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.
November 1, 2011 "She was simply the center of my life," says Joan Didion, whose daughter, Quintana Roo Dunne, died at age 39. Her death came just two years after the death of Didion's husband, John Gregory Dunne. "We all survive more than we think we can," Didion tells NPR's Susan Stamberg.
September 26, 2011 The National Gallery of Art showcases 80 early-'60s Andy Warhol works, all on the theme of newspapers and celebrity. In prints, paintings and drawings, the pop-art icon methodically reproduced tabloid headlines, interrogating the relationship between publications and their readers.
September 9, 2011 Exquisite creations for the world's top designers are in the works at a 130-year-old embroidery studio in Paris. At Maison Lesage, a small army of highly skilled sewers — affectionately called petites mains, or "little hands" — draw, sew and embroider for the biggest names in fashion.