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The Rise and Fall of Toy Theatre

In the depths of London, a “toy theatre” born in the 1800s continues to stage regular performances. In their heyday, these productions drew London’s top writers and artists, creating Victorian England’s version of the modern PR campaign. Replicas of these miniature theatres are still for sale.


Listen to “The Rise and Fall of Toy Theatre”

In 19th-century England, miniature theatrical productions were all the rage. And they weren’t just for kids—children and adults alike collected intricately printed paper cutouts of their favorite stage actors, along with paper versions of the theatres in which they performed, and acted out famous plays. Beyond just entertainment, these toy theatre kits served as the…

Pablita Velarde’s Legacy: The Pueblo Artisans of the Southwest

Among the different Indigenous cultures represented by the Southwest’s Native American tribes, some of the richest history of craftsmanship has been, and still is, practiced by the Pueblo Indians. For some of these artisans, the inspiration for carrying on came from an early artistic pioneer: a rebel painter named Pablita Velarde.

Photography by KITTY LEAKEN

Painting for Eternity

For anyone who appreciates the intricately decorated walls and ceilings found in many Old World houses of worship, some of the finest examples of the form can be found in the mosaics of Ravenna, Italy. This tradition is so central to Ravenna’s culture that the city continues to produce world-renowned mosaic artisans. One, who you will meet in this film, is an innovative artist named Francesca Fabbri.


View “Inside the Hopi Creators’ World”

Although she closed her Santa Fe gallery and retail space, Singular Couture, in 2020, artist and collector Sarah Nolan still commissions the hand-painted, one-of-a-kind silk coats for which her shop was well-known. Working with about 20 different artisans, including eight who are Native American, Nolan now showcases these wearable objets d’art from her own studio,…

Listen to “Shrine and the Art of Resilience”

Pandemic, political strife, poverty, war. In times of extreme upheaval—global or personal—can the act of art-making ease suffering and strengthen resilience?

Shrine and the Art of Resilience

Pandemic, political strife, poverty, war. In times of extreme upheaval—global or personal—can the act of art-making ease suffering and strengthen resilience? photo by Melati Citrawireja The first time I met the outsider artist known as Shrine, he was leaving for Tanzania in an hour and hadn’t packed. It was late November of 2018, and we…

Listen to “A Black Artist’s Haven on a (mostly) White Vineyard”

Martha’s Vineyard has long been seen as a summer retreat for the East Coast elite. The island’s reality, however, is a far more complex environment that has welcomed and inspired generations of Black Americans, including an artist and doll maker named Janice Frame.

Listen to “The New Sign Painters”

The commercial signs of yesteryear, which were all painted by hand, offer a kind of beauty, personality, and longevity that today’s industrial signs have been unable to duplicate. While exploring what’s left of the old sign-painting traditions, we stumbled upon small but lively seeds of revival.

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