Metsu's 1664 painting A Man Writing a Letter depicts a handsome young scribe penning his correspondence in an opulent study. Roy Hewson/National Gallery of Ireland hide caption

itoggle caption Roy Hewson/National Gallery of Ireland

A painter touches up one of the bridge's cables. When it came time to decide the paint color for the bridge, consulting architect Irving Morrow wanted a warm hue to contrast with the cool grays, blues and greens of San Francisco Bay. Courtesy of hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of

Maggy Rozycki Hiltner's Hothouse Flowers, made of found fabrics, is one of many works on display in the Textile Museum's Green: The Color and the Cause exhibit in Washington, D.C. Click here to see the full textile. Virginia Spragg/ hide caption

itoggle caption Virginia Spragg/

By the time Gauguin arrived in the late 1800s, Tahiti had been "thoroughly Christianized and colonized" by the French, says National Gallery curator Mary Morton. Women didn't walk around half-nude — but Gauguin painted them that way anyway. Above, an 1899 depiction of Two Tahitian Women. The Metropolitan Museum of Art hide caption

itoggle caption The Metropolitan Museum of Art

A woman dressed in rags is the subject of Tattered and Torn by Alfred Kappes. Oil on canvas, 1886. Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, Mass hide caption

itoggle caption Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, Mass

Rudolph Valentino once entertained girlfriends (and boyfriends) in Room 1202 of L.A.'s Alexandria Hotel. Location manager Doug Dresser scouted the surreal space a decade ago — and recently took NPR's Susan Stamberg back for a visit. Courtesy Doug Dresser hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy Doug Dresser

Portrait of a Boy is one of three Rembrandt paintings in Simon's collection. If Simon had had his way, there would have been four; the Metropolitan Museum of Art outbid him for Aristotle Contemplating the Bust of Homer. The Norton Simon Foundation hide caption

itoggle caption The Norton Simon Foundation

When Atlanta burns in Gone with the Wind, what you're actually seeing is leftover sets from King Kong and The Garden of Allah set aflame in a lot in Culver City, Calif. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer hide caption

itoggle caption Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

From the exhibition "Fresh Flowers," a drawing created by artist David Hockney with the creative tool that's been fascinating him lately -- the iPad. Untitled, 10 July 2010 is one of hundreds of digital works showing on 40 screens in the Paris exhibition, which runs through Jan. 30. David Hockney hide caption

itoggle caption David Hockney