Arts 101: What do you want to know?

Have an arts related question you've always wondered about, but have been too embarrassed to ask? Never fear, "Arts 101" is here!

I have noticed the tendency of a few friends to take me aside when no one else is around, and say "Can you explain (fill in the blank) to me?"

For example, recently a colleague of mine and I had a chat about paintings. She wanted to know if a certain painting hanging on the walls of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts was "the original" or if the MIA simply owned a replica. So I explained that sometimes an artist will create a series of similar works - like Monet's haystacks - and that many museums may own an "original" that looks very much like some other museum's "original."

I have to tell you, I was thrilled that my colleague was willing to come to me with her question, and I was delighted to be able to provide her with an answer (face it, one of the great joys of journalism is being able to find out answers to people's questions - how useful!).

So consider this your "free pass" to ask any question you want about art. No question will be considered too simple! You will not be judged on the merits of your question, and I will do my best to find the right answer. And if it leads to some interesting fact-finding, it may even turn into a radio story.

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