Arts Agenda: History, theater and teapots await aficionados


verything from Whistler to the Warner Brothers, from Sondheim to symphony and from Norman Rockwell to Roy Rogers awaits the culture-inclined domestic traveler. Here is a sampling:

• Baltimore -- "Whistler and Cassatt: Americans Abroad," at the Baltimore Museum of Art through Oct. 12, offers nearly 100 prints and drawings that explore the European influence on two of America's noted turn-of-the-19th-century artists. "From Tent to Temple: Life in Ancient Near East" at the Jewish Museum of Maryland through July 20 will have special appeal to youngsters.

• Branson, Mo. -- There's something new at this stronghold of country-western music, with the move of cowboy royalty from California. A visit to the transplanted Roy Rogers-Dale Evans Museum offers a peek at the famed horse Trigger and other memorabilia.

• Chicago -- The booming Chicago theater scene will be especially hot this summer with the world premiere of a new Stephen Sondheim musical at the Goodman Theater. "Bounce" runs through Aug. 10.

• Dallas -- It's interesting to see Impressionist works that focus on a brief period in an artist's life, as does "Renoir and Algeria," at the Dallas Museum of Art through Aug. 31.

• Indianapolis -- In observance of its 50th birthday, the Nature Conservancy has organized "In Response to Place: Photographs from the Nature Conservancy's Last Great Places." At the Indianapolis Museum of Art through Aug. 3, the exhibition features over 130 works by 12 photographers.

• Long Beach, Calif. -- Tea for Two -- and even more -- awaits the visitor. More than 250 teapots, some dating to the Ming Dynasty, are on display in an exhibit at the Long Beach Museum of Art. "The Artful Teapot" runs through Sept. 14.

• Los Angeles -- Clients can catch a blockbuster show at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Old Masters, Impressionists and Moderns: French Masterworks From the State Pushkin Museum, Moscow," opens July 27 and runs through Oct. 13.

• New York -- You'll eat your art out through Sept. 7 at the American Museum of Natural History's exhibition, "Chocolate." The exhibition features free samplings every Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. Another dip into a brief period of an Impressionist's work can be found at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where "Manet and the American Civil War: The Battle of the U.S.S. Kearsarge and C.S.S. Alabama" runs through Aug. 17.

Philadelphia's National Constitution Center celebrated its grand opening on - fittingly enough - July 4. • Philadelphia -- Your clients may be among the first visitors to the National Constitution Center on Independence Mall -- three blocks from where the Constitution was signed in 1787. The center offers a multimedia experience to interpret many aspects of the Constitution and its signing.

• Portland -- The Portland Art Museum is the first stop in a two-year journey of the exhibition, "Becoming a Nation: Americana From the Diplomatic Reception Rooms, U.S. Department of State." The traveling show includes decorative objects from U.S. artists capturing vivid moments in history.

• Stockbridge, Mass. -- "Freedom: Norman Rockwell's Vermont Years," focuses on the work created by one of America's most beloved artists during the years he lived in Vermont, 1939 to 1953. The show at the Norman Rockwell Museum runs through Oct. 19.

• Washington -- In addition to the recently opened City Museum, devoted to the capitol's history, the National Gallery of Art is featuring a summer film preservation series that focuses on Warner Brothers features from the 1920s and 1930s.

Alvin Reiss is editor of the the Travel Arts Partnership newsletter (TAP), which is published by Museums Magazines, the Arts & Business Council and the Arts Knowledge Corp. For details, visit Arts Agenda runs periodically in Travel Weekly.

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