TUESDAY, MAY 19, 2020


Leaning forward in his seat, elbows pressed into his thighs, a male figure listens intently to his radio. Sculptor George Segal crafted the scene to memorialize the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Elected in the midst of the Great Depression in 1933, FDR led the country through both that crisis and World War II. In those times of great hardship and uncertainty, and in advance of the birth of television or the internet, Roosevelt used radio speeches to address the country. Over his four terms in office, he gave some 30 of these talks, which were noted for their comforting tone and affectionately referred to as “fireside chats.” This sculpture made from plaster and found objects was created in preparation for a bronze version, which is now part of the FDR memorial in Washington, DC.

George Segal, Fireside Chat, 1991, plaster, wood, metal, acrylic paint, and radio, 108 x 120 x 57 in. Weatherspoon Art Museum. Gift of The George and Helen Segal Foundation, Inc., 2017. © The George and Helen Segal Foundation.

Staff Picks

While in isolation we have read, walked, played, and made things. We’ve also all had time to soak in things through our senses. This week we wonder: What are you listening to? What new (or old) music has become the latest soundtrack for your days? Or, is it a podcast, a radio show, or the sounds out your window that provide good company? Here are some sounds the WAM staff has been enjoying.


“Listened to several quarantine parody songs which took me to revisiting Weird Al’s greatest hits.”



“I find music often evokes the memory of a specific time and place in my life. Recently, I’ve found myself listening to Bastille’s Bad Blood and it takes me back to my daily commutes to the Newark Museum and New York Public Library during grad school.”



“Van Morrison’s Poetic Champions Compose. The first song, “Spanish Steps” is one of my favorite pieces of music. I never get tired of it.”



“We love to listen to MIPSO, a band with local Triad roots — especially Dark Holler Pop album.”


Special Assistant for External Affairs

“An hour and 46 minutes of Tom Waits on David Letterman (1983-2015), performances and interviews…best use of 106 minutes you can find.”


PR + Communications Officer

“Before classes let out, I was treated to a couple of surprise “concerts” as I walked my dog past the music building and came across students practicing outside—making use of the acoustics in the loggia or the parking garage. Those moments of unanticipated music were beautiful gifts.”


Curator of Exhibitions

“I’m listening to the birds from my backyard: cardinals, wrens, finches, catbirds, towhees, warblers, robins, thrashers, crows, doves, and barred owls!”



Check into the MoMA to give a listen to some audio programs. Listen to artists, curators, and others speak about MoMA’s collection and special exhibitions.

Or discover 10 Binge-Worthy Art Podcasts in the Age of Coronavirus by the critics at The New York Times.

If you still have our exhibition To the Hoop | Basketball and Contemporary Art on your mind, visit the Dear Adam Silver podcast. Hosted by artist Abigail Smithson, this show considers sports and arts alongside one another through conversations with artists, athletes, journalists, commentators, critics, and fans.

Abigail Smithson, Net Trade.

Back in February WAM Curator Dr. Emily Stamey did an interview with Abigail about To the Hoop. Have a listen HERE.