A selection of NYC-ARTS Greatest Hits: a tour of the International Tennis Hall of Fame and Museum located in Newport, Rhode Island; a profile of pianist Drew Petersen, winner of a 2018 Avery Fisher Career Grant Award; and a visit to the American Folk Art Museum where curator Stacy Hollander describes an intriguing sculpture created by Asa Ames and known as the “Phrenological Head.”

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♪♪

Next on 'NYC-Arts,' a look back at some of our favorite segments, featuring the best in arts and cultural events in our area.

The Newport Casino represents one for the finest examples of Shingle-style architecture in America.

We are a National Historic Landmark and the first sports hall of fame to be accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.

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The phrenological head by Asa Ames happens to be one of my favorite artworks in the museum's collection in part because of its eerie beauty and the sense of quietness in the figure's face, which is somewhat at odds with the strange markings on the scalp.

It's exquisite as a work of art, and it has a poignancy that's lent to it by the artist's own story.

Funding for 'NYC-Arts' is made possible by... Additional funding provided by members of Thirteen.

'NYC-Arts' is made possible in part by First Republic Bank.

First Republic Bank presents 'First Things First.'

At First Republic Bank, 'first' refers to our first priority, the clients who walk through our doors.

The first step?

Recognize that every client is an individual with unique needs.

First decree?

Be a bank whose currency is service in the form of personal banking.

This was First Republic's mission from our very first day.

It's still the first thing on our minds.

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Good evening, and welcome to 'NYC-Arts.'

I'm Philippe de Montebello at the Tisch WNET Studio at Lincoln Center.

It's been my pleasure, along with my colleague Paula Zahn, to bring you the very best of arts and culture in the tristate area.

Whether it's music, dance, film, theater, the visual arts, classic or contemporary, well known or newly discovered, 'NYC-Arts' has provided unique access to the people and places that represent the richness of our arts community.

In this program, we'd like to share with you some of our favorite segments.

We hope they are some of your favorites as well.

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My name is Doug Stark, and I'm the museum director at the International Tennis Hall of Fame & Museum, which is located on historic Bellevue Avenue in Newport, Rhode Island.

The story of the Newport Casino began in the summer of 1879 with James Gordon Bennett Jr., who was the publisher of the He was also a summer resident in Newport, so he purchased the land across the street, and he hired the architectural firm of McKim, Mead & White, and construction started in January of 1880, and six months later in the summer of 1880, the Newport Casino opened.

The Newport Casino represents one of the finest examples of Shingle-style architecture in America.

We are a National Historic Landmark, and recently we became the first sports hall of fame to be accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.

In 1881, the United States National Lawn Tennis Association was looking for a place to host its first championship.

The Newport Casino was selected, and with that, the first US Nationals was contested here in 1881, which was won by Dick Sears.

That tournament today is the US Open.

Newport has three distinct things -- architecture, leisure and sporting events.

And the Tennis Hall of Fame and the Newport Casino sit at the confluence of all three, so as visitors come through our grounds, they're transported back to Gilded Age Newport.

Today our site is 6 acres.

We have 13 grass courts, three indoor hard courts, one clay court, one court tennis building, which is a predecessor of the game of tennis.

It's the game from which tennis evolved.

It was played in medieval monasteries.

Tennis Week in Newport is still a very big event.

It's usually the second week of July.

We have our tournament, and then at the end of the week, we have our Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

Each year, we induct a new class of Hall of Famers.

We have 235 Hall of Famers representing 20 countries around the world.

Today, our museum occupies the second floor of the Newport Casino.

As visitors walk through the museum, they can get a sense both of the history of the Newport Casino as well as the history of tennis.

We have a re-created card room.

Our museum collection totals more than 25,000 objects, and we have trophies, tennis balls, rackets, racket presses, outfits, stamps, medals.

It's really the central repository for the study of the history of tennis.

♪♪ Tennis was patented in 1874 by Queen Victoria, and that patent is currently on display in the Credentials Gallery.

We also have a painting from 1538.

We believe it's the earliest known painting of tennis.

Visitors also like the evolution of fashion and clothing.

We have some early outfits that women would've worn in the Victorian Era, and we also have Venus Williams' outfit from her participation in the 2012 Wimbledon Championships, and we also have Roger Federer's outfit from when he participated and won in the 2009 Wimbledon Championship.

Also on display is memorabilia from the historic match, The Battle of the Sexes, contested between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs in September of 1973, and a lot of visitors still remember seeing that match on TV, which was quite a spectacle, but obviously it had significant ramifications for equal rights and equal pay in sports in this country.

From the start, the Newport Casino was both for men and women, and it's one for the earliest that included women.

One of the things that we do when we tell this story of tennis is we tell the evolution and the growth and the development of the game through our Hall of Famers, so with 235 Hall of Famers from around the world, it's an opportunity to give a personal element to the story of tennis, and it's important because people can relate.

A lot of our visitors come in, and they can remember, 'Oh, I used to play with Jimmy Connors' T-2000 racket,' or, 'I had a Jack Kramer racket,' or they might remember going to a tournament and seeing a Hall of Famer play, and so that's a really unique experience.

The next time that you're in Newport, we hope that you'd visit the Hall of Fame.

It's a unique opportunity to see and learn about the history of tennis but also to play on our historic grass courts, and we welcome everyone to Newport and the Tennis Hall of Fame.

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Good evening, and welcome to 'NYC-Arts.'

I'm Philippe de Montebello at the Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center.

The ceremony for this year's Avery Fisher Career Grant awards took place in March at the Jerome L. Greene Performance Space at WQXR.

These individual grants of $25,000 give professional assistance and recognition to talented instrumentalists who have great potential for solo careers.

This year, there were four recipients -- the Calidore String Quartet... ♪♪ ...double-bassist Xavier Foley... ♪♪ ...violinist Francisco Fullana... ♪♪ ...and pianist Drew Petersen.

♪♪ Widely regarded as a prodigy, Drew Petersen began performing professionally at the age of 5.

Since then, he has earned degrees from Harvard and Juilliard.

While his international performance schedule keeps him busy, he always finds time to teach and advocate for the education of classical music.

Petersen is currently the artist in residence at the University of Indianapolis.

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I began really playing the piano, playing around with it, when I was a toddler.

My parents had a very old upright in our home that I would just like to play a lot.

It was really my favorite toy.

I can barely even remember all of this, but I certainly do remember playing on the piano and looking through the bench for some sheet music and asking what all of this meant.

Eventually, my parents decided to get me lessons, and it all went from there.

♪♪ Receiving the Avery Fisher Career Grant, first of all, it's an enormous honor, especially so early on in my career.

It makes me realize, you know, there are people out there who believe in me and believe in what I'm about and what I'm doing artistically, and that really means a lot for people in a profession that's extremely demanding.

♪♪ I feel very fortunate to have been able to explore all different avenues of performance and classical piano, and I think one of the blessings that we have as pianists is the incredible breadth and depth of repertoire that we have to explore.

♪♪ Even just the solo literature for piano alone is so vast.

There's never enough time to get through all of it, but then to have the incredible concerto literature and chamber-music literature, each medium really informs the other in a way.

It allows my ears to reset and allows my brain to think in a little bit of a different way, which keeps me whole.

♪♪ ♪♪ The first work is called 'Widmung' by Schumann originally.

It's a beautiful art song.

means dedication, and whenever one sees dedication with Schumann, one thinks of Clara Schumann, his...At this point, I believe it was just about when they were engaged.

This is one of the more overt references to her, and Schumann is one of these incredibly passionate romantics.

I feel like his personality just kind of... It blossoms in the music, and you can really hear it.

♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ Franz Liszt was an amazing virtuoso pianist of the 19th century and a pretty close friend of Schumann.

So Liszt would routinely be inspired by his fellow artist's creations.

In this case it's a solo piano transcription of an art song for voice and piano, so it's as much a work of Liszt's imagination as it is of Schumann.

♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ It's totally ecstatic.

It's totally just overjoyed.

It's this kind of bubbling emotion, of course emotion in every... the wide-range spectrum, so you've got incredible varieties.

♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ [ Applause ] The next work I'll be performing is the fugue from Barber's 'Piano Sonata.'

He wrote this one monumental sonata.

♪♪ ♪♪ He wasn't sure entirely if he wanted to end with three movements or continue with a fourth movement.

Now, Vladimir Horowitz, the virtuoso, was slated to premiere the work, and Horowitz was a little bit irritated that Barber was considering ending the piece in a kind of muted, you know, very, very kind of mystical way, so he pushed Barber to write another movement.

There was a little bit of a back-and-forth struggle, and finally Barber got fed up with this and wrote this very, very demanding fugue.

♪♪ ♪♪ This sonata does feel very much like a tour de force.

That kind of incredible just strength and athleticism and wide range of color is really very much apparent in this fourth movement, the fugue.

I really enjoy playing it as a show piece on its own.

♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ I believe that, without classical music, the world would be a much poorer place spiritually, emotionally, artistically, intellectually, so I feel that it's really important for us as musicians nowadays, as artists, to engage with the general public.

One of my main goals is to share and communicate my passion about this great art form.

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Hi. I'm Stacy Hollander.

Welcome to the American Folk Art Museum.

I'd like to talk to you today for a few minutes about one of the most surprising and unique works of the art in the museum's collection.

It's a sculpture from the mid-19th century by a very little-known artist named Asa Ames from Evans in Erie County, New York.

This piece is unique not only in Asa Ames' body of work but really in the history of American folk art and American folk sculpture.

This beautiful young girl, her features are extremely fine and typical of Ames' work, and there's a quietude in her face and in her whole presentation that is typical of his work as well.

It's just this sense of innocence and beauty in the work that he did, especially the carvings of children.

This piece is solid wood, so all of the details that we see in it are carved into the surface, and then it's beautifully painted, but of course what distinguishes it are the strangest markings on her scalp.

These are indicative of what was truly a major movement in the middle of the 19th century in America, a pseudoscience called phrenology.

It was an examination of the human brain, and it was an attempt to divide the human behavioral spectrum into 27 faculties, and each of the faculties was numbered and associated with a particular part of the cranium.

There was a belief at the time that if you felt the bumps on someone's head, you could tell how finely developed that particular faculty was, whether it controlled your sexual appetite, your hunger, your aggressiveness, your secretiveness.

Asa Ames sadly was suffering from consumption, which had no cure in the 19th century before the invention of antibiotics.

The phrenological head was probably carved around 1850.

At the time, he was living with a doctor of alternative therapies who was trying to set up a water-cure clinic as a way to cure consumption, so it's very possible that Asa Ames carved the phrenological head in fact for the doctor who was also involved with phrenology.

Asa Ames is known today for really a small body of work, around 12 or so carvings in wood, all in wood, and a remarkable image survives of Asa Ames actually at work where he's carving what appears to be a self-portrait.

In the 1850 census, the only actual document we have of Asa Ames, he listed his occupation as sculpturing, which suggested that he thought of himself as a fine artist and not as an artist in wood, which was more of an applied trade.

The 'Phrenological Head' by Asa Ames happens to be one of my favorite artworks in the museum's collection in part because of its eerie beauty and the sense of quietness in the figure's face, which is somewhat at odds with the strange markings on the scalp.

It's exquisite as a work of art, and it has a poignancy that's lent to it by the artist's own story.

I hope you've enjoyed learning a little bit about Asa Ames and the phrenological head that he carved around 1850.

There are so many really fascinating and beautiful works of art to discover at the American Folk Art Museum.

Please come visit us soon.

I hope you've enjoyed our program.

I'm Philippe de Montebello at the Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center.

Good night, and see you next time.

Next week on 'NYC-Arts,' a trip to the Museum of the City of New York and the exhibition 'Cycling in the City: A 200-Year History.'

The first bicycle, called a velocipede, came to New York in 1819, 200 years ago.

Where people can bicycle, who bicycles, when you can do it has been contentious.

And then we follow along with florist Lewis Miller on one of his Flower Flashes.

They are for the people, and I want people to take them and interact with them, obviously take a picture, but take a blossom.

Take some home.

The more that we can have these kind of soft moments of just beauty and joy for no other reason, even if it's for an hour or 10 minutes, its job is done.

And we return to the National 9/11 Memorial Museum on the 18th anniversary of the tragic attacks on our country.

You are on sacred ground.

That is conveyed in the physical plant of the museum, in the process of going through the space, entering down into the cavity of what was the foundation of the World Trade Center.

To enjoy more of your favorite segments on 'NYC-Arts,' visit our website at NYC-Arts.org.

Leonard, what a privilege to be able to sit down and talk with you.

I love being here with you too, Paula.

Where are we?

We're at a moment to take nothing for granted.

Well, it's a pleasure to be with Marci Reaven, the curator of this exhibition full of hope.

We are in the midst of some of the greatest sculptures by the iconic names.

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Funding for 'NYC-Arts' is made possible by... Additional funding provided by members of Thirteen.

'NYC-Arts' is made possible in part by First Republic Bank.

First Republic Bank presents 'First Things First.'

At First Republic Bank, 'first' refers to our first priority, the clients who walk through our doors.

The first step?

Recognize that every client is an individual with unique needs.

First decree?

Be a bank whose currency is service in the form of personal banking.

This was First Republic's mission from our very first day.

It's still the first thing on our minds.