Features

The Art of Selection

When museum curators trade stories, Alan Shestack ’60 has one for the hall of fame.Everyone, it seemed, wanted to see the Vermeer exhibit at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., where Shestack is chief curator and deputy director. The known works by this 17th–century Dutch master number a scant 35, and for the…

Scenes from a Spiritual Journey

The shimmering light dances and glows in her eyes. Jan Willis is an earnest teenage girl from a small dirt road mining town who has just been awarded a full scholarship to an Ivy League university. It’s an incredible opportunity, a bright shining beacon filled with promise and dream-like possibilities. It’s a triumphant moment—an undeniable…

Musician Heal Thyself

The afternoon sun slants into the West End Avenue apartment, bringing out warmth in the parquet floors, the mellow gold of hardwood cabinets. On top of the piano, the pencil–written score of David Leisner’s newest chamber music piece, Vision of Orpheus, awaits the composer’s attention. At the moment, Leisner’s rapt focus is on his student. His…

A Genius for Water

Even by the standards of rural northern Idaho, East Hope is barely a blip on the map. Home to Claudia Stearns, widow of Harold Stearns ’21, this village of 200 souls has little more than a tiny post office to mark its existence by the highway on the edge of Lake Pend Oreille, a remnant…

CSS & COL: Looking Good at 40

The College of Letters celebrated its 40th anniversary September 22–23 with a gathering of faculty and alumni who reminisced about their past experiences in the program. William Blakemore ’65, a correspondent for ABC News, was among the speakers. He recalled a cold January morning 37 years ago when he and a dozen or so fellow…

Moving Replay of a Grim History

THREE YOUNG WESLEYAN STUDENT ACTORS IN JEANS AND SNEAKERS STOOK STOCK–STILL on the Center for the Arts Theater stage, as renowned Israeli playwright Joshua Sobol instructed them how to face a firing squad. “Though I’ve never seen an execution myself,” the trim, bearded Israeli told the three young men and women, “there was a documentary film…