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NPR

Making Up A History For The 'Dutch Mona Lisa'

Vermeer's famous Girl With a Pearl Earring has returned to the United States for the first time since 1995. Very little is known about the painting, so in honor of the visit, The Guardian newspaper asked its readers to come up with a backstory for the mysterious girl.
NPR

Still Life With Cheeseburger: Art That Looks Good Enough To Eat

Meet the new Dutch master: Tjaalf Sparnaay's food paintings are so gobsmacking in their level of detail, it's hard to resist the temptation to pick one up and take a bite.
NPR

Mixed Pickle: The Sweet And Sour Legacy Of Dutch Trade

What do salt, ancient Jewish pickle carts, the sometimes brutal Indonesian spice trade and Vincent Van Gogh have in common? They brought life to Dutch cuisine, specifically, the Dutch pickle.
NPR

Designing Inaugural Dresses, Not All Roses

For fashion designers, catching the eye of a first lady can be the opportunity of a lifetime. But sometimes the attention isn't all that it's cracked up to be. Host Michel Martin speaks with fashion critic Robin Givhan about the agony and ecstasy of creating inaugural gowns.
NPR

The Seedy Underbelly Of The Belle Epoque, 'Painted'

The belle epoque was not particularly belle if you were poor and female — like the young girl who modeled for Edgar Degas' famous sculpture, The Little Dancer, Aged 14. A new novel by Cathy Marie Buchanan tells the story of that girl, ballet student Marie van Goethem.
NPR

Re-Creating The 'Lost Carving' Of An English Genius

David Esterly's life was changed in the 1970s when he came across wood carvings done by Grinling Gibbons more than 300 years earlier. Esterly became a wood carver, and even re-created one of Gibbons' pieces that was destroyed in a fire.
NPR

In Australia, Trees Made Famous By Aboriginal Artist Fall To Suspected Arsonist

The "ghost gum" trees painted by Albert Namatjira became symbols of Australian identity and were soon to be put on the nation's historic register.
WAMU 88.5

Debating Government Arts Funding

As the showdown over averting the "fiscal cliff" heats up, funding for the arts isnt making headlines. But arts organizations fear big cuts, while conservatives hope to make their case for the separation of art and state. We explore the future of public arts funding.

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