May 17, 2012 At Washington, D.C.'s Kreeger Museum, seniors and students are paired together to enjoy the art — and each other's company. "The goal is to make people feel better and to give them a pleasant experience in the moment. That's all there is, really," says program head Derya Samadi.
May 3, 2012 For three decades, the Smithsonian Institution has been collecting work by African-American artists, work that is now on display at the American Art Museum in Washington, D.C. The exhibition offers a wide-ranging and colorful view of African-American life.
March 2, 2012 Richard Diebenkorn's studio stood next to the Pacific Ocean, but he was more interested in light than water. For 20-plus years, Diebenkorn worked on 145 paintings — incandescent, geometric canvases that captured the soft, pale light of Southern California.
February 24, 2012 Life is a collection of "extraordinarily ordinary moments," says the Academy Award-winning director, if only people would "wake up and pay attention to how beautiful it all is." Payne's latest film, The Descendants, puts the power of everyday moments to use, and is nominated for five Oscars.
February 23, 2012 Filmmakers rely on private screening rooms to show their unfinished films to invite-only audiences. NPR's Susan Stamberg visits one screening room on Rodeo Drive, run by 97-year-old Charles Aidikoff and his grandson Josh. Four generations of Aidikoffs have worked in the projection business.
January 9, 2012 Every four years in January, Washington plays host to the country's biggest "prom." Inaugural balls bring out happy winners, administration bigwigs and a gown — on the first lady — that will become part of history. A Smithsonian exhibition displays some of those gowns.
December 19, 2011 A new exhibit at the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., features photos of Cixi, a teenage concubine turned empress who ruled China for 43 years. The portraits were taken as a diplomatic effort — an attempt to revive the reputation of a dying dynasty.
December 9, 2011 Susan Stamberg gathers recommendations for the season's best books from independent booksellers Lucia Silva, Rona Brinlee and Daniel Goldin. This winter, their top picks range in subject from toasters to typeface, odd bookmarks to old Volkswagens, department stores to pasta design.
November 10, 2011 In the early 1900s, Gertrude Stein and her brothers filled their Paris apartments with avant-garde art. The Steins bought paintings right out of the studios of young, scandalous artists — Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and others — who met and mingled at the Steins' salons.