Zhao Mengfu was the preeminent painter and calligrapher of the early Yuan dynasty (1279-1368). His Sheep And Goat scroll is estimated to be worth $100 million. Courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution

Fine Art

Conserving Priceless Chinese Paintings Is An Art All Its Own

The U.S. has one of the world's best collections of Chinese paintings, but only four master conservators who know how to take care of them — and they're all approaching retirement. At the Freer and Sackler Galleries in D.C., Xiangmei Gu is passing her skills on to a new generation.

Poetry

Jimmy Santiago Baca, From Prison To Poetry

Jimmy Santiago Baca began writing poetry while he was serving a five-year sentence in prison. His new anthology tells the story of his journey to becoming a celebrated Chicano poet.

Visitors use the Unemployment Insurance Phone Bank in Sacramento, Calif., on Sept. 20. Tens of thousands in the state lost federal unemployment benefits in December. Rich Pedroncelli/AP hide caption

toggle caption Rich Pedroncelli/AP

Economy

With Benefits Cut, Unemployed Take Stock Of Dwindling Options

Emergency unemployment insurance expired Dec. 28 for an estimated 1.3 million Americans. That includes more than 220,000 Californians. They responded with everything from returning Christmas presents for cash to packing up and leaving the state. Congress could still renew these emergency benefits, as they have multiple times since 2008.

Visitors use the Unemployment Insurance Phone Bank in Sacramento, Calif., on Sept. 20. Tens of thousands in the state lost federal unemployment benefits in December. Rich Pedroncelli/AP hide caption

toggle caption Rich Pedroncelli/AP

With Benefits Cut, Unemployed Take Stock Of Dwindling Options

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/259681774/259761835" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Sunwheel Dance Bruce Cockburn

Zhao Mengfu was the preeminent painter and calligrapher of the early Yuan dynasty (1279-1368). His Sheep And Goat scroll is estimated to be worth $100 million. Courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution

Conserving Priceless Chinese Paintings Is An Art All Its Own

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/247343969/259761883" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Protection Massive Attack & Tracey Thorn
Birth In Reverse St. Vincent
All I Have to Do Is Dream The Everly Brothers
Buy

Buy Featured Music

Song
All I Have to Do Is Dream
Album
Original British Singles
Artist
The Everly Brothers

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?

Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On) Robert Plant/Alison Krauss
Buy

Buy Featured Music

Song
Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On)
Album
Raising Sand
Artist
Robert Plant/Alison Krauss

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?

Cry for a Shadow John Lennon