Arts Agenda: Museums sing praises of Elvis, Dylan, B.B. King


Music is in the spotlight as U.S. museums look at its relationship to the visual arts and bring to life Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan and B.B. King in new exhibitions. Also, museums feature unusual themes and explore everything from ceramics and photography to clay and crafts.


Atlanta -- B.B. King and The King himself, Elvis, are featured in Ernest C. Withers: The Memphis Blues Again. The exhibition of photos by a chronicler of the blues scene is the attraction at the High Museum of Art, Feb. 5 to Aug. 7.

The touring exhibition, The Art of Romare Bearden, also is featured from Feb. 5 to April 24.

Baltimore -- The city is the stage for Tour de Clay, an exhibition focusing on clay as an art form. Presented by Baltimore Clayworks Feb. 19 to April 3, the exhibition, held at 122 venues throughout the greater Baltimore region, includes works by more than 800 artists.

Boston -- Chairs, an exhibition at the Isabella Stewart Gardiner Museum Feb. 11 to May 8, focuses on photographer Dayanita Singhs photos of chairs next to and projected on historical chairs from the museums collection.

Charleston, S.C. -- This charming Southern city opens its doors for its annual Festival of Houses and Gardens, through April 2.

Chicago -- Touring the world for some time and attracting millions of visitors,  Body Worlds: The Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies is not your everyday museum show.

On display at the Museum of Science and Industry Feb. 4 to Sept. 5, the exhibition helps visitors learn about anatomy and health through displays of human bodies and body parts preserved through an unusual method called plastination.

Los Angeles -- In addition to offering fabulous views of the city, the Getty Center has exhibitions worth seeing. A Revolutionary Age: Drawing in Europe, 1770-1810, through May 1, explores the response of such artists as Goya and David to political events of the time.

Images of Violence in the Medieval World, through March 13, looks at a culture of violence and its effects on daily life.

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art takes a detailed look at furniture, ceramics, textiles and other objects in The Arts and Crafts Movement in Europe and America, 1880-1920: Design for the Modern World, through April 3.

In Visual Music, Feb. 13 to May 22, the Museum of Contemporary Art explores art and music in the past 100 years through works that show the relationship between abstraction, color and a range of music forms including jazz, rock and electronica.  

Napa, Calif. -- Copia: The American Center for Wine, Food & the Arts updates a popular exhibition with Icing on the Cake II, Feb. 11 to June 6. Five culinary artists showcase their food sculptures inspired by art, animation, architecture and their own imagination.

Naples, Fla. -- The Naples Museum of Art presents the first U.S. retrospective in over 30 years of a key 20th century artist in, Victor Vasarely: Founder of Op Art, running through April 3.

New York -- The big news in the Big Apple is the long-awaited opening of The Gates, Central Park, New York, 1979-2005, the monumental art experience conceived by Christo and his wife, Jeanne-Claude.

The 7,500 saffron-colored fabric panels, hanging from 16-foot gates, will run along 23 miles of pedestrian paths in Central Park Feb. 12 to 27. Guided walking and trolley tours will be available to visitors.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which will open its roof garden for viewing of The Gates, also will show Diane Arbus Revelations, a retrospective of the work of one of the U.S.s most noted photographers, March 8 to May 30. Peter Paul Rubens 1557-1640: The Drawings, continues through April 3.

The Museum of Modern Art, back in its own vastly remodeled home in midtown Manhattan, features art from an outstanding corporate collection in Contemporary Voices: Works from the UBS Art Collection, Feb. 4 to April 25. 

Dora the Explorer, a favorite character for young viewers of Nickelodeon, comes to life in an interactive exhibition and learning experience at the Childrens Museum of Manhattan through Dec.  31.   

In its first photography exhibition, the Neue Gallerie presents Portraits of an Age: Photography in Germany and Austria, 1900-1938, March 11 to June 6. 

Photography also is featured in an exhibition of rare 19th century photographs. First Seen: Photographs of the Worlds Peoples (1840-1880) is at the Dahesh Museum of Art Feb. 1 to May 1.   

New York also is the site for two prestigious art shows. The 17th annual Art Dealers Association of Americas The Art Show will be at the Seventh Regiment Armory Feb. 24 to 28. The International Artists Pavilions Artexpo New York will be at the Javits Center from March 3 to 6.

Palm Beach, Fla. -- More than 80 U.S. and foreign independent films will be screened at venues throughout the city in the 10th annual Palm Beach International Film Festival April 4 to 14. 

Philadelphia -- Salvador Dali, a centennial retrospective on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Feb. 16 to May 5, offers a chronological excursion into every aspect of the noted surrealist artists creative life and includes more than 200 pieces of his works.

If you enjoy looking at flowers you wont want to miss the largest show of its kind in the world. The Philadelphia Flower Show will be at the Pennsylvania Convention Center March 6 to 13.

Seattle -- Bob Dylans American Journey: 1956-1966 at the Experience Music Project through Sept. 5 focuses on the early years of the folk music legends career and includes over 150 artifacts, film clips and photos.

Washington -- Berthe Morisot: An Impressionist and Her Circle, through May 8 at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, spotlights the work of the noted French impressionist and her contemporaries, Degas, Monet and Renoir among them.

In the Russian Tradition, at the Smithsonian International Gallery through March 20, features a major collection of 20th century Russian paintings.

With celebrated chefs and over 280 domestic and international wineries participating, the Washington DC International Wine and Food Festival at the Washington Convention Center March 12 and 13 promises to be a feast to remember.


Amsterdam -- If you have time between flights, visit the Rijksmuseums Schiphol Airport branch for Winter in Holland: Dutch Winter Landscapes through March 21. 

Budapest, Hungary -- Theres big doings with the official March 15 opening of the Palace of the Performing Arts, a  $171 million arts center housing the Ludwig Museum, the National Philharmonic and the National Dance Theatre.

Linger and participate in the 25th annual Budapest Spring Festival March 18 to April 3 featuring over 200 concerts, exhibitions and open-air performances in 60 sites throughout the city.

Edinburgh, Scotland -- The big attraction at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Arts is Andy Warhol Self-Portraits, Feb. 12 to May 2. 

London -- International Arts and Crafts, believed to be the largest international exhibition of its kind, runs March 17 to July 10 at the Victoria and Albert Museum followed by visits to several U.S. museums. The more than 300 objects in the exhibit include furniture, textiles, stained glass, jewelry and ceramics.

Maastricht, Netherlands -- The 17th annual international fine art and antiques fair, Tefaf Maastricht 2005, March 4 to 13 at the MECC Exhibition Center, includes over 200 art and antiques dealers.

New Plymouth, New Zealand -- Womad, the World of Music, Arts and Dance, March 11 to 14, is a celebration of multiculturalism held throughout the city.

St. Moritz, Switzerland -- An events title can help to attract visitors, especially if its as intriguing as Snow and Symphony. The festival of classical music and winter sports runs March 18 to 28.

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

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