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Binge Guide

Apri 6, 2020

By the Wolfsonian team

Well, it's April (finally). After a March that stretched on for what felt like 5 thousand years, we're at last in a new month, though our anxieties and the headlines are not any lighter. While the world continues to adjust to the era of coronavirus—working from home, socializing virtually, and limiting our spheres of movement—the Wolfsonian staff are taking stock of the many forms of cultural content that are helping us get through "house arrest."

Below is some recommended reading, listening, watching, and playing so you can live your best #quarantinelife. Sharing is caring!

This page will be continually updated to reflect new suggestions.

📚 Books

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The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

Written by Michael Chabon, published 2000

"Set against the background of the Great Depression, the Second World War, and the Holocaust, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is both an origin story for the superhero comic book genre, and a moving account of friendship and loss. Plus, it features a pivotal scene in the abandoned Perisphere, a futuristic structure built for the 1939 New York World’s Fair that is depicted over and over in The Wolfsonian's collection."

- Jon Mogul, associate director of curatorial + education

Chasing Cézanne book cover

Chasing Cézanne

Written by Peter Mayle, published 1997

"An upbeat read involving a state-of-the-art scam on the international art scene. From the south of France to the Bahamas, England, and New York, Mayle takes the reader through galleries, the homes of prominent collectors, and even restaurants in this delightful armchair-traveler detail."

- Marlene Tosca, art director

A Curiosity of Doubts book cover

A Curiosity of Doubts

Written by T.L. Uglow, published 2016

"With rigor and whimsy in equal measure, the author (creative director for Google's Creative Lab in Sydney) explores the role and value of the unknown, innate and induced, in the practice of creativity."

- Zoe Welch, education manager

The Devil in the White CIty book cover

The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America

Written by Erik Larson, published 2003

"A world's fair and a serial killer combine for a page-turner. The story is about to be adapted for TV by Hulu, with Martin Scorcese and Leondaro DiCaprio producing."

– Michael Hughes, development director

The Dutch House book cover

The Dutch House

Written by Ann Patchett, published 2019

"A 1920s mansion casts a dark cloud over one Philadelphia family."

– Ian Rand, assistant director of marketing + partnerships

The Fountainhead book cover

The Fountainhead

Written by Ayn Rand, published 1943

"A celebration of individual intellect, integrity, and willpower. It tells the story of a young architect, Howard Roark, and his unwavering vision for his buildings that are not supported by the establishment."

- Leidiany Perez, office specialist

George Merrick, Son of the South Wind: Visionary Creator of Coral Gables book cover

George Merrick, Son of the South Wind: Visionary Creator of Coral Gables

Written by Arva Moore Parks, published 2015

"A most brilliant overview of the history of one man’s vision in creating one of the great garden cities of the world."

- Mitchell "Micky" Wolfson, Jr., founder

Ishmael book cover

Ishmael

Written by Daniel Quinn, published 1992

"In this philosophic novel on sustainability and ethics, your teacher is none other than a speaking gorilla, who breaks down our cultural biases such as humanity's supremacy over the Earth and animal kingdoms."

- Leidiany Perez, office specialist

Killer of the Flower Moon book cover

Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI

Written by David Grann, published 2017

"After being forced to live on 'worthless' Oklahoma land, the discovery of oil made the Osage Nation the wealthiest group of people in the world in the 1920s. Then, one by one, the Osage began to die under mysterious circumstances. It's a dark and wild chapter of U.S. history, in which the Osage and a fledgling FBI work together to unravel a sinister web of oil greed, corruption, and murder. Soon to be a film by Martin Scorsese, staring Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro!"

- Erin Heffron, library collections specialist

The Master and Margarita book cover

The Master and Margarita

Written by Mikhail Bulgakov, published 1966–67 (posthumously)

"Wonderfully weird and dark, all the more so given the context of its production. Written in the Soviet Union by Mikhail Bulgakov between 1928 and 1940 but not published until 1967, long after his death, the book has a simple premise: what happens when the Devil visits the Soviet Union, an officially atheistic society? Humorous, absurd, and sometimes incredibly confusing, it's a novel that lends itself to endless rereading and re-interpretation."

– Shoshana Resnikoff, curator

Origin book cover

Origin

Written by Dan Brown, published 2017

"Edmond Kirsch, a billionaire philanthropist, futurist, and atheist, meets with world religious leaders to let them know that he has made a revolutionary discovery that he plans to release to the public. But before Kirsch can even complete his exclusive unveiling event at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, things start to go awry. Super-sleuth Robert Langdon and Guggenheim curator Ambra Vidal begin a quest to unlock Kirsch’s secret. Layered with modern art, hidden history, enigmatic symbols, and extreme religion, this mystery thriller will keep you guessing."

– Marlene Tosca, art director

De Stille Kracht book cover

De Stille Kracht [The Hidden Force]

Written by Louis Couperus, published 1900

"Set in Java around 1900 during the Dutch colonial rule in the East Indies, De Stille Kracht [The Hidden Force] is a suggestive and sensual novel by Louis Couperus that conveys the tragedy of colonialism depicting the cultural gap between Western rationalism and a mystical local 'hidden force.'

We have several copies of this book in the Wolfsonian collection. Chris Lebeau, a versatile artist, designed beautiful batik cotton covers in several color variations, as well as a luxury version on velvet."

- Silvia Barisione, senior curator

Stranger in a Strange Land book cover

Stranger in a Strange Land

Written by Robert A. Heinlein, published 1961

"The story follows Valentine Michael Smith, a human who is born and raised on Mars and decides to travel to Earth. His arrival is monumental, and it shapes Earth (Terra) in unexpected ways."

- Leidiany Perez, office specialist

📺 TV

High Seas TV show

Alta Mar [High Seas]

Netflix, aired 2019–present

"Following the death of their father, two sisters travel on a luxury cruise ship sailing from Spain to Brazil in the 1940s. They share space on the elegant ocean liner with other well-to-do travelers, working class passengers, enigmatic stowaways, and, later, rescued castaways. The women quickly become enmeshed in the investigation of mysterious deaths at sea."

– Marlene Tosca, art director

Babylon Berlin TV show

Babylon Berlin

Netflix, aired 2017–present

"A German neo-noir thriller. Much like Bob Fosse’s Cabaret (an all-time great on every level), Babylon Berlin explores the seedy underbelly and artistic explosion that was the Weimar Republic, 1929."

– Ian Rand, assistant director of marketing + partnerships

Belgravia TV show

Belgravia

Epix, premiered April 12, 2020

"The latest from Downton Abbey’s Julian Fellowes. For those who miss the Crowleys and company, many of London society’s juicy 19th-century scandals and secrets lie ahead!"

– Ian Rand, assistant director of marketing + partnerships

Bomb Girls TV show

Bomb Girls

Amazon Prime, aired 2012–13

"Set in the 1940s, this Canadian series profiles the stories of four women working in a munitions factory during World War II. The protagonists include two newcomers (a young socialite and a girl on the run) working to learn the ropes, a nurturing floor matron, and a tough but helpful veteran coworker. Besides highlighting the camaraderie and bonds these young women forge, Bomb Girls depicts the hardships of wartime life on the home front and shows how these women rise to the challenge."

– Marlene Tosca, art director

La casa de papel TV show

La Casa de Papel [Money Heist]

Netflix, aired 2017–present

"An absorbing Spanish crime drama about social and economic injustice."

– Paola La Rivera, museum shop + box office manager

Cable Girls TV show

Las Chicas del Cable [Cable Girls]

Netflix, aired 2017–present

"This Madrid-based dramatic series focuses on the lives and friendship of four young women starting in the late 1920s and continuing through to the late 1930s, the time of the Spanish Civil War. The show highlights the introduction and development of switchboard-operated telephones and spotlights the struggles women faced in trying to rise—both personally and within the workforce—in a male-dominated society. For people who speak Spanish, this show is better enjoyed in its native language. Otherwise, it can easily be watched in various languages via dubbing or subtitles. One of several shows I recommend that tie into The Wolfsonian's collection through their historically detailed sets, costumes, and props."

– Marlene Tosca, art director

The Crown TV show

The Crown

Netflix, aired 2016–present

"I was surprised by how much I loved it. It moves slowly and is almost plotless, but the phenomenal performances, biting script, and gorgeous sets make it some of the most compelling TV out there."

– Shoshana Resnikoff, curator

The Durrells in Corfu TV show

The Durrells in Corfu

PBS, aired 2016–19

"The Durrells in Corfu follows a British widow with her 4 children as they move to the Greek island of Corfu in the 1930s. A comedy-drama, it’s based on Gerald Durrell's autobiographical book, My Family and Other Animals, published in 1956."

– Johanny Ditren, senior visitor services associate

The English Game TV show

The English Game

Netflix, premiered March 20, 2020

"Based on a true story, The English Game by Downtown Abbey creator Julian Fellowes explores class divisions in the early days of soccer in the 19th century."

– Lisa Li, exhibitions manager

Grantchester TV show

Grantchester

PBS, aired 2014–present

"One that I'm really vibing with right now: Grantchester, originally broadcast on British television and currently available in the U.S. on Amazon. It is, amazingly, about a country vicar who solves crimes with a hardbitten police detective in the small hamlet in post-Second World War England. It is just as goofy as it sounds, and I am here for it. Pure escapist fun is exactly what I need right now, and Grantchester gives it to me in spades (which, ironically, will probably end up being a murder weapon in a future episode)."

– Shoshana Resnikoff, curator

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Hollywood

Netflix, premiered May 1, 2020

"Could there be a better excuse to stay at home than Ryan Murphy’s new Netflix series? I think not. Set in post-WWII Hollywood, a writer, director, and group of aspiring young actors set out to stake their claim in Tinseltown. Weaving historical characters such as Rock Hudson, Hattie McDaniel, Tallulah Bankhead, and Vivien Leigh through the narrative, this is old Hollywood glamour at its best, and the production design and costumes are worth the price of admission alone! So, sit back, enjoy, and don't feel any remorse about this guilty pleasure—there's a stay-at-home order in effect, you're just following the rules."

– Ian Rand, assistant director of marketing + partnerships

The Man in the High Castle TV show

The Man in the High Castle

Amazon Prime, aired 2014–19

"Based on Phillip K. Dick's novel, the show presents an alternative history in which the Axis powers won World War II rather than the Allies. In this universe, Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan have divided the U.S. into two territories separated by a neutral zone. The story follows characters whose destinies intertwine when they come into contact with mysterious and controversial films that show Germany and Japan losing the war."

– Marlene Tosca, art director

The Plot Against America TV show

The Plot Against America

HBO, premiered March 16, 2020

"HBO has adapted Philip Roth's novel that squares right in with The Wolfsonian's collecting period. I loved The Plot Against America, an alternative history that proposes a different path for the United States if aviator Charles Lindbergh had challenged Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the 1940 presidential election and won. The show is written by David Simon, the creator of The Wire and another favorite of mine, Generation Kill, and I'm excited to see how he brings to life both the time period and Roth's vivid writing."

– Shoshana Resnikoff, curator

The Time in Between TV show

El Tiempo Entre Costuras [The Time in Between]

Netflix, aired 2013–14

"Based on Maria Dueñas' best-selling novel, this award-winning Spanish TV miniseries traces a young woman's life from simple but content seamstress in 1934 Madrid, to hard-times civil service typist and dutiful wife, to torrid affair and travels to Morocco. Eventually abandoned and robbed of her fortune by her lover, she is persuaded to return to Madrid during the Second World War, when she takes on a new identity and embarks upon her most dangerous post yet: espionage."

– Marlene Tosca, art director

Unorthodox TV show

Unorthodox

Netflix, 2020

"Intense, insightful, and powerful miniseries based on Deborah Feldman's memoir, Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots. I watched it in one sitting."

– Johanny Ditren, senior visitor services associate

🎥 Movies

Dear Ruth movie poster

Dear Ruth

Directed by William D. Russell, released 1947

"In this comedy of errors starring Joan Caulfield and William Holden, a politically-minded teenage girl has a WWII soldier as a pen pal. The only problem is, he thinks he's been talking to her older sister! Now the soldier has a two-day leave and he can’t wait to see his 'dear Ruth.' (Fun fact: If the last names of the main stars sound familiar, you've probably read The Catcher in the Rye. Author J.D. Salinger found inspiration for the name of his protagonist, Holden Caulfield, while walking by the movie’s marquee in New York.)"

– Sandra Solis Hazim, office manager + HR liaison

Dear Zachary movie poster

Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father

Directed by Kurt Kuenne, released 2008

"One of the most painful and beautiful pieces of film I've ever seen, this documentary begins with the filmmaker attempting to document his late best friend's life for his infant son, Zachary. It starts as a meditation on friendship and loss and becomes something else entirely by the end. Avoid spoilers before you watch it, and prepare to be heartbroken and moved."

– Shoshana Resnikoff, curator

Destino movie poster

Destino

Directed by Dominique Monféry, released 2003

"This 7-minute short film was nominated for an Oscar and is the winner of several other industry awards. Accompanied by a hauntingly beautiful title song by Mexican composer Armando Dominguez, the wordless animation depicts Greek god of time Chronos and his ill-fated love for a mortal woman named Dahlia, as she dances gracefully through dreamlike scenery inspired by surrealist paintings. Destino, which translates to 'destiny,' was originally storyboarded back in 1946 by painter Salvador Dalí and animator Walt Disney—a creative collaboration that resulted in lifelong friendship."

– Marlene Tosca, art director

Frederick Law Olmstead: Designing America movie poster

Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing America

Directed by Lawrence Hott and Diane Garey, released 2014

"Olmsted designed the first major public parks in the U.S., notably Yosemite National Park and New York City's Central Park among them. He advanced the notion of public open spaces, and ultimately their role in personal and collective life, which we continue to experience 150 years on."

– Zoe Welch, education manager

How to Steal a Million poster

How to Steal a Million

Directed by William Wyler, released 1966

"The daughter of an art forger feels she must steal a statue from a Paris museum in order to keep her father out of jail, so she hires a burglar. Alas, the burglar is really a detective with plans to arrest both daughter and father after the heist. Meanwhile, an American art collector seeks to woo the daughter and acquire the forger's works. Sprinkled with witty banter, this stylish, comedic caper shows that not all is as it appears."

– Marlene Tosca, art director

Garden of the Finzi-Continis movie poster

Il Giardino dei Finzi-Contini [The Garden of the Finzi-Continis]

Directed by Vittorio De Sica, released 1970

"A memorable film. Set in the Italian city of Ferrara before the start of the Second World War, it tells the story of two siblings from an upper-class Jewish family, the Finzi-Continis, whose sheltered existence comes to an end after the promulgation of the racial laws by the Fascist Regime. Based on the semiautobiographical novel by Giorgio Bassani, The Garden of the Finzi-Continis won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film and the Berlin Golden Bear."

– Silvia Barisione, senior curator

The Monuments Men movie poster

The Monuments Men

Directed by George Clooney, released 2014

"Loosely based on Robert M. Edsel and Bret Witter's 2007 non-fiction book The Monuments Men, this American-German action drama focuses on a World War II platoon tasked by then-president Franklin Delano Roosevelt with going into Germany to rescue artistic materpieces. Assisted by curator and French Resistance member Claire Simone (modeled on real-life Rose Valland), who provides a comprehensive ledger containing valuable and detailed information, the group is able to recover more than five million plundered works of art from Nazi thieves and return them to their rightful owners."

– Marlene Tosca, art director

Reap the Wild Wind movie poster

Reap the Wild Wind

Directed by Cecil B. DeMille, released 1942

"John Wayne trades his cowboy spurs for diving gear in this swashbuckling adventure tale, which takes place in Key West. A feisty female marine salvager, a talking dog, a fight scene with a giant octopus, and true love! Expect the unexpected."

– Sandra Solis Hazim, office manager + HR liaison

Rebecca movie poster

Rebecca

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, released 1940

"'Last night, I dreamt I went to Manderley again . . . .' That line never fails to thrill me. What seems to be a storybook romance soon finds itself engulfed in a much darker tale. What lies within the beautiful and palatial walls of Manderley is not what you expect; and neither is its former mistress. Also, this film has Laurence Olivier at his most Olivier!"

– Sandra Solis Hazim, office manager + HR liaison

The Square film poster

The Square

Directed by Ruben Östlund, released 2017

"This movie completely gets the life of a curator. A Swedish production, The Square is a critical satire on the contradictory contemporary art world set in a fictional Swedish museum of contemporary art. It won the Palme d’Or at Cannes and was nominated for an Academy Award."

– Silvia Barisione, senior curator

The Triplets of Belleville movie poster

Les Triplettes de Belleville [The Triplets of Belleville]

Directed by Sylvain Chomet, released 2003

"It's easy to get lost in Sylvain Chomet's whimsical animation recounting a grandmother's international mission to rescue her cyclist grandson from the mafia. It speaks to the lengths our loved ones may go for those closest to them, persevering through the most adverse conditions, and the unexpected allies found along the way."

– Oscar Rieveling, education manager

The Uninvited movie poster

The Uninvited

Directed by Lewis Allen, released 1944

"Considered the first movie about ghosts, starring the dashing Ray Milland."

– Sandra Solis Hazim, office manager + HR liaison

Woman in Gold movie poster

Woman in Gold

Directed by Simon Curtis, released 2015

"Woman in Gold chronicles refugee Maria Altmann's 8-year battle to recover a world-famous 1903–07 painting by Gustav Klimt of her aunt Adele stolen by the Nazis during World War II. Ms. Altmann, already 82 at the time she filed the case, fought relentlessly not just to regain what was rightfully hers and keep alive her family's memories, but also to obtain some measure of justice for the death, destruction, and widespread art theft perpetrated by the Nazis. After many delays and complications, Maria was ultimately successful—winning back this and other family paintings by Klimt."

– Marlene Tosca, art director

🎙️ Podcasts

The Allusionist podcast

The Allusionist

Hosted by Helen Zaltzman, active 2015–present

"Why do we say the things we do? The Allusionist is a humorous look into the messy history and ever-evolving nature of the English language."

– Erin Heffron, library collections specialist

Decoder Ring podcast

Decoder Ring

Hosted by Willa Paskin, active 2018–present

"In each episode, Willa Paskin crack cultural mysteries and phenomena. What's the deal with hotel art? Why are we so fascinated by 'Sad Jennifer Aniston'? If you've ever been curious about the origin stories behind Baby Shark, Chuck E. Cheese animatronics, or the rubber duckie, this podcast is for you."

– Meg Floryan, head of marketing + PR

Design Matters podcast

Design Matters

Hosted by Debbie Millman, active 2012–present

"Wanna know anything about anyone whose work touches design in any way? Listen to this."

– Zoe Welch, education manager

Dressed podcast

Dressed: The History of Fashion

Hosted by Cassidy Zachary and April Calahan, active 2018–present

"If you've ever wondered where cat-eye glasses and flip-flops came from, you'll love these interesting stories behind iconic looks and everyday garments."

– Erin Heffron, library collections specialist

Everything is Alive podcast

Everything is Alive

Hosted by Ian Chillag, active 2018–present

"Inanimate objects speak! It's fascinating to hear about life as a balloon or Sharpie—and of course, the entire philosophical and educational approach (that objects are windows into understanding their makers) is very Wolfsonian, and very Micky."

– Meg Floryan, head of marketing + PR

Laughter Permitted podcast

Laughter Permitted

Hosted by Julie Foudy, active 2019–present

"Who says women aren't into sports? This podcast proves otherwise."

– Paola La Rivera, museum shop + box office manager

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Revisionist History

Hosted by Malcolm Gladwell, active 2016–present

"A self-described skinny Canadian, Malcolm Gladwell looks straight at historical events from his signature sideways angle."

– Zoe Welch, education manager

A Taste of the Past podcast

A Taste of the Past

Hosted by Linda Pelaccio, active 2008–present

"A Taste of the Past explores food history by interviewing chefs, authors, and other food historians. It has something for everyone—episodes range from the history of Coney Island hot dogs to an exploration of Chinese street food!"

– Isabel Sanz, digital assets + collection data manager

Twenty Thousand Hertz podcast

Twenty Thousand Hertz

Hosted by Dallas Taylor, active 2016–present

"One thing you learn from the Wolfsonian collection is that everything around us, even the most everyday object, is purposefully designed. There are people and stories behind everything you touch, as well as everything you hear. From music and sound effects, to machine noise and human voices, this podcast takes you on an adventure in sound design that will change the way you hear the world."

– Erin Heffron, library collections specialist

WorkLife podcast

WorkLife

Hosted by Adam Grant, active 2018–present

"Adam Grant is an organizational psychologist and professor at the Wharton School. While looking at the ways we work now, he reflects back on how we used to—like when Henry Ford, in 1926, increased productivity by reducing the work week from 50 hours to 40 hours."

– Zoe Welch, education manager

You Must Remember This podcast

You Must Remember This

Hosted by Karina Longworth, active 2014–present

"One of my favorite podcasts, in which film scholar Karina Longworth dives deep into Hollywood history. She unpacks old myths and sheds new light on movie stars, directors, and more with well-researched storytelling and wit. It’s always a thrill to connect the stories with photographs, advertisements, periodicals, etc., in the Wolfsonian collection."

– Erin Heffron, library collections specialist

You're Wrong About podcast

You're Wrong About

Hosted by Michael Hobbes and Sarah Marshall, active 2018–present

"That major event or trend you know all about? Think again. This podcast reexamines moments or figures in history that we collectively misremember or miscast, from the Exxon Valdez oil spill and shaken baby syndrome to D.A.R.E. and Tonya Harding."

– Meg Floryan, head of marketing + PR

🎶 Music 

Appalachian Spring album cover

Appalachian Spring

Composed by Aaron Copland, premiered 1944

"Aaron Copland’s opus captured the essence of an idyllic, war-weary America when the country needed reassurance and solace. Choreographer Martha Graham commissioned Copland to create an American-themed score (if you listen carefully, you'll hear inspiration from an 1848 Shaker melody, 'Simple Gifts'). Graham danced the lead role, Isamu Noguchi designed the ballet sets, and Copland's score won a Pulitzer Prize for music."

– Lea Nickless, research curator

Better Things soundtrack

Better Things (Soundtrack)

Released 2016–20

"How do you pull together dancehall, Dixieland ragtime, vintage blues and classic rock ballads, gospel rap and gypsy swing, and today's hip-hop and neo-folk? With Better Things. The soundtrack is all over the map in terms of era and genre—it feels nostalgic and contemporary at the same time—yet there's a continuity that transcends time, and an emotional resonance."

– Zoe Welch, education manager

Desi Arnaz

Desi Arnaz

Cuban-American musician, 1917–1986

"Desi was a favorite of my grandmother, who loved dancing in her kitchen."

– Sandra Solis Hazim, office manager + HR liaison

Drive-By Truckers' The Dirty South album cover

The Dirty South

Recorded by Drive-By Truckers, released 2004

"Southern rock with heart and brains? Hell yes!"

– Jon Mogul, associate director of curatorial + education

Fiona Apple's Fetch the Bolt Cutters album cover

Fetch the Bolt Cutters

Recorded by Fiona Apple, released 2020

"Fetch the Bolt Cutters to me is something we haven't heard. An ode to womanhood and female friendships, with vulnerable yet powerful lyrics. Fiona Apple challenges the status quo."

– Johanny Ditren, senior visitor services associate

High Fidelity soundtrack album cover

High Fidelity (Soundtrack)

Released 2020

"Hulu's musical love letter harmoniously blends classics and eclectic genres."

– Alexandra O'Neale, membership + special events manager

Love Is Strange album cover

Love Is Strange

Recorded by Mickey & Sylvia, released 1956

"It's perhaps most notable for being featured in Dirty Dancing, but the song was so influential that it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2004."

– Alexandra O'Neale, membership + special events manager

Duke Ellington's Never No Lament album cover

Never No Lament: The Blanton-Webster Band

Songs by Duke Ellington's Orchestra, recorded 1940–42 (released 2003)

"Some have noticed a parallel between American design and music in the late 1930s—how the flowing lines of streamlined products, from radios to automobiles, convey the same sense of powerful forward motion that you can hear in the big-band swing from that era. You can hear that in the recordings of the Duke Ellington Orchestra, one of the most talented groups of musicians ever assembled."

– Jon Mogul, associate director of curatorial + education

Respighi album cover

Pines of Rome

Composed by Ottorino Respighi, premiered 1924

"Respighi's 1924 symphonic poem soars and uplifts. You can't help but picture magestic trees lining the streets of ancient Rome (or, if you're a fan of Disney's Fantasia 2000, scenes of flying whales swimming up to the northern lights!)."

– Meg Floryan, head of marketing + PR

Musician Sidney Bechet

Sidney Bechet

American musician, 1897–1959

"My WFH soundtrack. He's very 'trumpet forward,' and apparently other trumpeters hated playing alongside him. Still, his music strikes the right balance of energetic and relaxing for these strange days, especially as I'm working from home and need some music to disappear into."

– Shoshana Resnikoff, curator

The Wizard of Oz soundtrack album cover

The Wizard of Oz (Soundtrack)

Issued by MGM records, released 1956

"You may not have watched The Wizard of Oz since you were a kid. And there’s plenty of competition for streaming content right now. But even if you don’t rewatch the movie, the soundtrack is a masterpiece on its own—inspired word-play from lyricist Yip Harburg, gorgeous melodies composed by Harold Arlen, and moving singing by the whole cast. Hit play and let Judy Garland take you over the rainbow for a few minutes."

– Jon Mogul, associate director of curatorial + education

🎮 Games

BioShock video game

BioShock

Developed by 2K Boston and 2K Australia and published by 2K Games, released 2007

"An underwater, Deco-inspired utopia in decline plus superhuman powers from vending machines. Although it takes place in 1959, it features architecture, interiors, and music from the 1940s."

– Brittany Ballinger, senior graphic designer

Bioshock Infinite video game

BioShock Infinite

Developed by Irrational Games and published by 2K Games, released 2013

"Super steampunk, with style inspiration from the 1893 Chicago World's Fair."

– Brittany Ballinger, senior graphic designer

Everything video game

Everything

Developed by David O'Reilly and published by Double Fine Productions, released 2017

"Designed by an artist, Everything lets you experience life from the point of view of . . . (almost) literally everything. Bounce around the universe in this surreal simulation about interconnectedness, existing as atoms, animals, skyscrapers, and even galaxies, against a beautiful soundtrack and philosophical narration."

– Meg Floryan, head of marketing + PR

The Gardens Between video game

The Gardens Between

Developed and published by The Voxel Agents, released 2018

"Manipulate time and space in this nostalgic ode to childhood."

– Meg Floryan, head of marketing + PR

Gris video game

Gris

Developed by Nomada Studio and published by Devolver Digital, released 2018

"The most elegant, magical, and moving platform game I've ever played. It poetically expresses the stages of grief by progressively adding color to one girl's journey through enchanted forests, underwater caverns, and floating cities of light. Every frame, every scene, is like watercolor art come to life."

– Meg Floryan, head of marketing + PR

Journey video game

Journey

Developed by Thatgamecompany and Santa Monica Studio and published by Sony Computer Entertainment, released 2012

"For those who love a quest more than a challenge, this is the perfect zen game. From the music to the artwork (shimmery sands! snowcapped mountain!), it paves a road for a calming, ethereal experience."

– Meg Floryan, head of marketing + PR

Kingdom: Two Crowns video game

Kingdom: Two Crowns

Developed by Noio and published by Raw Fury, released 2018

"A relaxing strategy game with a gorgeous pixel art aesthetic. Explore, build, and defend your kingdom in a world that is equal parts dark and whimsical."

– Erin Heffron, library collections specialist

The Last Guardian video game

The Last Guardian

Developed by SIE Japan Studio and GenDesign and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment, released 2016

"So freeing, and stunningly rendered! The gameplay is centered around your ability to fly through the air and leap atop ruins of an ancient city thanks to your giant BFF, a creature that's part dog, part cat, and part bird. Highly recommend for animal, puzzle, and adventure lovers."

– Meg Floryan, head of marketing + PR

Monument Valley video game

Monument Valley

Developed and published by Ustwo Games, released 2014

"An M. C. Escher-inspired puzzle challenge starring a fearless heroine."

– Ian Rand, assistant director of marketing + partnerships

Obduction video game

Obduction

Developed and published by Cyan Inc., released 2016

"Myst fans anticipated the release of this 'spiritual sequel' for years, and Obduction did not disappoint. Designer Rand Miller's trademarks—gorgeous graphics, mind-bending mysteries, rich world building, labyrinthine geography—are on full display."

– Meg Floryan, head of marketing + PR

The Room video game

The Room (Series)

Developed and published by Fireproof Games, released 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2018

"A combo collection of locked-box/escape-room challenges, these games are steampunky dreams for logic puzzle lovers and fans of the Victorian Age. While they've grown to feature stronger visuals and narratives, the original was groundbreaking for its absorbing, addictive exercises in mental gymnastics."

– Meg Floryan, head of marketing + PR