WHYY's ArtWorks draws on performing and visual arts stories from its sister PBS stations to bring viewers a geographically diverse arts experience.

Featured Artists: Heimrad Backer, Houston Fine Art Fair, Edgar Allan Poe and Jessica Fellowes

Meet an artist who has dedicated his life to documenting the Holocaust, a fine arts fair in Houston highlights contemporary Korean art, the exhibition “Terror of the Soul” explores the dark past of an iconic poet, and the history of one of Downton Abbey’s beloved characters is explained.

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Heimrad Bäcker

The photographer and poet Heimrad Bäcker (1925-2003) dedicated his life to documenting the remnants of Nazism and the Holocaust. Bäcker’s photographs look away from the scenes usually associated with the Shoah—barracks, gates, train tracks—and focus on the minute and incidental traces left behind in the Austrian landscape: indentations in stone, twisted steel rods, and concrete foundations. His examination of Austrian history is also a self-critical reflection on his enthusiastic participation, as a teenager, in the Hitler Youth and the Nazi Party. Landscape M focuses on Bäcker’s works related to Mauthausen, the largest concentration camp in Austria. MCA Denver’s exhibition is the first of Bäcker’s work in the US, and it is the first to show the body of work left behind after his death.

Houston Fine Arts Fair: The Korean Art Fair Pavilion

The Korean Art Fair Pavilion is produced in cooperation with the Galleries Association of Korea. Over the past several years, there has been a continually growing interest in Korean contemporary art within the Houston art community. This has been fostered, in part, by an increasing Asian population in Houston and the many cultural achievements set by its leading art institutions, The Museum of Fine Art, Houston and the Asia Society of Texas.

The Korean Art Fair Pavilion, a landmark cultural event, is a wonderful eye-popping and inspirational separate show area within the HFAF that brings the most promising and renowned contemporary artists to Houston. It is a great opportunity to carefully explore the technical, aesthetic and conceptual approaches to Korean art making. Houstonians will discover some of the most exciting art being created in Korea today and a chance to meet personally with 14 respected and visionary galleries to discuss their stable of gifted artists. View over 150 powerful paintings, sculptures, engravings, photos and works on paper, representing the finest work of nearly 100 artists.

  • Photo by credit: Houston Fine Arts Fair

“Terror of the Soul” at The Morgan Library and Museum

The works of Edgar Allan Poe have frightened and thrilled readers for more than one hundred-fifty years. Terror of the Soul—inspired by the preface to Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque—explores Poe’s poetry, fiction, and literary criticism, with a key thematic emphasis examining his profound influence on later writers. The exhibition will feature nearly one hundred items, drawn primarily from the Morgan’s holdings and The Henry W. and Albert A. Berg Collection of English and American Literature at The New York Public Library, two of the most important collections of Poe material in the United States. In addition, a number of exceptional private collection loans will also be on view.

Poe’s mastery of multiple writing genres will be represented by poem and short story manuscripts, early printed editions, letters, and literary criticism published in contemporary newspapers, magazines, and journals. On view will be such works as Annabel Lee and The Bells in Poe’s own hand; one of the earliest printings of The Raven; the first printing of The Cask of Amontillado; and an unprecedented three copies of Tamerlane, Poe’s earliest published work and one of the rarest books in American literature. Lesser-known writings, including A Reviewer Reviewed—Poe’s never-before-exhibited critique of his own work, written under a pseudonym—and the author’s annotated copy of his last published book, Eureka, provide a more complete picture of this complex writer.

Importantly, Terror of the Soul is among the first museum exhibitions to explore Poe’s wide-ranging influence on fellow writers as diverse as Charles Dickens, Stéphane Mallarmé, Vladimir Nabokov, and Terry Southern. Other literary masterpieces on view include Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles, Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, and Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde; Paul Auster’s previously unpublished lecture on Poe’s influence on French authors; and T. S. Eliot’s annotated typescript of The Waste Land.

Jessica Fellowes

Jessica Fellowes is an author, journalist and public speaker. Her career began at the Mail on Sunday, where she was a celebrity interviewer, gossip columnist and lifestyle editor for some six years. From there, she went on to be Deputy Editor of Country Life magazine, during which time she wrote the magazine’s weekly Town Mouse column as well as a townie’s guide to country weekends for The London Paper. The latter formed the basis of her first book, Mud & the City: Dos and Don’ts for Townies in the Country.

A spell as a freelance feature writer for a number of publications including The Daily Telegraph, Sunday Times Style, The Lady and Psychologies magazine followed before she turned to ghostwriting, starting with Is There A Psycho In Your Life?, written with the forensic psychologist Kerry Daynes. Jessica also worked with the founders of notonthehighstreet.com on their book, Build A Business From Your Kitchen Table, which went to no.1 of the Sunday Times Business bestseller list (she is currently working with them on their follow-up, due for publication July 2014).

Jessica is perhaps best known for her work as author of two official companion books to a certain hit television show: The World of Downton Abbey and The Chronicles of Downton Abbey. Both hit the The Sunday Times, New York Times and The Globe & Mail (Canada) bestseller lists.

These books led to her being in demand as a speaker at events both in the UK and US, discussing the real-life inspirations for the show, both historical and characters from her family (Jessica is the niece of creator and scriptwriter Julian Fellowes).

Jessica has spoken at literary festivals from Cheltenham to Scarborough and toured with her lectures from New York to Atlanta and almost every midwest city in between. She has also made numerous appearances on radio and television, from BBC Breakfast to Never Mind the Full Stops (a BBC4 panel quiz), as well as co-hosting a one-off Downton special for BBC Radio Oxford. She has 7,000 followers on Twitter and a blog: www.jessicafellowes.com. Jessica lives happily in Oxfordshire with her husband Simon, son George, stepchildren Louis and Beatrix, an energetic Labradoodle puppy and four chickens. But she remains a Londoner at heart, the place where her high heels remain blissfully mud free.

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