Feeling creative this summer?
Then go to the Library of Congress
in Washington, D.C., and check
out the exhibition A Century of
Creativity: The MacDowell Colony
1907–2007, through Aug. 18.
The composer Edward Mac-
Dowell and his wife, Marian,
founded the colony on their 450-
acre farm in Peterborough, N.H.,
Top: A MacDowell Colony in 1907 as the country’s first artists-
group portrait circa 1954.
Above: Composer and con- in-residence program. In its storied
ductor Leonard Bernstein. 100-year history, luminaries such
as Leonard Bernstein, Thornton
Wilder and Willa Cather—along with a mass of architects,
visual artists, filmmakers and more—lived and worke d there.
Now, A Century of Creativity is part of a yearlong centennial celebration, featuring letters, photographs, first editions,
musical scores and more from myriad fellows. It offers a peek
inside the creative process, as the MacDowells established the
first place in the U.S. to grant artists the time and space they
needed to create. Many enduring works were conceived or
completed there, and several of the colony’s 6,000 residents
have been awarded Pulitzer Prizes and National Book Awards
or were Guggenheim, MacArthur or Fulbright fellows.
Ten years ago, the MacDowell Colony, a National Historic
Landmark, was awarded the prestigious National Medal
of Arts for “nurturing and inspiring many of this century’s
finest artists.” Now, with this wonderful exhibition, we all
can enjoy the fruits of their labor. For more information on
the MacDowell Colony and its centennial celebrations, go to
You already spend hours riding
Overpackers of the
world, take heart:
Your suitcase may
be full, but it prob-
ably weighs less
than the suit of
armor that one
brought on vaca-
tion. This “full met-
al jacket” is just
one of the unusual
items that have
found their way
to the Unclaimed
in Scottsboro, Ala.
The store, which
than a million
from lost airline
luggage each year,
has also unpacked
a live rattlesnake,
artifacts and the
for an F- 16 fighter
jet (which the
store returned to
the U.S. Navy).
the rails and hopping flights each
month—don’t waste more time
frantically tracking your bags only
to find you’ve accidentally swiped
someone else’s stash of frilly linge-
rie or sweat-stained undershirts.
Happily, the rainproof and shock-
resistant Luggage Retriever ($18,
in a variety of colors and quickly
attachable to any wheeled up-
right, backpack or garment holder,
makes identifying suitcases and
tag-alongs easy. Just affix the cell
phone-sized device to a planned
stowaway and click the remote
when ready to retrieve. Flashing
lights and ringtones instantly
point the way to salvation … and
a quick change of socks.
“First Class” contributors include
Scott Steinberg and John Tomkiw.