Exhibitions, festivals and special events focusing on aspects of
Americana top the upcoming cultural agenda. Here is a sampling:
• Albany, N.Y. -- Railroad and history buffs will enjoy the new
exhibition at the Albany Institute of History and Art, "All Aboard!
Models, Memorabilia and Memories of Railroads from the Albany
Institute's Collection," running through Nov. 2.
It explores the lore of railroading and its historical
significance through photographs, posters and paintings.
• Baltimore -- The National Historic Seaport will commemorate
the anniversary of the bombardment of Fort McHenry and the writing
of the U.S. national anthem at its Star-Spangled Banner Weekend,
Sept. 12 to 14.
The event features battle reenactments, drills, demonstrations,
cannon firings and, of course, fireworks.
• Boston -- The British are coming. Well, at least one British
subject -- one of England's most prominent artists during the years
before and after the American Revolution -- is on his way.
"Thomas Gainsborough, 1727-1788" at the Museum of Fine Arts
through Sept. 14 includes nearly 100 works by the artist, the most
detailed display of his work ever shown in the U.S.
• Chicago -- Opening night for the Chicago Jazz Festival, which
runs from Aug. 28 to 31, is set for Chicago's Symphony Center. The
action then moves outdoors for free performances in Grant Park.
Chicago's role in opening of the West is explored from a range
of perspectives in the exhibition, "Window on the West: Chicago and
the Art of the New Frontier, 1890-1940." Scheduled through Oct. 13
at the Art Institute of Chicago, it features works by Georgia
O'Keeffe and Frederic Remington.
• Jonesboro, Tenn. -- Storytellers from throughout the country
will gather here for the National Storytelling Festival, Oct. 3 to
• Minneapolis -- Although boxing might seem a strange subject
for an art museum to explore, the Walker Art Center is featuring
"The Squared Circle: Boxing in Contemporary Art," which runs
through Oct. 12.
Through works by 30 artists, including sound samples from gyms,
the beauty and the violence of the sport are explored.
• Nashville -- Eddy Arnold, one of America's country music
icons, is the man at the Country Music Hall of Fame through Dec.
The exhibition, "I'll Hold You in My Heart: The Eddy Arnold
Collection," includes photos, recordings, sheet music and a wealth
• New London, Conn. -- "Boats Books & Brushes" is a unique
family festival linking books, art and the sea -- with lots of good
food, as well.
The weekend event on New London's waterfront includes readings
by noted authors, musical performances, cooking demonstrations and,
for youngsters, a storybook character parade and a fishing
• New York -- The Guggenheim Museum draws on its permanent
collection for its latest crowd-pleaser, "From Picasso to Pollock:
Classics of Modern Art," on exhibit through Sept. 28.
Only steps away, the National Academy of Design also is drawing
from its own collection, the result of which is a display of
self-portraits from such illustrious female members of the academy
as Mary Cassatt, Elaine de Kooning and Helen Frankenthaler.
"Challenging Tradition: Women of the Academy, 1826-2003," runs
through Jan. 4.
Animal lovers have a treat in store for them at the New York
Historical Society, where "Petropolis: A Social History of Urban
Animal Companions," running through Nov. 9, explores the
relationship between city dwellers and their pets.
• San Francisco -- From Sept. 4 to 18, the San Francisco World
Music Festival brings together an eclectic group of performers
representing virtually every compositional style, from Western
classical to Chinese traditional.
The festival will be held in such locations as the Yerba Buena
Center for the Arts, the Asian Art Museum and the San Francisco
Don't miss the only U.S. showing of the "Marc Chagall"
exhibition at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art through Nov.
4. The show includes many works never before seen in this
• Berlin -- The city beckons night owls on Aug. 30, when more
than 100 museums will remain open until 2 a.m. The 14th annual
"Long Night of Museums" features live music, food and shuttle buses
to take visitors from museum to museum.
• London -- Another reopening brings Trafalgar Square back to
life as a visitor mecca following an 18-month construction project.
The pedestrian-friendly square invites visitors to a "Summer in the
Square" series of musical performances.
Somerset House has an unusual exhibit, "The Art of Chess,"
through Sept. 28, which features 19 unique chess sets, including
ones designed by Carl Faberge and Marcel Duchamp.
Each set shows a move toward the final checkmate in a game that,
according to legend, was played and won by Napoleon on St. Helena
Military aficionados will enjoy a special event at the South
Lawn of the Tower of London through Aug. 31.
Four times a day, two men, dressed in Tudor fighting costumes,
will demonstrate and explain the technique of fighting with swords,
daggers and other Elizabethan-era weapons.
• Montreal -- "Edouard Vuillard: Post Impressionist Master,"
running though Aug. 24 at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, is a
giant exhibition of 400 works by the artist.
Alvin H. Reiss is editor of the Travel Arts Partnership
Newsletter (TAP), which is published by Museums Magazines, the Arts
& Business Council and the Arts Knowledge Corp. For details,
visit www.travelartspartnership.com. Arts Agenda runs
periodically in Travel Weekly.