Arts Agenda: Museums, festivals offer ancient artifacts and modern music

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The art of past civilizations is featured in museum exhibitions along with a range of summer music festivals and theater fringe festivals.  

Domestic

Chicago -- agenda080408aVirtually everything you'd want to know about tornados, hurricanes and earthquakes is included in the Field Museum exhibit "Nature Unleashed: Inside Natural Disasters" through Jan. 4.

More than 220 works of art from a famed precolonial African state, spanning six centuries, are on display at the Art Institute of Chicago in "Benin -- Kings and Rituals: Court Arts From Nigeria." The exhibit runs through Sept. 21. Shown here is a box in the shape of an antelope head, on display at the AIC.

Cleveland -- The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum looks at non-Beatle photos of performers such as Jerry Lee Lewis and Little Richard by Paul McCartney's brother Mike in "Liverpool Life" through Sept. 21.

Los Angeles -- The Getty Research Institute explores "The Marvel and Measure of Peru: Three Centuries of Artists' Histories, 1550-1880" through Oct. 19.

The Getty Museum presents the first major exhibition of 17th century artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini's portrait busts in "Bernini and the Birth of Baroque Portrait Sculpture" through Oct. 26.

"The Age of Imagination: Japanese Art, 1615-1868 from the Price Collection" at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art through Sept. 14 includes more than 100 paintings, screens and scrolls from the Edo period.

Nashville -- The career of an early country music superstar is explored in "Kitty Wells: Queen of Country Music" at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum from Aug. 15 to June 14.

New Orleans -- Sculptures in bronze and ivory are featured in "The Baroque World of Fernando Botero" through Sept. 21 at the New Orleans Museum of Art.

New York -- Through Sept. 1 the Metropolitan Museum of Art is featuring "Framing a Century: Master Photographers, 1840-1940."

"Thomas Hope, Regency Designer," at the Bard Graduate Center through Nov. 16, is the first international exhibition devoted to the noted designer.

A timely exhibit at the New-York Historical Society explores the history of presidential campaigns. "If Elected: The Game of American Politics" runs through Jan. 6.

To mark the 100th anniversary of the third most-often sung song in the U.S., the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center presents "Take Me Out to the Ballgame: 100 Years of Music, Musicians and the National Pastime" through Oct. 31.

The annual free festival Lincoln Center Out of Doors from Aug. 7 to 24 features virtually every art form in daily performances.

Philadelphia -- "Calder Jewelry," at the Philadelphia Museum of Art through Nov. 2, features more than 100 necklaces, bracelets, pins and earrings designed by Alexander Calder. 

Portland, Maine -- "Georgia O'Keeffe and the Camera: The Art of Identity" at the Portland Museum of Art through Sept. 7 features photos of one of America's most famous female artists.

Washington -- The cultural heritage of a country at war is celebrated in "Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures From the National Museum, Kabul" at the National Gallery of Art through Sept. 7.

agenda080408bThe Folger Shakespeare Library through Sept. 9 looks at knights and soldiers in the Bard's plays in the exhibit "Now Thrive the Armorers: Arms and Armor in Shakespeare."

Williamstown, Mass. -- The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute looks at the work of 15 American artists from the late 19th and early 20th century in "Like Breath on Glass: Whistler, Inness and the Art of Painting Softly" through Oct. 19. Shown here is George Inness' "Summer, Montclair."

International

Amsterdam -- The Canal Festival of free classical music concerts will be held on and around the city's canals from Aug. 16 to 24.

Beijing -- The city will be wrapped up in the Olympic Games, but there's art, as well, in an exhibit of 55 contemporary Chinese artists at the Guy and Myriam Ullens Foundation Collection through Oct. 12.

Berlin -- The Scharf-Gerstenberg Collection's "Surreal Worlds" exhibition of 250 works by leading surrealists, including Dali, Dubuffet and Magritte, recently opened to the public for the first time.

Bonn, Germany -- A program of 60 concerts, along with exhibitions and films at 24 venues, is on tap at the city's Beethoven Festival from Aug. 29 to Sept. 28.

Brussels -- The annual Brussels Summer Festival, featuring 150 concerts of virtually every type of music, can be found at 25 different sites from Aug. 21 to 31.

Caen, France -- Le Caen Memorial, in association with the New York State Museum, has organized a major exhibit exploring the personal and historic significance of 9/11. "September 11, 2001: A Global Moment" will be on view through Dec. 31.

Edinburgh, Scotland -- The city is hopping in August with the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, a mammoth program of some 2,000 different shows at more than 250 venues through Aug. 25 and the Edinburgh International Festival's program of world-class opera, theater, music and dance in leading concert halls and theaters from Aug. 8 to 31. Through Aug. 25 the Edinburgh Military Tattoo also can be seen.

London -- "Love," at the National Gallery through Oct. 5, explores the ways celebrated artists -- Raphael, Vermeer and Chagall among them -- respond to love in their work.

The Courtauld Institute of Art puts its Cezannes, one of the world's largest collections, on display in "The Courtauld Cezannes" through Oct. 5.

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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