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American Masters

Margaret Mitchell: American Rebel

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American Masters

Margaret Mitchell: American Rebel

1m 31s

Margaret Mitchell was no ordinary writer. The one book she published in her lifetime - Gone With the Wind won the Pulitzer Prize in 1937, 75 years ago. With over 30 million copies sold to date, it is one of the world's best-selling novels. The film adaptation broke all box office records, and received 10 Academy Awards. Premieres nationally Monday, April 2 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings).

TV-PG
9m 36s

Maggie Lena Walker: Civil Rights Activist and Entrepreneur

A full 50 years before the Montgomery bus boycott, civil rights activist and entrepreneur Maggie Lena Walker led a city-wide boycott against segregated streetcars in Richmond, VA, and founded a newspaper, department store, and the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank, making her the first African American female bank president in the United States.

9m 4s

Grace Abbott: Social Work Pioneer

Grace Abbott (1878-1939), an architect of social work and an activist in the immigrant rights movement, was the highest ranking woman in government from 1921 to 1934 as chief of the Department of Labor’s Children’s Bureau. She led the fight to end child labor and maternal and infant childbirth death, and also helped draft America's Social Security Act.

9m 17s

Ynés Mexía: Mexican-American Botanist and Adventurer

An early participant in the environmental movement, U.S.-born Mexican American Ynés Mexía began her scientific career at age 51, leading botanical expeditions across Mexico, Central America, and South America. She became one of the most accomplished plant collectors of her time, discovering over 500 new plant species of which 50 are named in her honor.

10m 20s

Lillian Gilbreth: Pioneering Inventor

Lillian Moller Gilbreth is the first woman elected to the National Academy of Engineering and the first female engineering professor at Purdue University. She worked to invent time and motion studies with her husband Frank, and elevated women’s labor in the domestic sphere with her design of the L-shaped kitchen and numerous appliances.

9m 0s

Aviator Bessie Coleman

The daughter of sharecropper in rural Texas, Bessie Coleman grew up picking cotton and eventually became the first African American woman aviator. Coleman became a media sensation with her daredevil performances, and was hailed as “Queen Bess” and “the world’s greatest woman flier.” Throughout her brief career, Coleman refused to perform in American airshows where audiences were segregated.

9m 0s

Bessie Coleman: First African American Aviator

The daughter of sharecropper in rural Texas, Bessie Coleman grew up picking cotton and eventually became the first African American woman aviator. Coleman became a media sensation with her daredevil performances, and was hailed as “Queen Bess” and “the world’s greatest woman flier.” Throughout her brief career, Coleman refused to perform in American airshows where audiences were segregated.

1m 6s

Trailer | Unladylike2020

Illuminating the stories of extraordinary American heroines from the early years of feminism, American Masters — Unladylike2020 is a multimedia series consisting of a one-hour special for broadcast and 26 digital short films featuring courageous, little-known and diverse female trailblazers from the turn of the 20th century. Coming this summer on PBS.

2m 27s

Clip | How Miles Davis Recorded "Kind of Blue"

Miles Davis didn't provide sheet music for his musicians during the recording of his iconic album "Kind of Blue." He said that "I didn't write out the music for 'Kind of Blue.' But brought in sketches 'cause I wanted a lot of spontaneity in the playing." American Masters Presents Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool February 25 at 9 p.m. ET on PBS.

2m 24s

Full Trailer | Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool

Discover the man behind the legend. With full access to the Miles Davis Estate, the film features never-before-seen footage, including studio outtakes from his recording sessions, rare photos and new interviews. American Masters Presents Stanley Nelson’s Grammy-nominated Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool February 25 at 9 p.m. ET on PBS in Honor of Black History Month.

1m 42s

Preview | Director Stanley Nelson Talks About Miles Davis

Stanley Nelson, director of Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool, talks about why he chose to make a film about the iconic jazz musician. He also discusses how this film is more than just a film about a jazz musician and really a film about the United States in the second half of the 20th century as told through music.

2m 43s

The First Native American to Win the Pulitzer

When N. Scott Momaday won the Pulitzer Prize for his book "House Made of Dawn," it was a victory for the entire Native American community. Hear Jeff Bridges, Joy Harjo, Robert Redford and James Earl Jones explain the importance of Momaday's writing.

0m 29s

Words From a Bear | Trailer

Delve into the enigmatic life and mind of the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and poet N. Scott Momaday, best known for “House Made of Dawn” and a formative voice of the Native American Renaissance in art and literature.

1m 22s

Mark Rothko and Adolph Gottlieb on Creating Abstract Art

When a New York Times art critic reviewed Mark Rothko and Adolph Gottlieb's work, the artists responded with a letter that became a manifesto on abstract art. In it, they stressed being in favor of the "simple expression of the complex thought,” and for "the large shape because it has the impact of the unequivocal," among other points.

1m 57s

How Abstract Expressionism Changed American Art

In post World War II New York City, a new group of artists including Mark Rothko, Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Lee Krasner, Joan Mitchell, & Clyfford Still started a movement known as Abstract Expressionism and took the art world by storm.

2m 42s

Why Mark Rothko Came to America

Born Marcus Rothkowitz in Dvinsk, Russia, on September 25, 1903, Rothko emigrated to Portland, Oregon, with his family at age 10. Learn more in this clip from American Masters —Rothko: Pictures Must Be Miraculous.

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