Arts Agenda: Music festivals, Impressionist art highlight summer season

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With summer only weeks away, the festival season is in full bloom. Exhibits on Impressionism and key retrospectives of noted artists also are on a busy art lover's agenda. 

Domestic

Anchorage -- A We're in Weekend festival from June 28 to 30 celebrates 50 years of Alaska statehood with a citywide event featuring concerts and theater.

Atlanta -- Portraits of Voltaire, George Washington and Benjamin Franklin are among the works of famed French artist Jean-Antoine Houdon featured in the High Museum of Art exhibition "Houdon at the Louvre: Masterworks of the Enlightenment," from June 7 to Sept. 7.

Chicago -- Grant Park is the setting from June 5 to 8 for the 25th anniversary of the Chicago Blues Festival, which features B.B. King as the headliner.

Denver -- "Landscapes From the Age of Impressionism" at the Denver Art Museum from June 13 to Sept. 7 includes works from the mid-19th to the early 20th century by leading French and American artists. 

Fort Worth, Texas -- Nearly 100 works from a noted collection are highlighted in the Kimbell Art Museum exhibition "The Impressionists: Master Paintings From the Art Institute of Chicago," which will be on display from June 29 to Nov. 2. 

Highland Park, Ill. -- The Chicago Symphony is in residence and the Joffrey Ballet is among the attractions at the Ravinia Festival, which runs through Sept. 14.

Katonah, N.Y. -- In a bucolic setting billed as "a garden of great music," the Caramoor International Music Festival from June 21 to Aug. 3 includes opera, chamber music, jazz, symphonic music and cabaret among its attractions.

Kutztown, Pa. -- The 58th annual Kutztown Folk Festival from June 28 to July 6 celebrates everything Pennsylvania Dutch, including music, dance and crafts.

Manchester, Tenn. -- A 700-acre farm provides the perfect setting for the annual Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival from June 12 to 15, which includes Pearl Jam and Metallica among its headliners.

Milwaukee -- The lakefront amphitheater at Henry Maier Festival Park is the site for the giant Summerfest from June 26 to July 6 that spotlights 700 artists on 10 stages. Headliners include Tom Petty, Stevie Wonder and the Jonas Brothers. 

New Haven, Conn. -- Seminars and panel discussions are on tap in addition to dance, music and theater at the 13th annual International Festival of Arts and Ideas from June 14 through June 28.

agenda060208bNew York -- A noble animal gets top billing at the American Museum of Natural History. "The Horse," through Jan. 4, takes a comprehensive look at equine evolution from 55 million years ago and its relationship to humans through art; archaeology; video; objects and artifacts; and interactive activities. "Isbelle," a sculpture by Deborah Butterfield, is among the objects on display.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art offers "J.M. Turner," the first American retrospective of the artist's work in more than 40 years. The exhibition, from July 1 to Sept. 21, includes 140 paintings and watercolors. Through Aug. 17, the museum features "Medieval and Renaissance Treasures From the Victoria and Albert Museum," with 35 pieces dating from 300 to 1600.

The life and work of a famed designer, poet and philosopher who originated the geodesic dome is explored in detail in "Buckminster Fuller: Starting With the Universe," at the Whitney Museum of American Art from June 26 to Sept. 21. 

"Louise Bourgeois" at the Guggenheim Museum from June 27 to Sept. 28 is a comprehensive, full-career retrospective of the noted artist's work. 

Only about 50 Gutenberg Bibles still exist, and the Morgan Library & Museum, which has the most in any single collection, has built an exhibition around them.  "Three Gutenberg Bibles" runs through Sept. 28. The Morgan also features a retrospective of a leading artist's work in "Philip Guston: Works on Paper."

The performing arts are highlighted at the Lincoln Center Festival from July 2 to 27, the JVC Jazz Festival New York at Carnegie Hall and other city sites from June 15 to 28 and the American Ballet Theatre's season at the Metropolitan Opera through July 12.

The New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players hold forth at City Center from June 6 to 15.

Old Lyme, Conn. -- "Impressionist Giverny: "American Painters in France, 1885-1915" at the Florence Griswold Museum through July 27, features works from the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Philadelphia -- If you're feeling patriotic, Philadelphia offers a new citywide Flag Festival from June 13 to 15, highlighted by a Flag Day celebration June 14 at the Betsy Ross House. From June 28 to July 6 the annual weeklong Welcome America party takes over the city's streets.

agenda060208bPittsburgh -- The Andy Warhol Museum focuses on 20th century artist Piet Mondrian and his abstract paintings in "Piet in Pittsburgh" through Aug. 31. Paintings include "Composition With Yellow, Red, Black, Blue and Grey."

The Pittsburgh Filmmakers/Pittsburgh Center for the Arts' 2008 Biennial, an exhibit of contemporary art running through Aug. 24, presents a continuum of visual arts from still to moving images.

In "Inner and Outer Space" at the Mattress Factory through Jan. 11, nine contemporary international artists penetrate the walls and floors of the museum with unusual installations.

San Francisco -- The arts are ubiquitous throughout the city with such top offerings as "Women Impressionists: Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt, Eva Gonzales and Marie Bracquemond" at the Legion of Honor from June 21 to Sept. 21 and "Frida Kahlo" at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art from June 14 to Sept. 28.

The Asian Art Museum from June 27 to Sept. 21 features "Power & Glory: Court Arts of China's Ming Dynasty," and the de Young Museum, in "Chihuly," takes a look at the work of glass artist Dale Chihuly, from June 4 through Sept. 28.

June 8 through Jan. 4, the Contemporary Jewish Museum celebrates the opening of its new home with the exhibition "In the Beginning: Artists Respond to Genesis."      

Washington -- The Phillips Collection shows a powerful work rarely seen in its entirety through Oct. 26. The complete 60-panel "The Great American Epic: Jacob Lawrence's Migration Series" focuses on the artist's interpretation of the 20th century exodus of African-Americans from the South to the North.

Williamstown, Mass. -- "Like Breath on Glass: Whistler, Inness and the Art of Painting Softly" at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute from June 22 to Oct. 19, focuses on the soft paintings of American artists at the turn of the 20th century.

International

Basel, Switzerland -- Art Basel, a major international art fair, runs from June 4 to 8 at Messe Basel.     

Berlin -- The impact of one of the world's great cities of antiquity is explored in "Babylon: Myth and Reality" at the Pergamon Museum from June 26 to Oct. 5.

Budapest, Hungary -- Key black-and-white photographs are highlighted in "Soul and Body: Kertesz to Mapplethorpe" at the Museum of Fine Arts, June 5 to Aug. 24.

Cologne, Germany -- "Cultour," billed as the world's only exhibition devoted exclusively to cultural tourism, will be held at the Cologne Fair Grounds from June 12 to 15.

Liverpool, England -- The Tate Liverpool exhibition "Gustav Klimt: Painting, Design and Modern Life in Vienna 1900," through Aug. 31, includes a reconstruction of Klimt's "Beethoven Frieze."   

London -- A blood-curdling period comes to life in "Jack the Ripper and the East End" at the Museum in Dockland through Nov. 2.

"The American Scene" at the British Museum through Sept. 7 includes nearly 150 prints by noted American artists from Hopper to Pollock.

Montreal -- The Montreal International Jazz Festival from June 26 to July 6 is a mammoth event throughout the city's downtown, featuring such performers as Aretha Franklin, James Taylor and Leonard Cohen.

Comedy takes over sites throughout the city in "Just for Laughs," from June 27 to July 20. 

Paris -- More than 300 paintings, decorations and sculptures are used to trace key moments in a queen's life in the exhibition "Marie Antoinette" at the Grand Palais through June 30.

St. Kitts -- The St. Kitts Music Festival from June 26 to 28 at Warner Park Stadium includes Billy Ocean and John Legend among its headliners.

Venice -- The Palazzo Grassi is the site of a comprehensive exhibition that explores, through more than a thousand artifacts, a fascinating period in world history. "Rome and the Barbarians, the Birth of a New World" runs through Aug. 20.

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 (AEB-Media, Chicago).

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