This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.
Seldes recalls visiting Chicago during the flooding that occurred there. Long before, the river had been forced to flow in the wrong direction and carry waste, so there was a risk that by reversing the flow the city's water would be contaminated. He tells the story of one man who had to decide if he would let the Chicago river flow in its natural direction into Lake Michigan. The man shows to "throw the lever." No contamination occurred thanks to precautions. The man stated, after the event, that he wished he had never had to make this decision.
Seldes goes on to describe visiting "that frightening city" and attending the new exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago. He notes that the major prize winners were experimental. These works made the Moderns seem old fashioned. He briefly talks about the efforts of Picasso.
He moves on to discuss art duplication - in magazines, for example, and the violent emotion this draws out.
Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection
WNYC archives id: 71494
Municipal archives id: LT3114