Arts & Culture

RSS Feed

A Century-Old Grotto That Might Out-Glitter Vegas

The Midwest is home to the largest collection of grottoes, or man-made caves, in the world. And the mother of them all — encrusted in $6 million worth of semiprecious stones — is in West Bend, Iowa, the life's work of a priest after he survived pneumonia. It turns 100 this weekend.
WAMU 88.5

Summer Libations

When the mercury is rising, few things go down as deliciously as the perfect cold summer cocktail.


Digital Domain Grapples With Fur, Feathers

A Venice, Calif., special-effects house has cornered the market on some of the most difficult FX — from rain to the human likeness. NPR's Melissa Block visits Digital Domain's artists as they grapple with their latest challenge.

A Trailblazing Black Architect Who Helped Shape L.A.

When Paul Williams decided to become an architect, people told him no white clients would work with an African-American. But he persevered, eventually designing thousands of buildings, including the Beverly Hills Hotel and homes for stars like Frank Sinatra and Lucille Ball.

Pixar's Fast And 'Brave' Female Comedy: 'Delightful'

The movie Brave is Pixar's first feature with a female protagonist — a medieval Scottish princess named Merida (voiced by Kelly MacDonald) who asserts her independence and wreaks havoc. Critic David Edelstein says the film is "pure Pixar in its mischievousness and irreverence."

Artist Protests Death Penalty By Painting Prisoners' Final Meals

For many of us, choosing our last supper on Earth is a parlor game. For some, it's real. Here's the story of death row prisoners' final meals, painted one plate at a time, by Oregon artist Julie Green.

Field Trip! Can You Stomach It?

Philadelphia's Mütter Museum has a lot of heart, and other organs too. Items in this collection of medical specimens include a gangrenous hand, a wallet made of human flesh, and a colon the size of a medium suitcase. And that's just the stuff on display, imagine what's in the basement.

Louis C.K. On Comedy, Love, Life And Loss

The comedian reflects on his award-winning TV series, his relationship with other comedians and his USO appearances.