Arts Agenda: Artists relationships, offbeat themes typify museum offerings


The relationship between great artists is the common theme of several current museum exhibits. Artists whose work is featured in new exhibits include Goya, Rodin, Christo, Tiffany and Audubon, and exhibit topics include such diverse themes as chess, slavery, songs and the comics.


Atlanta -- Visitors to the High Museum of Art have a double treat awaiting them. Andrew Wyeth: Memory and Magic, through Feb. 25, is a retrospective exhibition covering 70 years of the noted American artists career.

The November opening coincides with another opening: The museums three building, 177,000-square-foot expansion designed by a well-known architect who himself is the subject of another museum exhibit. Celebrate Architecture! Renzo Piano & Building Workshop runs through April 2.

Baltimore -- Russias oldest medieval city is on display in Sacred Arts and City Life: The Glory of Medieval Novgorod. The exhibit at the Walters Art Museum from Nov. 19 to Jan. 15, which traces the citys history from the ninth to the 14th century, includes sculpture, icons, jewelry, metalwork and archeological finds.  

Boca Raton, Fla. -- Fashion-conscious visitors will enjoy Fashioning Art: Handbags by Judith Leiber at the Boca Raton Museum of Art through Dec. 31, a retrospective of the designers work from 1964 to 1998. Book lovers can explore a second museum exhibit: Ernest Hemingway and Walker Evans: Three Weeks in Cuba, 1933 through Nov. 20.

Chicago -- The Museum of Contemporary Art focuses on Tropicalia: A Revolution in Brazilian Culture, through Jan. 8. The exhibition looks at the art, music, films and fashion during the late 60s, a period of cultural groundbreaking in Brazil.

Cleveland -- An important traveling exhibit, The Arts & Crafts Movement in Europe and America, 1880-1920: Design for the Modern World, finds a home at the Cleveland Museum of Art through Jan. 8.

Dallas -- Dialogues: Duchamp, Cornell, Johns and Rauschenberg at the Dallas Museum of Art through Jan. 6, explores the interactions of four major 20th century artists.

Detroit -- Through photographs and correspondence and more 100 of the major works they created, Camille Claudel and Rodin: Fateful Encounter at the Detroit Institute of Arts through Feb. 5 looks closely at the personal relationship of two leading French sculptors.

Katonah, N.Y. -- Artists who find their inspiration through the use of everyday materials to achieve unusual results are the focus of Over + Over: Passion for Process at the Katonah Museum of Art through Jan. 1.

Los Angeles -- Fifteen artists who shaped the development of an art enjoyed by many are the focus of an-depth exhibit, Masters of 20th Century American Comics. The joint exhibition of the Hammer Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art runs from Nov. 20 to March 12.

New York -- Theres always something new and different in the Big Apples museums, and this month is no exception.

Darwin, a follow-up to prior American Museum of Natural History exhibitions on such great scientists and thinkers as Einstein and da Vinci, lays claim to presenting the most in-depth look ever offered on a man of giant talents. The exhibition, from Nov. 19 to May 29, will include a reconstruction of Darwins study along with actual fossil specimens he collected and will address the controversy surrounding his theory of evolution.

A fascinating exhibit that takes over the entire first floor of the New York Historical Society focuses on a subject little-known but historically significant. Slavery in New York, through March 5, looks closely at virtually every aspect of an industry that flourished in New York during the 17th and 18th centuries.

The Museum of Modern Art presents its first major exhibition on design since its reopening a year ago in Safe: Design Takes on Risk, on view through Jan. 2.

The topic may seem alien to a museum exhibition, but The Imagery of Chess Revisited, at the Noguchi Museum in Queens through March 5, is very much on target. The exhibit helps to re-create a famed exhibition of the 40s with chess sets designed by such top artists as Marcel Duchamp and Max Ernst. Twelve of the 13 chess sets from the original exhibit are included along with many of the paintings and sculptures dealing with chess. 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art features Clouet to Seurat: French Drawings from the British Museum  from Nov. 8 to Jan. 29.

Oscar Bluemner: A Passion for Color at the Whitney Museum through Feb. 12, is a retrospective of the work of one of the major figures in early 20th-century art.

Philadelphia -- The work of one of the great landscape painters of the Dutch Golden Age is featured in Jacob Van Ruisdael: Master of the Landscape at the Philadelphia Museum of Art through Feb. 5. 

Just when bird flu was beginning to give our fine feathered friends a bad name, along comes the antidote for all that negative PR: Audubons Dream Realized: Selections From The Birds of America at Washingtons National Gallery of Art through April 16. At left, John James Audubons American Flamingo.San Francisco -- An exhibit you can hum your way through, Show Business: Irving Berlins Broadway, is the attraction  at the San Francisco Performing Arts Library and Museum through Dec. 19.

Seattle -- More than 100 works of glass will be featured in the Seattle Art Museums Louis Comfort Tiffany, Artist for the Ages through Jan. 4.   

Washington -- Audubons Dream Realized: Selections from The Birds of America at the National Gallery of Art through April 16, features 47 of the artists hand-colored etchings.


Gothenberg, Sweden -- The holiday season isnt too far off, and Swedens largest holiday market, at the Liseberg Amusement Park, is getting ready for visitors. Running from Nov. 18 to Dec. 23, the fair features handicrafts, music and three miles of lights.

Paris -- The short-lived but influential Dada movement comes to life at the George Pompidou Center in the exhibit Dada, through Jan. 9.

Passau, Germany -- Christo and Jeanne-Claude, who created the news-making project, The Gates in New Yorks Central Park earlier this year, are the focus of an exhibition about their past and their upcoming work, including plans to suspend luminous fabric panels over 6.7 miles of the Arkansas River in Colorado.

The Museum Moderner Kunst features Christo and Jeanne-Claudes Projects of the Late 90s and Over the River through Dec. 4.

Toronto -- The focus is on artistic footwear in a Bata Shoe Museum exhibit through Aug. 31, Icons of Elegance: Influential Shoe Designers of the 20th Century.

Vienna -- The Leopold Museum features Impressionist Works From the Paris Musee dOrsay through Jan. 6.

An artist who has been called the Prophet of Modernism is featured in the Kunsthhistorisches Museum exhibit through Jan. 8, Francisco de Goya: 1748-1828.

Long-time arts and tourism writer Alvin H. Reiss is editor of Arts Management and editor of the Travel Arts Partnership Newsletter (TAP), which is published by Museums Magazine, the Arts & Business Council and the Art Knowledge Corp. For more details visit

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