· Portraits, Talking with Artists at the Met, the Modern, the Louvre, and Elsewhere by Michael Kimmelman (‘76). I remember Michael as a classical pianist, and he still is – you can hear him play Debussey’s L’Isle Joyeuse on YouTube. Later, I began to read his art criticism in the Times. In this book, he goes to museums with 18 artists and interviews them in front of paintings and sculptures that have meant something to them. They weigh in on abstraction, minimalism, figuration, brush strokes, dripped paint, form, and color. If there is a unifying theme, it is that they depend on the artists who came before them to create something new. Michael lets them talk and we get to eavesdrop on the conversation. Having loved Bonnard’s work since I was a student in Paris, I was gratified that both Balthus and Cartier-Bresson place him first in the pantheon of twentieth-century painters, and Thiebaud talks of his “pulsating energy.” Lucien Freud is awed by Rembrandt, Susan Rothenberg is fascinated by the texture in one of his self-portraits, how he builds up the paint in the wrinkled skin, while Chuck Close irreverently decries all the highlights “that keep popping off like flashbulbs.” These moments have become even more precious as ten of these quirky, alert and creative souls have died since the book came out in 1998. If I were still in New York (and not retired in Florida), I would get on the bus and go to the Met to view Pollack’s Autumn Rhythm so I could see for myself what all the fuss is about.