Pablo Picasso, Frank Sinatra, James Joyce - all artists recognized for their contributions to 20th century culture. But Bart Simpson?
The cartoon hellion of the popular television sitcom, "The Simpsons," is among the 20 artists and entertainers who most influenced life in the 20th century, according to Time magazine.The magazine's criterion in making these choices was not so much greatness as influence.
"Our pell-mell 20th century wasted no time in sounding its characteristic theme in the arts. That theme was change," says executive editor Christopher Porterfield.
Two weeks after his death, Sinatra appears as a singer for the century who defined American pop with guts, loving, brawling and acting his way through life.
Picasso was both a master and a protean monster, with a hand in every art movement of the century, Time said.
And in a far more rarefied sphere, Joyce revolutionized fiction, bridging the gap between literature and reality.
And then there's Bart Simpson.
The magazine justified the offbeat choice by explaining that the cartoon character embodies a century of popular culture. An underachiever who prevails despite a lack of book smarts, Bart Simpson is an adorable brat for the ages whose qualities of character can be found in everyone from Chekhov to Lenny Bruce, Time insists.
Artist Al Hirschfeld created the magazine's June 8 cover, which features caricatures of some of the 20 personalities, including Picasso, comedian Lucille Ball, filmmaker Steven Spielberg and songwriter Bob Dylan.
Trumpeter Louis Armstrong is cited for his dazzling virtuosity which, coupled with an innovative singing style, made him the source of an original American sound. Marlon Brando changed acting with his raw honesty and brooding seduction, Time said.
Dancer Martha Graham's choreography both amazed and horrified audiences, pulling them into modern dance with techniques now taught around the world. Oprah Winfrey's compassionate, intimate style changed the television talk-show format, the magazine said.
And Jim Henson, creator of the Muppets, had a profound influence on children with such characters as Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy.
Time's list is completed with soul singer Aretha Franklin, poet T.S. Eliot, The Beatles, designer Coco Chanel, actor Charlie Chaplin, the architect Le Corbusier, the musical team of Rodgers & Hammerstein and the composer Igor Stravinsky.
Time's "People of the Century" is a two-year project with CBS News featuring television broadcasts and magazine issues celebrating the lives and legacies of the 100 people. CBS airs a program on the personalities on Thursday.
The choices were made in consultation with public figures, academics, journalists, political analysts and other experts.
Also, Time picked 10 top nonfiction books that have changed minds and lives in the past century. The list includes Alex Haley's "The Autobiography of Malcolm X," Anne Frank's "The Diary of a Young Girl," Dr. Benjamin Spock's "The Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care," Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" and Simone de Beauvoir's "The Second Sex."
In April, Time's choices for the century's top 20 leaders and revolutionaries included Adolf Hitler, Pope John Paul II, Mohandas Gandhi and Margaret Sanger.