Before there were fruit patents, there were pictures. Shown here is The Red Astrachan apple.

How to Trademark a Fruit

To protect the fruits of their labor and thwart "plant thieves," early American growers enlisted artists

Through September 5, the National Portrait Gallery is displaying 60 paintings on loan from private collections in Washington, D.C. Among the portraits is that of Judith Martin, better known as advice columnist "Miss Manners."

Q and A with Miss Manners

The columnist talks about how her portraiture collection reflects culture’s stance on etiquette

After 28 months, Vincenzo Perugia was arrested for the theft of the Mona Lisa. Shown here is the transfer of the painting from the Italian Ministry of Public Instruction to France.

Stolen: How the Mona Lisa Became the World’s Most Famous Painting

One hundred years ago, a heist by a worker at the Louvre secured Leonardo’s painting as an art world icon

The Peacock Room, named for the birds James McNeill Whistler painted on its shutters and walls, reflects the tension between the artist and his first significant patron.

The Story Behind the Peacock Room's Princess

How a portrait sparked a battle between an artist–James McNeill Whistler—and his patron–Frederick R. Leyland

American artist George Ault had the ability in his paintings to take specific locations in Woodstock, New York, where he lived from 1937 until his death in 1948, and make them seem universal. Shown here is Ault's Daylight at Russell's Corners, 1944.

George Ault’s World

Structured with simple lines and vivid colors, the paintings of George Aultcaptured the chaotic 1940s in a unique way

Curator John Marciari discovered the Velázquez painting in a Yale storeroom and calls The Education of the Virgin "the most significant addition to the artist's work in a century or more."

A Velázquez in the Cellar?

Sorting through old canvases in a storeroom, a Yale curator discovered a painting believed to be by the Spanish master

Wayne Thiebaud may be best known for confections, but friends and critics point to his underappreciated depths.

Wayne Thiebaud Is Not a Pop Artist

He's best known for his bright paintings of pastries and cakes, but they represent only a slice of the American master's work

Camilo José Vergara began photographing art in poor urban areas in the 1970s. He soon realized that one of the most prevalent figures in the artworks was Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. by Mural

Photographer Camilo José Vergara captures varying portrayals of the civil rights leader in urban areas across the United States

In his last ten weeks of life, Vincent Van Gogh experienced a period of unprecedented productivity. A new book compiles paintings produced during that time.

The Woman Who Brought Van Gogh to the World

Art lovers have Vincent van Gogh’s sister-in-law to credit for introducing the impressionist’s work to the world

"We had 12,000 to 15,000 paintings here," says Georges Nader Jr., with a Paul Tanis work at the remains of his family's house and museum near Port-au-Prince.

In Haiti, the Art of Resilience

Within weeks of January's devastating earthquake, Haiti's surviving painters and sculptors were taking solace from their work


About This Painting

Field Beach, c. 1850s, Mary Blood Mellen.

The Grand Women Artists of the Hudson River School

Unknown and forgotten to history, these painters of America's great landscapes are finally getting their due in a new exhibition

Well before his discovery of penicillin, Alexander Fleming was a member of the Chelsea Arts Club. Less well known is that he also painted with living organisms.

Painting With Penicillin: Alexander Fleming's Germ Art

The scientist created works of art using microbes, but did his artwork help lead him to his greatest discovery?

Movie Starlet and Reporters, Norman Rockwell, 1936.

Norman Rockwell’s Storytelling Lessons

George Lucas and Stephen Spielberg found inspiration for their films in the work of one of America’s most cherished illustrators

Worry over the exquisite art—including an image of the protector goddess Tara—has fueled photographer Aditya Arya's efforts.

Glimpses of the Lost World of Alchi

Threatened Buddhist art at a 900-year-old monastery high in the Indian Himalayas sheds light on a fabled civilization

In 1972, with assistance from an art teacher, 11 men formed a cooperative called Papunya Tula Artists.  By 1974 the group had grown to 40.

Contemporary Aboriginal Art

Rare artworks from an unsurpassed collection evoke the inner lives and secret rites of Australia’s indigenous people

Norman Rockwell recruited Stockbridge neighbors, including state trooper Richard Clemens and 8-year-old Eddie Locke, to model for The Runaway.

Norman Rockwell's Neighborhood

A new book offers a revealing look at how the artist created his homey illustrations for The Saturday Evening Post

After Xiangmei Gu takes off the backing, she saves the brittle fragments in her record books, which date back two decades and line the shelves in her office.

Restoring Artwork to its Former Glory

With a steady hand, Xiangmei Gu wields paintbrushes and tweezers as the Smithsonian's only conservator of Chinese paintings

Amy Herman at the Metropolitan Museum with Sargent's Madame X asks her class of cops, "How would you describe this woman in one sentence?"

Teaching Cops to See

At New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art, Amy Herman schools police in the fine art of deductive observation

Katz (today, in SoHo) pursued figurative painting even in the 1950s, when Abstract Expressionism was at its height.

Alex Katz Is Cooler Than Ever

At 82, the pathbreaking painter known for stylized figurative works has never been in more demand

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