Arts Agenda: As the calendar turns, two new art spaces open in New York

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The new year welcomes two new arts spaces in New York, exhibitions on historical figures and museum shows featuring complete works in specific genres of two noted Impressionists.

Domestic

Albany, N.Y. -- The Albany Institute of History & Art celebrates the 200th anniversary of a famous steamboat voyage in "Full Steam Ahead: Robert Fulton and the age of Steamboats" through Jan. 28.

 

Atlanta -- The spiritual significance of outstanding works of African art is explored in "Embodying the Sacred in Yoruba Art" at the High Museum of Art through April 20.

Boca Raton, Fla. -- "Degas in Bronze: The Complete Sculptures," at the Boca Raton Museum of Art from Jan. 25 to April 27, offers viewers the rare opportunity to see 75 works cast in bronze from the original models, including Edgar Degas' famed ballet dancers.

Breckenridge, Colo. -- With winter in full blast, some 30,000 viewers will be drawn to the Riverwalk Center in the heart of town for the Budweiser Select International Snow Sculpture Championships from Jan. 22 to 27. Fourteen teams from around the world will create snow sculptures from 12-foot-high, 20-ton blocks of machine-made snow.

Chicago -- The life and work of a noted scientist and educator comes to life in "George Washington Carver" at the Field Museum from Feb. 1 to July 6.

In the spirit of winter, Millennium Park features "Paintings Below Zero," Canadian artist Gordon Halloran's site-specific work of abstract paintings on an ice wall 95 feet long and 12 feet high, Feb. 1 to 29.

New York -- The Metropolitan Museum of Art is celebrating the reopening of its recently renovated 19th and Early 20th Century European Paintings and Sculpture Galleries, featuring all of the museum's 19th century European paintings as well as important works by such early modern artists as Henri Matisse, Amedeo Modigliani  and Pablo Picasso.

The New Museum of Contemporary Art has unveiled its new building on the Bowery with "Unmonumental: The Object in the 21st Century," which runs through March 23.

The Museum of Modern Art showcases "New Perspectives in Latin American Art, 1930-2006: Selections from a Decade of Acquisitions" though Feb. 25. 

The New-York Historical Society looks at America's first modern artists and their views of life in New York in "Life's Pleasures: The Ashcan Artists' Brush with Leisure, 1895-1925." This exhibit and a complementary showing, "Advertising in the Age of the Ashcan Artists," run through Feb. 10. The Society also examines a hero's triumphant revisit to this country in "French Founding Father: Lafayette's Return to Washington's America" through Aug. 10. 

Masterpieces of Italian Renaissance drawings are the attraction at the Morgan Library & Museum's exhibition, "Michelangelo, Vasari and Their Contemporaries: Drawings from the Uffizi," from Jan. 25 to April 20.

The Morgan moves to contemporary times in "Close Encounters: Irving Penn's Portraits of Artists and Writers" from Jan. 18 to April 13.

"Archive Fever: Uses of the Document in Contemporary Art," at the International Center of Photography from Jan. 18 to May 4, looks at ways artists have interpreted, appropriated and reconfigured archival materials.

A theatrical event at the Brooklyn Academy of Music from Jan. 8 to Feb. 22 features actress Fiona Shaw in the National Theatre of Great Britain's production of Samuel Beckett's "Happy Days."  

Phoenix -- "Masterpiece Replayed: Monet, Matisse and More," at the Phoenix Art Museum from Jan. 20 to May 4, shows how and why such 19th century French artists as Edgar Degas, Paul Cezanne, Claude Monet and Henri Matisse repeated themselves and returned to a specific theme in their work. Through March 9 the museum also features "Illuminated Manuscripts," an exhibition spanning works from more than 1,300 years. 

One of the six officially sanctioned events in the Super Celebration Series leading up to the Super Bowl XLII is the Arizona Indian Festival at Steele Indian School Park from Jan. 18 to 20.

Portland, Maine -- The work of a sculptor who uses nails, brads and spikes in his work is featured in "Bright Common Spikes: The Sculpture of John Bisbee" at the Portland Museum of Art from Jan. 24 to March 23.

Santa Barbara, Calif. -- The first International Percussion Festival, hosted by the Santa Barbara Symphony and held at sites throughout the city from Jan. 12 to 29, includes virtually every kind of percussion music and features top artists in performances, master classes and workshops.

Sarasota, Fla. -- Three decades of work are featured in "Grandma Moses: Grandmother to the Nation" at the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art from Jan. 26 to April 20.

Savannah, Ga. -- Savannah State University hosts the 19th annual Savannah Black Heritage Festival from Jan. 26 to Feb. 29. The event's daily programs feature music, dance, theater and art exhibitions.

Tacoma, Wash. -- "Renoir as Printmaker: The Complete Works, 1872-1912," at the Tacoma Art Museum from Jan. 17 to June 29, features all 25 etchings and 35 lithographs created by the French Impressionist, along with a small group of his paintings. Shown at left, "Enfants Jouant a la balle." 

Washington -- The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts takes a detailed look at the creative input of Japanese artists in "Japan! Culture & Hyperculture," a festival running from Feb. 5 to 17.

Williamsburg, Va. -- Italian Old Master paintings are the attraction at the Muscarelle Museum of Art from Jan. 26 to March 23. "Painting the Italian Landscape: Views from the Uffizi" looks at five centuries of landscape paintings and includes works by Sandro Botticelli, including "The Adoration of the Magi" (at right); Nicolas Poussin; and Canaletto.    

International

Amsterdam -- "Barcelona 1900," an exhibition at the Van Gogh Museum that shows the artistic transformation of the Spanish city between 1880 and 1909, runs through Jan. 20.

Canary Islands -- Eight of the Canary Islands are participating in the 24th annual "Music Festival of the Canaries" from Jan. 10 to March 1. Gran Canaria and Tenerife each will host 21 performances, including appearances by mezzo-soprano Cecilia Bartoli, the Netherlands Philharmonic Symphony, the Budapest Festival Orchestra and conductors Ricardo Muti and Neville Marriner. 

Frankfurt -- The Stadel Museum looks at the work and influence of an artist who lived 500 years ago in "Cranach, the Elder" through Feb. 17.

Hong Kong -- The work of leading local designers is featured in "Fashion Attitude -- Hong Kong Fashion Design" at the Hong Kong Heritage Museum through March 31.

London -- The British Library, which recently acquired the papers of Harold Pinter, is mounting "His Own Domain: Harold Pinter, Life in the Theater" from Jan. 11 to April 13.

Middlesborough, England -- "Bauhaus: 1919-30," at the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art through Feb. 17, explores the influence of a key art movement on architects, filmmakers and designers and such artists as Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky.

Montreal -- The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts features "iCuba! Art and History from 1868 to Today" from Jan. 31 to June 8.

Quebec City -- Quebec will be a lively place to visit as the city celebrates its 400th birthday in 2008. A key event is the Quebec City Winter Carnival at the Plains of Abraham and other sites from Feb. 1 to 17. 

Rotterdam, Netherlands -- The 37th edition of the International Film Festival Rotterdam, which is being held at various sites in the city's center, runs from Jan. 23 to Feb. 3. 

St. Barts -- Jazz, opera, ballet and classical music are featured in the St. Barts Music Festival in the island's community halls and churches from Jan. 11 to 23. 

Longtime arts and tourism writer Alvin H. Reiss is editor of Arts Management and author of eight books including his latest, "The ReissSource Directory of the Arts" (AEBMedia, Chicago).

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