230 Cultural Icons: A New Collection

Time to roll out a new media col­lec­tion — a big col­lec­tion of Cul­tur­al Icons. Here you will find great writ­ers, daz­zling film­mak­ers and musi­cians, bril­liant philoso­phers and sci­en­tists — fig­ures who have changed our cul­tur­al land­scape through­out the years. You’ll see them in video, or hear their voic­es in audio.

The list cur­rent­ly fea­tures 230 icons, all speak­ing in their own words. The col­lec­tion will inevitably grow as we add more mate­r­i­al, or as you send sug­ges­tions our way. For now, how about we whet your appetite with 10 favorites? Then you can rum­mage through the full col­lec­tion of Cul­tur­al Icons here.

(Note: Down the road, you can access this col­lec­tion by click­ing “Cul­tur­al Icons” in the top nav­i­ga­tion bar.)

Sal­vador Dali Video – Sur­re­al­ist artist appears on “What’s My Line?” (1952)

John­ny Depp Video – The ver­sa­tile actor reads a let­ter from Gonzo jour­nal­ist Hunter S. Thomp­son.

Anne Frank Video – It is the only known footage of Anne Frank, author of the world’s most famous diary, and it’s now online.

Pat­ti Smith — Video — The “god­moth­er of punk” recalls her friend­ship with artist Robert Map­plethor­pe.

Quentin Taran­ti­no Video – Pulp Fic­tion direc­tor lists his favorites films since 1992.

Leo Tol­stoy – Video – Great footage of the last days of the tow­er­ing Russ­ian nov­el­ist. 1910.

Mark Twain – Video – America’s fabled writer cap­tured on film by Thomas Edi­son in 1909.

Andy Warhol Video – In 1979, Warhol cre­at­ed pub­lic access tele­vi­sion pro­grams. In this episode, he chats with Bian­ca Jag­ger & Steven Spiel­berg.

Tom Waits Video – The raspy singer reads “The Laugh­ing Heart” by Charles Bukows­ki.

Vir­ginia Woolf — Audio — Record­ing comes from a 1937 BBC radio broad­cast. The talk, enti­tled “Crafts­man­ship,” was part of a series called “Words Fail Me.” The only known record­ing of her voice.

Get the rest here. Don’t miss us on Face­book and Twit­ter!


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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.