The Best Of The Century

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Best Musical Carousel by Rodgers and Hammerstein (1945) They set the standards for the 20th century musical, and this show features their most beautiful score and the most skillful and affecting example of their musical storytelling. RUNNERS-UP Guys and Dolls by Frank Loesser, Abe Burrows and Jo Swerling; Evita by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice

Best Design The Eames molded plywood chair, designed by Charles Eames (1946)

Eames took technology created to meet a wartime need (for splints) and used it to make something elegant, light and comfortable. Much copied but never bettered. RUNNERS-UP The S-1 steam locomotive by Raymond Loewy; the Swatch watch

Best Play Six Characters in Search of an Author by Luigi Pirandello (1921)

It crystallizes the century's chief concerns of life and art: man's existential predicament, the line between illusion and reality. And it's more fun than Waiting for Godot. RUNNERS-UP Man and Superman by George Bernard Shaw; Long Day's Journey into Night by Eugene O'Neill

Best Classical Composition Symphony of Psalms

by Igor Stravinsky (1930) This reaffirmation of the glory of God begins in astringent lamentation and ends in radiant certitude. RUNNERS-UP String Quartet in F Major by Maurice Ravel; Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copland

Best Poem The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot (1922)

Filled with post-World War I disillusionment and despair, this allusive, fragmented epic became a touchstone of modern sensibility, and its haunting, haunted language sang the passing of old certainties in a century adrift. RUNNERS-UP The Second Coming by W.B. Yeats; Home Burial by Robert Frost

Best Painting The Red Studio by Henri Matisse (1911)

Matisse's great poem to the art of painting shows how, in a space brimming with red and punctuated by renderings of his own pictures, the visual becomes the lord of all the senses. RUNNERS-UP Still-Life with Chair Caning by Pablo Picasso; Dog Barking at the Moon by Joan Miro

Best Sculpture Bird in Space by Constantin Brancusi (this version c. 1941)

This totemic reduction of nature--the streamlining of a bird's body, the swish of its flight--was a prediction of the technological world to come in the second half of the century. RUNNERS-UP Guitar by Pablo Picasso; The Chariot by Alberto Giacometti

Best Building The chapel at Ronchamp, France by Le Corbusier (1955)

How do you create space for sacred ritual in a secular age? It's hard to do better than this erratically shaped church. RUNNERS-UP The Seagram Building by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe; Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright

Best Album Exodus by Bob Marley & the Wailers (1977)

Every song is a classic, from the messages of love to the anthems of revolution. But more than that, the album is a political and cultural nexus, drawing inspiration from the Third World and then giving voice to it the world over. RUNNERS-UP Kind of Blue by Miles Davis; Are You Experienced? by Jimi Hendrix

Best Photograph Place de l'Europe, Paris by Henri Cartier-Bresson (1932)

Cartier-Bresson demonstrated the strange magic in moments in which nothing much happens but all sorts of things are revealed. RUNNERS-UP Identifying the Dead, Russian Front by Dmitri Baltermants; Wall Street by Paul Strand

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