Dan McKay / flickr creative commons

When I hear the word "diorama," the first thing I think of is Mr. Mack’s fifth grade class and painting hills and grass and clouds and a fence into a shoebox and making little cardboard cut outs of Lassie and the boy she loved. God, I hated that stuff.

The second thing I think of is a place like the Peabody Museum in New Haven and their incredibly, obsessively, over-the-toply detailed dioramas of the plant and wildlife of Connecticut.

Wikimedia / Creative Commons

A federal appeals court has sided with Yale University in a dispute over the ownership of a $200 million Vincent van Gogh painting.

The Dutch have landed in Boston with the Museum of Fine Arts’ new major exhibition of 75 masterpieces, titled “Class Distinctions: Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer.” Twenty-four of the works have never been displayed in the U.S. before — including a little-known portrait of a lady that proved to be a critical get for the show’s curator.

Telling A Unique Story About 17th Century Dutch Society

Mystic Aquarium

Mystic Aquarium is launching a national program to reach out to at-risk youth, and it's the result of the biggest federal grant the non-profit has ever received.

alphaville / Flickr

Justin Lifflander wanted nothing more than to become a spy for the CIA. Growing up during the Cold War, he practiced spying on friends, family, and schoolmates in preparation for what he thought would be a career full of high-tech gadgetry and secret rendezvous. When Lifflander was finally assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow in 1987, he thought his dream was coming true.

What followed was something Lifflander could never have predicted. He was a mechanic at the embassy, then an inspector of Soviet missile sights, and then a suspected American agent followed at every turn by the KGB. Lifflander found himself living in a world which very much resembled his childhood dream -- but he was never a spy.

The former estate of Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Edith Wharton is debt free for the first time in decades.

Consumer advocate and former presidential candidate Ralph Nader recently opened a museum filled with items like defective toys and unsafe machines all tied together under a unifying theme: tort law.

Unless you're a lawyer, you might not quite know the exact meaning of the word tort.

"It's a wrongful injury," Nader says. "It's a wrongful act that injures people and deserves a remedy."

The big mural on Boston’s Rose Kennedy Greenway has switched over.

For the past three years, we’ve seen three different murals on the South Station-facing exterior wall of a Department of Transportation building in Dewey Square. Now the Greenway and MIT’s List Visual Arts Center have introduced to the city a conceptual piece — and it’s not subtle.

Seven large, bright orange words — all in caps and taller than people — pop against a bright, aqua blue background. They read:

Tensions Build Amid Resignations At Kennedy Library

Sep 21, 2015

Meandering past photos of the young Kennedy clan, Jacqueline’s signature dresses, campaign posters and a replica of the oval office Kennedy used is required fare for children growing up around Boston and thousands of tourists every year.

Allen Phillips / Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art

This weekend marks the grand re-opening of the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford. 

  Norman Rockwell is still celebrated for his depiction of everyday life in America. As WAMC’s Jim Levulis found out when he met some of the people who posed for the Americana artist, the models are regular people to this day.

Part of a five-part series, called “Arts Forward

Let’s begin this look at museums in the 21st century by beaming back… to 20th century Amsterdam.

In 1952, Stedelijk Museum curator and Director Willem Sandberg introduced the first portable gallery audio tour. It was a wireless, elegant device created to enhance the visitor experience with additional content — and it was revolutionary.

gigi_nyc / Creative Commons

A dedication ceremony and unveiling on Friday morning marked the 9/11 anniversary. It took place at the “Arch of 9/11 Remembrance” at the Bartlett Arboretum and Gardens in Stamford. 

The archway is made up of 14 offspring trees cultivated from the seeds of the World Trade Center’s “Survivor Tree.” The trees are trained over an arch made of metal and bamboo. 

Updated at 2 p.m. ET

A $26 million visitor complex honoring the victims of Flight 93 was dedicated and opened to the public on Thursday. The United Airlines plane was one of four hijacked by al-Qaida on Sept. 11, 2001, and the only flight that didn't reach its target.

Passengers forced the terrorists in control of the plane to deliberately crash it in rural Pennsylvania. Forty crew and passengers were killed, along with the four hijackers.

Their presumed target was the U.S. Capitol.

An exhibit at the Berkshire Museum is showcasing the work of a photojournalist whose collections of images from nearly 100 countries have been displayed in museums around the world, including at the Louvre in Paris. An opening reception is set for Friday at 5:30.

Lydia Brown / WNPR

In her graphic memoir Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, cartoonist Roz Chast brings humor to the difficult topic of aging parents. Last year, the book earned her the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Kirkus Prize for nonfiction. Now, it's being featured alongside some of her other work as part of the Distinguished Illustrator Exhibition Series at the Norman Rockwell Museum. 

Susan Meiselas/Three Guineas Fund Project

A collaborative art installation created by ten women incarcerated at the York Correctional Institution in Niantic is now on view at the Brooklyn Museum. 


More than 25 years ago, one of the most infamous art heists in history occurred at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, Massachusetts. On Thursday, federal law enforcement officials released new surveillance video from the eve of the heist that shows a possible "dry run" of the theft.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Mystic Seaport hosted its 30th annual marathon reading of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick aboard the Charles W. Morgan last weekend, America’s oldest commercial ship still afloat. 

Meta Mourphic / Creative Commons

After a long hiatus, our Connecticut eccentricities team is back. Join us as we explore the many unique facts and details that make Connecticut… well, Connecticut. 

Which Writers Get Museums?

Jul 7, 2015
Flickr Creative Commons

Mark Twain has many literary sites; yet Henry James has none. You can visit Edith Wharton's house but not Shirley Jackson's. You can walk where Wallace Stevens walked but you can't buy a ticket to go through his front door. And can you believe there's no single museum devoted to all American writers-- yet?

New England is about to get two great new writers’ museums: The Dr. Seuss museum in Springfield, Massachusetts and-- if we're lucky-- the Maurice Sendak Museum in Ridgefield, Connecticut. Today we look at who gets a writer's house and why-- and what sort of experience we’re looking for when we make pilgrimages to the desks of our literary heroes.

A. Vincent Scarano

New London's Hygienic Art opens a new multimedia exhibit Friday night. 

Office of Rep. Joseph D. Courtney

A deep diving submarine that was once one of the most secretive vessels in the U.S. fleet is now part of a permanent installation at the Connecticut Submarine Force Museum.

Rep. Joe Courtney and Chief of Naval Operations Jonathan Greenert attended Wednesday’s ribbon cutting ceremony for the NR-1 submarine exhibit in Groton.

JOC Peter D. Sundberg / Public Domain

The Navy's top officer is expected to visit Connecticut this week for a ceremony to introduce a new exhibit at the Submarine Force Museum in Groton.

Admiral Jonathan Greenert will be the guest speaker at Wednesday's ribbon-cutting for the outdoor exhibit dedicated to submarine NR-1. 

Sage Ross / Creative Commons

Ralph Nader has appointed a trial lawyer as director of the planned American Museum of Tort Law set to open in the activist and consumer advocate's home town of Winsted, Connecticut.

Nader said Tuesday that Richard L. Newman will oversee the museum, which is intended to broaden public understanding of civil law and issues such as health and consumer protections.


A U.N. envoy to Syria this week has condemned what he calls the “unacceptable" use of barrel bombs by the Assad regime. On Monday, an important cultural heritage site was the target of one of those bombs.

reibai / Creative Commons

Once one of the most important cultural centers of the ancient world, the Syrian city of Palmyra has now found itself in the midst of a cultural crisis. Last month, the city was seized by the self-proclaimed Islamic State, raising concerns about the security of its ancient temples and artifacts. 

It's a warning sign at art museums around the world: "Don't touch the artwork."

But Spain's famous Prado Museum is changing that, with an exhibit where visitors are not only allowed to touch the paintings — they're encouraged to do so.

The Prado has made 3-D copies of some of the most renowned works in its collection — including those by Francisco Goya, Diego Velazquez and El Greco — to allow blind people to feel them.

It's a special exhibit for those who normally can't enjoy paintings.

The Whitney Museum of American Art has never stayed in one place for long. It has had four different homes in its 84-year history — the latest a $422 million glass-and-steel construction that recently opened in Manhattan's Meatpacking District — and each of those homes speaks to a particular moment in the evolution of American art and museum culture.

Banning Eyre

If you listen closely to the music of Thomas Mapfumo, you will hear the pulse of Zimbabwe. It’s a sound unlike any other, driven by decades of struggle, brutality, and cultural sabotage.