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Ezra Winter Project

01.30.12: Jessica Helfand

Ezra Winter Project: Chapter One
Jessica Helfand, who teaches the seminar "Studies in Visual Biography" at Yale, shares her year-long exploration of the American muralist Ezra Winter: this is part one.
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02.29.12: Jessica Helfand

Ezra Winter Project: Chapter Two
Chapter Two, Pilgrim : In 1911, Ezra Winter marries, wins the Rome Prize, and heads to Europe for three years of study and travel.
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03.31.12: Jessica Helfand

Ezra Winter Project: Chapter Three
In his first post-Academy professional pursuit, Ezra Winter is hired to design camouflage for the United States Shipping Board, using a reductive visual vocabulary of bold stripes and patches of solid color that is far closer to the language of Klee and Kandinsky than of the Renaissance masters he loves.
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04.26.12: Jessica Helfand

Ezra Winter Project: Chapter Four
Ten months before the 1929 stock market crash, Edna Murphey was one of America’s foremost experts in health and beauty: she was also extremely wealthy. Three years later she became Mrs. Ezra Winter.
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05.30.12: Jessica Helfand

Ezra Winter Project: Chapter Five
In 1920, Warren Harding was elected President on a “Return to Normalcy” platform. But for Ezra Winter, nothing was normal.
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06.26.12: Jessica Helfand

Ezra Winter Project: Chapter Six
In the Spring of 1926, publisher George Palmer Putnam organized an 8,500 mile expedition to Greenland in quest of specimens for the then-new Hall of Ocean Life in the American Museum of Natural History: the ship’s roster included an eclectic mix of specialists, including an ichthyologist, a taxidermist and an artist by the name of Ezra Winter.
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07.31.12: Jessica Helfand

Ezra Winter Project: Chapter Seven
As the gulf widens between the aspirational and the real — between the projected self and the authentic self — Ezra Winter immerses himself in all that is beautiful and lyrical and dream-like, including and especially the women with whom he surrounds himself.
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08.29.12: Jessica Helfand

Ezra Winter Project: Chapter Eight
The Spanish dancer Carola Goya falls in love with Ezra Winter, and almost ruins her career.
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09.28.12: Jessica Helfand

Ezra Winter Project: Chapter Nine
The Fountain of Youth would be Ezra Winter's greatest achievement, an enduring cultural icon in the city he loved — and on every possible level, a simply insurpassable feat: it is an extraordinary painting precisely because it is so unbearably autobiographical.
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10.25.12: Jessica Helfand

Ezra Winter Project: Chapter Ten
In April, 1933, Ezra Winter delivers a fifteen-minute live radio talk on the subject of mural painting in relation to modern life, in which he tries desperately to convince himself that he has embraced the modern world.
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11.30.12: Jessica Helfand

Ezra Winter Project: Chapter Eleven
The 1930s would prove to be an enormously fertile period in Ezra Winter’s life: following the success of the Radio City murals, the artist embarked on major commissions for the United States Supreme Court, the Federal Reserve Building and the Library of Congress, and in 1939, he debuted his mural for the New York World's Fair.
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12.28.12: Jessica Helfand

Ezra Winter Project: Chapter Twelve
In the end, Ezra Winter was a man whose devotion to the classical world virtually underscored his every move: it explained his ineffable pursuit of youth, his enduring worship of women, his unyielding obsessions with fantasy and grandeur, lyricism and scale, theatricality and costume, fable and myth.
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