Arts Agenda: Museums in Chicago, N.Y. are going Hollywood


Hollywood continues to provide thematic material for U.S. museums, while European museums explore the ancient cultures of African nations. Great artists of the past and present also are on display, and jewelry shares the museum spotlight.  


Chicago -- If youve always wanted to be in pictures, or even if youre just a fan, you have until Jan. 9 to visit the Museum of Science and Industry. Action! An Adventure in Moviemaking, designed in cooperation with Paramount Pictures, includes a Meet the Moviemaker section and several dozen interactive spaces, including a production room, design room, stunt room and a Soundstage Experience where visitors star, film and edit their own movies.

Fort Worth, Texas -- Fun is artist Red Grooms strong suit, and visitors will have a ball at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, where Grooms Ruckus Rodeo will be exhibited from Dec. 12 to Feb. 6. The work is a giant walk-through that re-creates the Fort Worth Rodeo through three-dimensional figures and painted two-dimensional surfaces.

Greenwich, Conn. -- Drawn by the Brush: Oil Sketches by Peter Paul Rubens at the Bruce Museum of Arts & Sciences through January 30 features 40 sketches by the master painter that helped him formulate concepts for later works.

Miami -- The Miami Art Museum offers a major reappraisal of 20th century art in Beyond Geometry: Experiments in Form, 1940s-70s through April 24. The exhibition, which focuses on artistic experimentation with geometric abstraction, features more than 120 works by artists such as Ad Reinhardt, Barnett Newman, Dan Flavin and Sol LeWitt.

Memphis -- James McNeil Whistler: Selected Works from the Hunterian Art Gallery, through Jan. 2 at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens, focuses not only on the artists paintings and prints but on his personal belongings, including manuscripts and silverware.

New Haven, Conn. -- Some of the most celebrated images of the Holy Land, made over 160 years, are on display in Jerusalem and the Holy Land Rediscovered through Jan. 9. The exhibition, featuring David Roberts tinted and hand-colored lithographs, adjoins the Creating St. Peters: Architectural Treasures of the Vatican exhibition, whose run has been extended through Jan. 9.

New York -- One of the Big Apples seasonal highlights, the New York City Ballets annual production of The Nutcracker, runs through Jan. 2 at Lincoln Centers New York State Theater.  Jewelry is spotlighted in several new exhibitions in the city. At the American Museum of Natural History, Totems to Turquoise: Native North American Jewelry Arts of the Northwest and Southwest features more than 500 objects, most of them contemporary works, in a range of materials and motifs. The exhibition runs through July 10.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is presenting a Costume Institute exhibition, "Wild: Fashion Untamed," to March 13, that examines the influence of animalism on fashion.The American Folk Art Museum showcases Masterpieces of American Jewelry through Jan. 23, and the Museum of Art and Design focuses on Seaman Schepps: A Century of Design through Jan. 2.  The provocative title of the Metropolitan Museum of Arts upcoming Costume Institute exhibition, Wild: Fashion Untamed, which runs from Dec. 7 to March 13, refers to the influence of animalism on fashion.  Statuettes from the 16th century through the 18th century have been drawn from a little-known but top-quality private collection for an exhibit at the Frick Collection. European Bronzes From the Quentin Collection runs through Jan. 2.

Across the river in Queens, several exhibits are attracting interest. As another indication of museum fascination with Hollywood, the American Museum of the Moving Image celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Loews theater circuit. The exhibition, From Penny Arcade to Megaplex, featuring films and photos, runs through Jan. 31.  The recently reopened Noguchi Museum looks at the artists involvement with the performing arts in Noguchi and Graham: Selected Works for Dance through May 1.

Salem, Mass. -- The Peabody Essex Museum focuses on the little known art of Nunavut, Canadas newest territory, in the exhibition Our Land: Contemporary Art From the Arctic, on display through Jan. 20.

Seagrove, N.C. -- Its well off the beaten path, but Seagrove, which boasts the largest community of working potters in the country and is home to nearly 100 pottery shops, has an exhibition that craft lovers will savor. Through Jan. 29, the North Carolina Pottery Center is presenting Santa Elenas 16th Century Spanish Kiln Exhibit, complete with priceless artifacts and scale models from the site of one of the oldest European-styles kilns in America.

Scottsdale, Ariz. -- For the first time, but only through April 30, architect Frank Lloyd Wrights private living quarters at Taliesin West, which he added to the site in 1940, are open to the public.

Washington -- The artistic repercussions of the friendship between two of the 20th centurys greatest artists are explored in detail in the Phillips Collection exhibition, Calder Miro, running through Jan. 23.  In Gerard ter Borch, the National Gallery of Art focuses on the radiant work of the 17th century Dutch artist. The exhibition runs through Jan. 30.

Letter writing in Renaissance England, at the Folger Shakespeare Library through April 2, draws on the librarys collection of early printed letters and explores many genres of letters and the processes of sending, saving and copying them.



Amsterdam -- Morocco: Melting Pot of Cultures, at the Nieuwe Kerk, Dec. 17 to April 17, offers a rare view of nearly 300 art objects from Morocco. Jewelry, bronzes, earthenware, carpets and costumes range from pre-Islam days until the present.


London -- The art and artifacts of another African nation are explored in detail in the British Museums Sudan: Ancient Treasures, on display through Jan. 9. The loan exhibition, which includes many objects never seen outside Sudan, takes visitors from thousands of years ago through 1885.

Lyon, France -- Haydn, Vivaldi and Monteverdi are among the composers featured at the Festival de Musique Ancienne, which takes place throughout the city through Dec. 22.

Madrid -- The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and the Caja Madrid Foundation are sharing an unusual exhibition focusing on the work of Impressionist painter Paul Gauguin before he left for Tahiti. Gauguin and the Origins of Symbolism runs through Jan. 9.

Long-time arts and tourism writer Alvin H. Reiss is editor of the Travel Arts Partnership Newsletter (TAP), which is published by Museums Magazine, the Arts & Business Council and the Art Knowledge Corp. For more details, visit

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