated to telling the stories of the people who lived and worked there: the enslaved, the employed, and the elite of Washington DC.

Originally Broadcast Sep 11, 2021.

A Portrait of East Baltimore

Sheila and Tom visit the Smithsonian American Art Museum – now-open – to see the new exhibit of documentary photography from East Baltimore in the late 1970’s: Welcome Home: Portrait of East Baltimore. Three women, Linda Rich, Joan Clark Netherwood and Elinor Cahn, were welcomed into the churches, homes, and lives of the residents, in neighborhoods of predominantly immigrant communities from Eastern Europe.

The Painter’s Garden

Continuing to explore the theme of Gardens, Sheila and Tom explore how painters created gardens and painted them.  The experience of the gardens, passionately created and tended, and the experience of viewing the painted gardens, now in museums, are related.

Claude Monet, Stanley Spencer, and Gustave Klimt are the gardener-painters discussed, with a digression on the jaw-dropping prices set for Hunter Biden’s novice works, and another brief digression on Giorgio Morandi.

Marsden Hartley, Transcendentalist

In honor of Pride Week, we discuss the paintings, career, and struggles of the American Modernist painter, Marsden Hartley (1877-1943).  We also examine Transcendentalism – the wild spiritual and artistic gift from Ralph Waldo Emerson – and its importance to Hartley’s life and to American art in general.

The Gardens of Greenbelt

Art as Experience continues her exploration of the links between art, society, and gardens with a look at the tiny gardens that can be walked among in the cooperative community of Greenbelt MD, set up as part of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt’s New Deal.  The backstory of Greenbelt is a mirror of the political issues dividing us today.  Poems by Alice Oswald, Stanley Kunitz, Emily Dickinson, and D.H. Lawrence.

Gardens in Spring

In a week where Sheila Blake is preparing her exhibition at the Foundry Gallery in Washington DC, we are updating a recording of an earlier show from May 2019, in which Tom and Sheila analyze the connections between gardens and art, with a special visit to the Dumbarton Oaks Gardens in Washington.