Arts Agenda: Cultural destinations for spring -- Planet Earth, Middle Earth

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A Chicago exhibit focusing on our Evolving Planet and a stage production of The Lord of the Rings trilogy in Toronto are among the cultural events expected to draw considerable attention this spring.

Domestic

Atlanta -- The High Museum of Art focuses on a contemporary artists four decades of self-portraits in Chuck Close: Self-Portraits 1967-2005 from March 25 to June 18.

 

Beachwood, Ohio -- Religious items, including a section of the Temple scroll, one of the Dead Sea Scrolls, highlight an exhibit exploring the shared roots of Christianity and Judaism. Cradle of Christianity: Jewish and Christian Treasures From the Land of Israel is at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage from April 1 to Oct. 22.

Boston -- David Hockney, Portraits, at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston through May 14, features some 100 works by the artist from the 1950s to the present. The museum also is focusing on the explosive 1967 San Francisco music scene in Light My Fire: Rock Posters From the Summer of Love through Aug. 13.

The Boston University Art Gallery is presenting nearly 150 images of the city in A Photographic Portrait of Boston, 1840-1865 though April 2.

Chicago -- The Field Museum opens a mammoth permanent exhibit focusing on Earth and its evolution over 4 billion years. Evolving Planet, opening March 10, includes nearly 1,300 specimens and more than 150 interactive displays. 

Dallas -- Works of art made in the Americas many centuries ago are featured in Lords of Creation: The Origins of Sacred Maya Kingship at the Dallas Museum of Art through May 7.

Detroit -- The title of the exhibition might fool football fans, but its quite accurate. The Super Bowls Show: Still-Life Prints, Drawings, Photographs and Vessels at the Detroit Institute of Arts through April 30 includes dishes, cups, glasses, vases, urns and, yes, bowls.

Honolulu -- A rich range of cultural objects from the Pacific collected during the 18th-century voyages of Capt. James Cook are included in Life in the Pacific of the 1700s at the Honolulu Academy of Arts through May 14.

Indianapolis -- An exhibit through Oct. 31 at the President Benjamin Harrison Home, Death in the White House: A Nation Mourns, includes artifacts, clothing and documentation relating to the eight presidents and three first ladies who died at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Los Angeles -- A traveling exhibition focusing on the landscape paintings of a 19th-century French artist, Courbet and the Modern Landscape, has its premiere through May 14 at the Getty Center. 

New York -- The Whitney Museum of American Arts Whitney Biennial 2006: Day for Night, from March 2 to May 28, offers a sweeping survey of the latest achievements in art.

On Manhattans West Side, the Armory Show International Fair of New Art runs from March 10 to 13 at Piers 90 and 92 on the Hudson River.

In Hatshepsut: From Queen to Pharaoh, from March 28 to July 9, Paul Klees Colorful Meal is among the works on display in the Neue Galeries exhibit Klee and America. the Metropolitan Museum of Art takes visitors back to Egypts 18th Dynasty for sculpture and decorative arts. The Met also features a textile exhibit through Sept. 24, The Fabric of Life: Ikat Textiles of Indonesia.   

Klee and America, at the Neue Galerie from March 9 to May 22, includes more than 60 paintings and drawings by Swiss artist Paul Klee.

Irving Berlin is back home in the Big Apple in Show Business! Irving Berlins Broadway at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. The vivid exhibition, through May 26, includes everything from stage designs and programs to posters and photos as well as sound stations for listening to Berlins songs as they were performed on stage.

The American Museum of Natural History opens its new space show, Cosmic Collisions, on March 18. The show features scientific simulations and visualizations with narration by Robert Redford.

At the Brooklyn Museum, William Wegman: Funny/Strange, from March 10 to May 28, is a retrospective looking at 40 years of the sometimes quirky work of the artist.

Washington -- Through May 14, the Hirshhorn Museum focuses on one of Japans leading contemporary artists in Hiroshi Sugimoto.

The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts salutes country music in Country: A Celebration of Americans Music, an exhibition of historical posters, from March 20 to April 9. 

International

Amsterdam -- The Really Rembrandt? exhibition at the Rijksmuseum from March 9 to May 24 focuses on paintings attributed to Rembrandt that might possibly be the work of other artists. 

Indonesia: The Discovery of the Past, at the Nieuwe Kerk through April 17, includes more than 300 palace treasures and works of gold from museums in Jakarta and Leiden.  

Budapest, Hungary -- Hungarys largest cultural event, the Budapest Spring Festival, will take place from March 17 to April 2. The festival will be held in venues throughout the city and features music, theater, exhibitions and open-air events.

The 100-year-old Museum of Fine Arts spotlights Spanish art in Picture in Picture through April 30.

The Hague, Netherlands -- Dreaming of Italy, at the Mauritshuis Royal Picture Gallery from March 11 to June 25, features works by such Italy-enamored artists as Turner, Corot and Ingres.

London -- The National Portrait Gallery celebrates its 150th season with Searching for Shakespeare, an exhibition through May 29 featuring portraits of Shakespeare and focusing on the search for the most authentic likeness of the Bard.

Maastricht, Netherlands -- TEFAF Maastricht 2006. The European Fine Art Fair, March 10 to 19 at the Maastricht Exhibition and Congress Center, includes participation by more than 200 top art and antique dealers from around the world.

Toronto -- The theater world is focused on the Princess of Wales Theatre, where the $23 million production of The Lord of the Rings combines all three books of the epic into a single production featuring more than 70 actors, singers and musicians. Performances are scheduled through June 26.

Long-time 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 (AEB Media, Chicago).

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