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[Gian Carlo Manotti]

Wednesday, May 25, 1955

This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.

Seldes asks listeners if they think of Gian Carlo Manotti, the composer of "The Saint of Bleeker Street" as an Italian composer? Seldes wonders why this identification of 'not being an American' has been placed on Manotti in an advertisement associated with Huntington Hartford, and put out by the Citizens Union Research Association.
The advertisement is about modern art and critics of modern art. The ad has a quote from Donald Adams of the New York Times, who claims that criticism has fallen to a new low, divorced from life and low in quality. Hartford, who wrote the advertisement claims that this is a concession by critics that they have fallen to a new low.


He goes on to discuss Hartford's denunciation of modern art. The article also quotes Manotti as saying that the American people do not like artists.
He calls Hartford and aesthetic critic, as well as a social and art one.


Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection


WNYC archives id: 71544
Municipal archives id: LT6401

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Gilbert Seldes

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About Lively Arts, The

Legendary critic and author of The Seven Lively Arts Gilbert Seldes discusses big-thinking issues in art and life from his characteristically populist perspective.

Simultaneously a timely and visionary program, Gilbert Seldes's The Lively Arts (1953-1956) examines contemporary issues of 1950s television, radio, and theater, as well as current events and the intellectual arts. Seldes, who was the first Director for Television at CBS News and the founding Dean of the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania, was also a renowned critic, author, playwright, and editor. As a major social critic and observer, Seldes viewed theater, television, and radio with a prescient eye to the future based on a well-informed understanding of the past. 

These programs feature commentary and discussion on a wide range of topics — from sex and censorship in the movies to progressive education to juvenile delinquency to political campaigning on television — many of which are still hotly debated today. Serving as a precursor to Seldes's television programs and providing an audio context for his seminal books, this show is key to understanding today's cultural commentary.

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