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Frank Browning
Frank Browning is based in Paris, France, and reports for NPR. He provides news coverage of France and the European Union as well as cultural reporting and essays.

In 1983, Browning joined NPR's National Desk covering everything from Neo-Nazis in the Midwest to ancient apple forests in Kazakhstan, the dilemmas facing small tobacco farmers in Kentucky to the cultural contradictions facing African musicians in France. Browning, along with long-time NPR reporter Brenda Wilson, coordinated and reported a special 16-part series on AIDS in black America. The series, which aired in 1990 won a DuPont-Columbia award and a Major Armstrong award the following year. The next year he was honored with another Armstrong award for a five-part series on AIDS and sexuality in Brazil.

Throughout his career, Browning has worked in radio, television and print journalism. Stories and reporting have taken him all over the world including Brazil, Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, Netherlands, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, Sweden and Switzerland. Browning worked on three documentary projects for Italy's RAI 3 channel: "AIDS: The San Francisco Model" (1990), "War Comes to Twin Peaks: Perceptions of the Gulf War in the Pacific Northwest" (1991), and "American Politics After 9/11" (2002).

Before coming to NPR, Browning was an editor and writer for Ramparts, Inquiry andPacific News Service, all in San Francisco. He has worked as an independent journalist for publications including The Washington Post, National Geographic, Playboy, Health, California and Gourmet.

Browning earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors from the University of Michigan. He was a Knight Fellow at the University of Michigan in 1985-86. Browning moved to France in 2001, and is the author of seven books including The American Way of Crime,The Culture of Desire and Apples: Story of the Fruit of Temptation.

Entries by Frank Browning

Bather's Delights

(0) Comments | Posted March 3, 2015 | 8:46 AM


Phhwww! February has gone away. The Seine is turning blue again. And despite the looming Ides of March, the love of beautiful bodies is returning to Paris--at least in this city's more interesting galleries. First and most interesting is La Toilette: The...

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Body Talk: African Sexuality & Womanism

(0) Comments | Posted February 18, 2015 | 4:41 PM


Brussels--Six African women artists talk about bodies, sexuality and gender: it's not your everyday show--gathered together in the heart of the bureaucratic capital of Europe--under the rubric Body Talk at the Wiels Center of Contemporary Art. Not only are the works seductively provocative,...

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Marchons! Marchons! For Liberty and Remembrance

(0) Comments | Posted January 12, 2015 | 7:26 AM

For more than 45 years, I have gone to demonstrations in support of peace and freedom, but never have I seen, felt, or heard anything like today's march in Paris, organized on two days' notice in support of free expression and as...

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Versailles: Gold & Marble Dappled by Death

(0) Comments | Posted January 6, 2015 | 8:14 AM


What to do with Versailles?

Arguably this great gilded temple to the unforgiveable excess of French royalty out-glitters all its ancien regime competitors. Tapestries. Marbles. Porphyrie. Filigreed furniture. Jewels. Crystal. Parquet meant only for the softest of slippers. If you...

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Coloring Outside the Lines... A Forgotten Modern Master

(3) Comments | Posted December 30, 2014 | 5:02 PM

"Brotherhood of Red and Gray," 1961 Image (c) F.Deval

BORDEAUX, France -- Here on the shortest, darkest day of the year it felt like Spring while the rest of France shivered under frost. Yet inside Bourdeaux's grand Beaux Arts museum, another Spring...

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Sculpture of War's Remembrance

(0) Comments | Posted December 17, 2014 | 3:00 PM

Photo courtesy of Yann Toma © 2014

Most monuments that commemorate the memory of war dwell on glory--glory won, glory lost, and the sacrifices made by the patriot sons.

As this year ends, a century after the beginning of The Great War...

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She's Beautiful When She's Angry

(2) Comments | Posted December 4, 2014 | 5:51 PM

It was a foggy day in San Francisco when a friend suggested I tag along to a private screening of a new film by a documentary maker I'd never heard of, Mary Dore. The subject: the birth of modern feminism. I was just exiting jet lag, an old friend was...

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Renzo Piano's Fondation Pathé: A Leaping Whale in a Tiny Pool

(0) Comments | Posted September 15, 2014 | 6:28 PM

All Photos by Frank Browning

Renzo Piano, notwithstanding his Pritzker Prize, seems a gentle man as his name might suggest. He speaks in a soft voice and listens carefully to the questions posed to him. It was especially so at the inauguration...

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Paris's Newest Galerie Glitter

(0) Comments | Posted July 9, 2014 | 10:43 AM


Here's the problem: Whadya do when you own the most elegant department store in the world, which happens also to be the second biggest tourist draw in Paris, and you're stuck with a non-descript 19th century building...

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The Chateau That Sugar Built: Seven Deadly Sins

(0) Comments | Posted June 17, 2014 | 6:11 PM

Every year for the last seventeen, France's grand Chateau Chaumont celebrates several of the world's most creative gardeners and landscape designers with a monumental garden festival that aims to blend contemporary art with flowers, shrubs, herbs and sculpture--all engaged on a single...

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Toulouse This Summer?

(0) Comments | Posted June 3, 2014 | 6:16 PM

Think of San Francisco in 1963, but replace the steep hills and the chilling fog with bright sun, a winding river and an ancient barge canal. That is Toulouse, possibly the friendliest town in southern France and the host to one of the country's most interesting and wide-ranging international art...

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War -- Art -- Peace: II

(1) Comments | Posted May 29, 2014 | 3:20 PM

War Art Peace: II

Ronald L. Haeberle, 1970, Museum of Modern Art, New York

People have written recently that the standoff between Vladimir Putin and Barrack Obama over Ukraine has placed the world in greater danger of nuclear war than at any moment...

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War - Art - Peace: I

(0) Comments | Posted May 15, 2014 | 6:33 PM


War is in the air again.

Be it in Ukraine, surrounded by the second largest stash of nuclear weapons on earth outside the U.S., or among the legions of child soldiers in Somalia, Congo and Sudan, or with bad luck, back on the...

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The Art of Food and Rest Beneath the Northern Sun

(1) Comments | Posted April 3, 2014 | 11:02 AM


When darkness fades in the North, those of us in the Middle Zones frequently twist our heads upward towards the 60th parallel: the ski slopes are still crisp and powdery while crocuses have popped up and the spring cod rush is...

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Paparazzi: Was It Rape?

(0) Comments | Posted March 12, 2014 | 11:13 AM

Photo (c) Jean Pigozzi/Centre Pompidou-Metz

Was it rape?

Or was it art? And when?

A strange and strangely provocative spring exhibit on the century long history of Star Photography and photographers -- or Paparazzi as Frederico Fellinni named them --...

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Kitsch, Cons and Cameras: Rescuing Paris' Panthéon

(0) Comments | Posted March 3, 2014 | 4:02 PM


Outside it was raining, but down deep in the crypt it was merely chilly. The slightly fey, round-spectacled chief of historic monuments, and the kindly young hipster "artist" in shades and a plastic hat explained to the mostly docile klatch...

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Dreams of Our Living Ghosts

(0) Comments | Posted February 24, 2014 | 4:44 PM

Photo: Palais de Tokyo

Travel agencies are cranking up for the summer season, and Paris as always is high on visitors' lists. The usual stuff will always be here: domes, towers, bridges, palaces. But those who dare to dance with their...

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James Reich: Bomblasting Through the Age of Nuclear Folly

(0) Comments | Posted February 5, 2014 | 12:26 PM


Bombshell by James Reich, Softskull 2013; I, Judas by James Reich, Softskull 2011

Though I made my first visit to San Francisco's Tenderloin District about the same time that Valerie Solanas was drafting her famous uber-feminist SCUM Manifesto, we never crossed...

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Power Loses Its Erection & Horses Fly Free

(0) Comments | Posted January 24, 2014 | 9:29 AM

Why shouldn't Imperial Lions play like kittens as they make mischief with the world?

And what would happen if all the steel and stone horses that bore our hallowed soldiers, presidents and dictators bolted out from under their riders?

--Photo by Frank...

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Art Saves A City III: Taking the Louvre into Mine

(0) Comments | Posted December 10, 2013 | 11:40 AM


Lens, France --

"Why would we print an article on an archaeological exhibit of 3000 year old vases in a museum in a dead mining town?" That's the reaction one of my fellow journalists got from a major weekly magazine concerning the...

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