Who Protects Picasso?

Through the eyes of a guard at the Yale University.

“What is a museum guard to do, I thought to myself; what, really, is a museum guard? On the one hand, you are a member of a security force charged with protecting priceless materials from the crazed or kids or the slow erosive force of camera flashes; on the other hand you are a dweller among supposed triumphs of the spirit.” — From Leaving the Atocha Station, Ben Lerner Illustration by Emma Liebman It’s noon, and Imani Lane looks over forty-seven tiny security screens spread. . . Read more
Lora Kelley
The Dream House

A lifetime of dolls under one roof

Renee Silvester’s collection of dolls When you walk into Calling All Dolls, a doll shop and repair facility in Cobalt, Connecticut, the atmosphere feels tense. It’s as if you suddenly interrupted a group conversation and everyone looked in a different direction, trying to ignore the intrusion. Dolls with moony eyes and plastic hair, porcelain dolls with tattered Victorian dresses, designer dolls with photo-realistic eyes sit across from each other, stuffed in a room and suspended in a disrupted moment. They don’t frighten the shop’s owner,. . . Read more
Ruby Bilger
Investing in Writers

The benefactors behind Yale’s most popular creative writing courses.

One evening last November, I sat next to Anne Fadiman, sipping red wine and enjoying Mory’s famous Baker’s Soup, as Anne told our table of current and former students her famous “car service story.” When she first came to Yale to give a Master’s Tea, she invited a Yale graduate to travel with her in the hour-and-a-half ride back to her home in Whately, Massachusetts, in order to discuss the craft of editing. Paul Francis ’77, sponsor of the Francis Writer-in-Residence Program, sat at a. . . Read more
Grace Hirshorn
When A Cop Calls

An activist in blue bridges the gap between communities and police.

Shafiq Abdussabur with his grandmother after being sworn in as president of the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers. Photo by Allan Appel. On a Tuesday afternoon in September, Shafiq Abdussabur stands transfixed by one image on the wall of his office. It’s a hazy photograph of six boys playing tug-of-war, their smiles wide, their eyes focused on victory. “We lost him,” Abdussabur says, pointing to the boy leading the pack. “He was killed two years after this photo was taken. And him, too,”. . . Read more
Alexandra Golden
Top of His Glass

A journey to glassblowing at Yale.

Photo by Caroline Lester Four thin blue flames lick the underbelly of a glass flask as Daryl Smith steadies his blowtorch. With sweat dripping from his forehead, he directs the heat at one of three stumpy tubes attached to the spherical flask. The glass glows white-hot and starts to melt. Just as the tube begins to droop, Smith snatches it away with a pair of tweezers. The tube stretches until all that connects it to the flask is a long, thin thread. When the thread. . . Read more
Ike Swetlitz
Saving Grace

Burl Salmon builds a new home in the Church.

This is Lexington, a small town only an hour outside of Atlanta. But in this land of boiled peanuts and dairy farms, I feel worlds away. I’m in the Georgian countryside, at the home of Burl Salmon, my former high school English teacher and a graduate of Yale Divinity School. His neighbor is the photographer for the magazine Gun and Garden, the self-proclaimed “Soul of the South.” I’ve been here a few times to visit Burl on trips back from college, and the area has. . . Read more
Ashley Dalton
Stearner Stuff

The biggest figure in modern evolutionary history finds his work and ideas taking on new life in his students.

“Stearns, this is bad philosophy and it’s bad science. Defend yourself.” It’s the early 1970s, in a small classroom at the University of British Columbia. Halfway around the world, the Vietnam War rages on. In our quiet corner of Canada, however, there’s nothing but the sound of agitated footsteps as Stephen Stearns ’67 paces, waiting to know whether his outrageous Ph.D. proposal will be accepted. The topic is the main problem: Essentially, what Stearns has written proposes the formalization of a completely new area of. . . Read more
Bijan Stephen
Feed a Fever

A public health official dances to “infect” New Haven with good health.

On a Saturday evening in late June, a man dressed in fluorescent tie-dye presses his thumbs together and curls over his fingers to form a flying heart. The Carolina Chocolate Drops are playing “Cornbread and Butterbeans” to sunburned picnickers who skip and swing feverishly on the New Haven Green. Eric Triffin, with his tightly sprung coils, a receded hairline, and full white beard, dances alone to the left of the stage. He wears a tie-dye T-shirt featuring a giant pink heart that cushions the rainbow. . . Read more
Katy Osborn
Not Hungry

Goldie Stands Over Bull ’13 fasted for twenty days to get closer to God.

Goldie Stands Over Bull with her bible. Goldie Stands Over Bull does not like doughnuts. There were no Dunkin’ Donuts on the Crow Reservation where she grew up near Billings, Montana, and her move to New Haven didn’t instill in her any new cravings. “They’re dry. I just don’t go for them,” she said. And yet for one hour on January 13, she could not get them out of her head. “I don’t even eat doughnuts!” she said. “It was my central thought for like. . . Read more
Ben Mueller
Playing Hardball

At 13, Jericho Scott is happy to be a has-been national baseball sensation.

Jericho Scott, pictured here in 2008, on the mound. Three years later, the remnants of Jericho Scott’s brush with youth baseball superstardom reign neatly over his small bedroom. A signed shirt from television personality Jimmy Kimmel hangs on the wall next to Jericho’s own FatHead, a brand of oversized wall sticker usually emblazoned with the likenesses of major league all-stars, not scrawny nine-year-olds pitching for pizza parlor-sponsored youth teams. His limbs flailing and his face scrunched into a ball of childish effort, the Jericho whom the sticker. . . Read more
Ben Mueller