Prized faculty at MassArt
In his review of the new photography exhibition at the Peabody Essex Museum, Mark Feeney draws attention both to Barbara Bosworth’s evocative images and to the indigenous miracle that is the MassArt photography department (“Nature and family — simply put,” g, April 20). As partner to one of the faculty, I realize I have a privileged (if partisan) perspective when I say: It’s about time someone shone a light on the cache of talent teaching there.
Here’s a “wow” fact for the rest of higher education to ponder: Each member of the photo faculty mentioned in Feeney’s article (Bosworth, Nicholas Nixon, Abelardo Morell, Frank Gohlke, and Laura McPhee) has been a Guggenheim Fellow. What’s more, so has the department’s technician and darkroom supervisor, Stephen Tourlentes. I’d be amazed if there is another academic department anywhere in the country, in any discipline, that has as many Guggenheim Fellows teaching — and, until recently, all at the same time.
When economic fortunetellers predict the positive impact that design and arts-related endeavors will have on our changing workforce in the decade to come, they must have their eyes trained on places like MassArt, where students without many financial resources are able to hone skills in critical thinking and invention while also learning to see and reveal the world around them. We have a national, unsung treasure in our midst.
When classical ruled the air
The New York Times article “WBCN returns — as HD radio” (Names, April 16) contains a grievous factual error: “Now CBS is trying to make the original WBCN format popular again.” How soon we forget! Actually the original WBCN format was classical music, the BCN standing for Boston Concert Network. There were also WNCN (New York), WHCN (Hartford), and WXCN (Providence), operated together as an actual network. WBCN was joined here by two other full-time classical stations (WCRB, WXHR) and three notable part-timers (WHRB, WGBH, WBUR).
The first stereo radio broadcasts of the Boston Symphony were conducted on BCN and CRB, left and right channels, respectively. Those were the days! Now we’re down to two classical music stations. Sic transit . . .