An ongoing series of award-winning primetime specials examining the lives, works, and creative processes of our most outstanding cultural artists. Created in 1984, the series is both a celebration and an exploration of creativity in America, documenting the role important individuals, groups, and movements have played in the formation of our cultural identity.
Althea (#2901) Duration: 1:26:46 STEREO TVG (Secondary audio: none)
Discover the story of Althea Gibson, who emerged as the unlikely queen of the segregated tennis world of the 1950s. She was the first African American to play and win Wimbledon and the US Nationals. Features Billie Jean King and David Dinkins.
- KQED 9: Fri, Sep 4, 2015 -- 9:00pm Remind me
- KQED 9: Sat, Sep 5, 2015 -- 3:00am Remind me
- KQED World: Sat, Sep 5, 2015 -- 2:00pm Remind me
- KQED World: Mon, Sep 7, 2015 -- 5:30am Remind me
- KQED World: Mon, Sep 7, 2015 -- 11:30am Remind me
- KQED Life: Thu, Sep 10, 2015 -- 7:00pm Remind me
- KQED Life: Fri, Sep 11, 2015 -- 1:00am Remind me
Billie Jean King (#2604) Duration: 1:26:46 STEREO TVPG (Secondary audio: none)
The first sports figure ever featured by American Masters, this was a very deliberate choice about a very deliberate woman who has, indeed, been a major force in changing, and democratizing, our cultural landscape. To commemorate the 40th anniversaries of both the infamous Billie Jean King/Bobby Riggs tennis match - the Battle of the Sexes - and the launch of the Women's Tennis Association, this film looks back to the 12-year old southern California girl who played tennis on public courts, observed disparity and unfairness and, as she soared athletically, never stopped trying to remedy the situation.
Her competitiveness on the circuit was matched by her egalitarian efforts on behalf of women and her commitment to prove consistently that in diversity there is strength - ultimately being awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Obama. King presents her own story with perspective added by Rosie Casals, Chris Evert, Venus Williams, Gloria Steinem, Elton John and Bobby Riggs' son.
Charles & Ray Eames: The Architect and the Painter (#2404H) Duration: 1:26:46 SRND51 TVPG
From 1941 to 1978, this husband-and-wife team brought unique talents to their partnership. He was an architect by training, she was a painter and sculptor. Together they are considered America's most important and influential designers, whose work helped, literally, shape the second half of the 20th century and remains culturally vital and commercially popular today. Ray and Charles Eames are, perhaps, best remembered for their mid-century modern furniture, built from novel materials like molded plywood, fiberglass-reinforced plastic, bent metal wire and aluminum -- offering consumers beautiful, functional, yet inexpensive products. Revered for their designs and fascinating as individuals, the Eames have risen to iconic status in American culture. But their influence on significant events and movements in American life -- from the development of modernism, to the rise of the computer age -- has been less widely understood.
Pedro E. Guerrero: A Photographer's Journey (#2902) Duration: 56:46 STEREO TVPG (Secondary audio: none)
Discover the life and work of Mexican-American photographer Pedro E. Guerrero, who collaborated with Frank Lloyd Wright and sculptors Alexander Calder and Louise Nevelson. A co-presentation of Voces and American Masters.
Harper Lee: Hey Boo (#2504H) Duration: 1:25:46 STEREO TVPG-L
Reading "To Kill a Mockingbird" has been a national pastime for five decades - it is still selling nearly a million copies a year, its classic popularity and power are a common reference. And the courtroom image of Gregory Peck, as the passionate Atticus Finch, gave us an enduring picture for the novel's message. Behind it all was a young Southern girl named Nelle Harper Lee, who once said she wanted to be Alabama's Jane Austen.
This program explores her life and unravels its mysteries, particularly why she never published again. Illuminated with family photos, revealing personal letters and an exclusive interview with her sister, Alice Finch Lee (100 years old), the film is steeped in the texture of the novel's Deep South and the social changes it inspired. Tom Brokaw, Rosanne Cash, Anna Quindlen, Scott Turow, Oprah Winfrey and Andrew Young reflect on how "Mockingbird" shaped their lives.
Alice Walker: Beauty In Truth (#2606H) Duration: 1:26:16 SRND51 TVPG-L
Most famous for her seminal novel The Color Purple, writer/activist Alice Walker celebrates her 70th birthday in February, 2014. Born February 9, 1944, into a family of sharecroppers in rural Georgia, her life unfolded during the violent racism and seismic social changes of mid-20th-century America. Poverty and participation in the civil rights movement were the formative influences on her consciousness, becoming the inherent themes in her writing. The first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for Literature, Walker continues to shine a light on global human rights issues. Her dramatic life is told with poetry and lyricism, and includes interviews with Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, Gloria Steinem, Toni Morrison, Quincy Jones, Yoko Ono, First Lady Michelle Obama -- and, of course, Walker herself.
Plimpton! Starring George Plimpton As Himself (#2702H) Duration: 1:26:46 SRND51 TVPG-L
This film showcases the life of the legendary writer, actor, risk-taker -- from his youth, to his co-founding of the Paris Review, to his life as an American journalist, writer, editor, actor, and occasional amateur sportsman. George Plimpton was famous for "participatory journalism," and in this portrait, we meet the man, the writer, and the "experiencer," who through his willingness to do anything for a story, brought his readers and viewers into the lives and careers of those he joined, so that they could be shared by all.