Art & Design NPR explores the visual arts including design, photography, sculpture, and architecture. Interviews, commentary, and audio. Subscribe to the RSS feed.

Vermeer's 1663 work, Woman in Blue Reading a Letter, is back on display at the National Gallery after its first visit 20 years ago. Carola van Wijk/National Gallery of Art hide caption

toggle caption
Carola van Wijk/National Gallery of Art

Vermeer's 'Woman In Blue' Returns To D.C., Hoping For Better Luck This Time

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/448890125/452763181" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Fans Offer Legos To Ai Weiwei After Company Refuses To Donate Its Toy Bricks

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/452012144/452012145" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Visitors look at Ai Weiwei's "Trace" installation — part of the @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz series — last year on Alcatraz Island in the San Francisco Bay. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

"I struck upon this kind of crazy idea that I was going to go to New York and stop 10,000 people on the streets and take their portrait, and create kind of a photographic census of the city." Courtesy of St. Martin's Press hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of St. Martin's Press

In 10,000 Snaps Of The Shutter, A 'Photographic Census' Of A City

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/451184837/451490149" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Ceramics artist Ron Nagle says his greatest gift is his sense of humor --€” "basically because I'm a melancholy person," he says. William Pruyn/Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery hide caption

toggle caption
William Pruyn/Courtesy Matthew Marks Gallery

Pottery Winner: An Artist's Dark, Funny Oeuvre Gets Major Show

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/451176250/451403513" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

In Back to the Future Part II, Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) slips on his Nike sneakers and rides a Mattel hoverboard in front of a Texaco gas station. Courtesy of The Kobal Collection hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of The Kobal Collection

'Back To The Future Part 2': Designing A Future For 30 Years Ago

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/450009076/450175933" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Stacks of bowls in the company's signature colors, like "sand" and "light grey whale." Mandalit del Barco/NPR hide caption

toggle caption
Mandalit del Barco/NPR

Cooper Hewitt Honors Colorful California Ceramics Company

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/448957821/448981090" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The entrance to the main building of Japan's iconic Hotel Okura in Tokyo. An outcry from architectural preservationists couldn't stop the demolition to make way for a high-rise tower. Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images

Workers Are Tearing Down Tokyo's Hotel Okura, And History's Going With It

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/445535236/447911270" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The certificate for 2014 Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, with original artwork by Ruth Elisiv Ekeland. Ruth Elisiv Ekeland/Courtesy of and copyright (c) The Nobel Foundation hide caption

toggle caption
Ruth Elisiv Ekeland/Courtesy of and copyright (c) The Nobel Foundation
Audio is no longer available

Alder branches form a bridge in a Dumfriesshire, Scotland, stream. (Jan. 17, 2014) Andy Goldsworthy/ Abrams hide caption

toggle caption
Andy Goldsworthy/ Abrams

Sculptor Turns Rain, Ice And Trees Into 'Ephemeral Works'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/446731282/446931348" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Dmitri Vrubel's painting of the Soviet Union's Leonid Brezhnev and East Germany's Erich Honecker kissing — under a Russian phrase that reads, "My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love" — is a popular part of the East Side Gallery. Adam Berry/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Adam Berry/Getty Images

Everything at the brand new Cultural Center in downtown Buenos Aires is free — from art installations to symphony concerts. "Culture is an investment for this government, not an expense," says Culture Minister Teresa Parodi. Centro Cultural Kirchner hide caption

toggle caption
Centro Cultural Kirchner

In Argentina, Where Culture Is 'A Right,' A Free New Arts Center Opens

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/442664722/446104531" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Shahzia Sikander, pictured here, created the film Parallax (also pictured) to explore the layers of history and change that are remaking parts of the Middle East and South Asia. Courtesy of Shahzia Sikander hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of Shahzia Sikander

Breaking The Mold: Artist's Modern Miniatures Remix Islamic Art

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/445291163/445346862" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript