Arts Agenda: Political themes among the exhibits at U.S. museums this fall

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Smaller museums around the country have interesting exhibits on tap while politically oriented exhibitions herald the upcoming election season.   

Domestic

Greenwich, Conn. -- The environment is under scrutiny in "Climate Change: From Snowball Earth to Global Warming" at the Bruce Museum through Nov. 9. The museum also explores "Phenomenal Weather" through Nov. 30.

Houston -- Leonardo, the best-preserved fossil of a plant-eating dinosaur discovered to date, is the star attraction in "Dinosaur Mummy CSI: Cretaceous Science Investigation" at the Houston Museum of Natural Science from Sept. 19 to Jan. 11.

Madison, Wis. -- The work of noted American sculptor George Segal is featured at the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art in "George Segal: Street Scenes" from Sept. 13 to Dec. 28.

Manchester, N.H. -- The focus is on U.S. presidents and candidates and foreign rulers in "Andy Warhol: Pop Politics" at the Currier Museum of Art. Featuring more than 60 works including paintings, prints, drawings and photos of political figures by Warhol, the exhibit runs from Sept. 27 to Jan. 4.

Minneapolis -- The Minneapolis Institute of Arts presents "Hail to the Chief: Images of the American Presidency" through Sept. 21. 

Montgomery, Ala. -- More than 50 works are included in "American Impressionism: Paintings From the Phillips Collection" through Oct. 19 at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. 

New York -- A 20th century master of landscape and still-life painting is the subject of a complete survey in "Giorgio Morandi, 1890-1964" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art from Sept. 16 to Dec. 14.

agenda090808aThe Museum of Modern Art looks at a key period in the career of German Expressionist Ernst Ludwig Kirchner in "Kirchner and the Berlin Street" through Nov. 18. Seven major paintings and 60 related prints and drawings are on view, including "Street, Berlin" by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. MoMA's "Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling" through Oct. 20 explores factory-produced architecture in an exhibit inside the museum and in a nearby vacant lot, where five prefabricated houses have been built.

The New Museum has gathered paintings, photos, installations, sculptures and films from 26 international artists to explore man's relationship to nature in "After Nature" through Sept. 21.

"The Dead Sea Scrolls: Mysteries of the Ancient World" at the Jewish Museum from Sept. 21 to Jan. 4 features fragments from six scrolls, three exhibited for the first time anywhere, along with artifacts discovered near the caves where the documents were found.

The Morgan Library & Museum draws on its outstanding collection of original illustrations and manuscripts from the Babar children's book series in "Drawing Babar: Early Drafts and Watercolors" from Sept. 19 to Jan. 4. The Morgan also looks at the years composer Franz Liszt spent in France in "Liszt in Paris: Enduring Encounters" through Nov. 15.

The Brooklyn Museum becomes the final stop of the international retrospective tour of an acclaimed artistic duo. "Gilbert & George" runs from Oct. 3 to Jan. 11.

Philadelphia -- Visitors to the Philadelphia Museum of Art through Feb. 28 will see two of America's most noted works of art presented together for the first time: Thomas Eakins' "Gross Clinic" and Augustus Saint-Gaudens' "Angel of Purity."

Reno, Nev. -- "Chris Drury: Mushrooms/Clouds" at the Nevada Museum of Art marks the first major U.S. museum exhibition for the British artist.

Washington -- Political portraits by photographer Richard Avedon are brought together for the first time in "Portraits of Power" at the Corcoran Gallery of Art from Sept. 13 to Jan. 25.

International

agenda090808bBerlin -- The visual arts are the focus of Art Forum Berlin, one of Europe's leading international contemporary art fairs, which is held at the Berlin Exhibition Grounds from Oct. 3 to 6. Shown here, an untitled work by Gabriel Kondratiuk to be displayed at Art Forum Berlin.

Brussels -- Exhibitions, films, workshops and conferences throughout the city highlight the annual Month of Design through Sept. 28.

London -- "Francis Bacon" at Tate Britain from Oct. 1 to Jan. 4 features some 60 works, highlighting the most important from each period of the artist's life.

In "Fashion V Sport," at the Victoria & Albert Museum through Jan. 4 the relationship between contemporary fashion and sportswear is explored through drawings, films, photos and some 60 fashion outfits. 

Munich -- From Sept. 20 to Oct. 5 the famed Oktoberfest takes over the city, offering revelers a chance to take in music and parades and, of course, sample the beer.

Seville, Spain -- More than 50 shows, including 25 premieres, highlight the 15th Biennial of Flamenco at the Maestranza and other sites from Sept. 10 to Oct. 11.

Versailles, France -- Sculptures by Jeff Koons, including "Rabbit" and "Balloon Dog," have found an unusual temporary home in the Grand Apartments at the Chateau de Versailles from Sept. 9 to Dec. 14.

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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