Arts Agenda: Shakespeare on ice and other cool winter events

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The arts greet the new year with an extraordinary range of events, as exhibitions run the gamut from centuries-old cultures to modern masters. Automobiles, design and history are among the featured topics.

Domestic


Baltimore -- Upcoming exhibits at the Baltimore Museum of Art look at interesting periods in the careers of two great artists. "Picasso: Surrealism and the War Years," Jan. 28 to Aug. 29, focuses on Picasso's artistic response to the horrors of war and his exploration of surrealism in the '30s and '40s.

"Toulouse-Lautrec: Master of the Moulin Rouge," Feb. 15 to May 23, features more than 100 posters and prints of Parisian cabaret scenes and groundbreaking advertising art.

Boston -- The Museum of Fine Arts offers a look at the exotic court costumes of Qing Dynasty China in "Draped in Dragons: Chinese Court Costumes." Portraits, textiles and costume accessories are included in the exhibition, which runs through May 2.

Chicago's Winter Delights offers a range of citywide cultural events built around jazz, opera, museum exhibits, cabaret, theater and dance every weekend through Feb. 29.Chicago -- Every weekend through Feb. 29, Chicago's Winter Delights offers a range of citywide cultural events built around a theme. Weekends feature jazz, opera, museum exhibits, cabaret, theater and dance. The city's tourism bureau also offers three Immersion Weekends with itineraries for opera, blues and jazz.

With "The James Vanderzee Studio," the Art Institute of Chicago takes a close look at the work of the fabled Harlem photographer through April 25.

Denver -- "Frederic Remington: The Color of Night," the last stop on a tour of this exhibition, features the late work of the famed artist of the West, focusing on moonlight and other nocturnal effects. It runs through March 14.

Long Beach, Calif. -- Women who challenged and changed America are the subjects of "Women of Our Time: Twentieth-Century Photographs from the National Portrait Gallery," at the Long Beach Museum of Art Feb. 6 to April 4. Included are photos of Eleanor Roosevelt, Helen Keller, Joan Baez and Judy Garland.

Mount Vernon, Va. -- On President's Day weekend, Feb. 14 and 15, join a look-alike stand-in for "Breakfast With George Washington" at his home. On both days, a Colonial-style breakfast is followed by a parade of musicians and a fife and drum corps.

The evening of Feb. 15 features a benefit George Washington Birthday Ball and Supper, while on Feb. 16 a free, 272nd birthday celebration will include patriotic music and a military drill performance.

New Haven, Conn. -- Although it's not exactly art, the Walter Camp Weekend has its cultural and historical overtones in its tribute to the man who organized football as it's played today.

The festivities take place Feb. 5 to 7 at various sites in the city and includes meetings with some football legends and an annual Fan Fest Football event.

Newport Beach, Calif. -- An exhibit showing how artists have incorporated roads, bridges, freeways and automobiles into their exploration of California cities and suburbs is on display at the Orange County Museum of Art through April 25. "Cities of Promise: Imagining Urban California" was organized by the museum in cooperation with the Auto Club of Southern California.

New York -- Clothing and design are featured in several Big Apple museum exhibitions. "Home Sewn: Three Centuries of Stitching History" at the New York Historical Society through April 18, offers an in-depth look at sewing, while across town at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, "Bravehearts: Men in Skirts," is on tap through Feb. 8.

Through April 18, the Met also is offering the first comprehensive survey of artist Chuck Close's printmaking innovations in "Chuck Close Prints: Process and Collaboration."

The Museum of the City of New York features "Glass and Glamour: Steuben's Modern Moment, 1930-1960," which runs through April 25.

The Whitney Museum of American Art, with "John Currin" through Feb. 22, offers the artist's provocative paintings of women.

Santa Ana, Calif. -- An ancient culture is on display in "Tibet: Treasures From the Roof of the World" at the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art through May 4.

Tacoma, Wash. -- Paris, in the period between two wars, takes the spotlight in "A Transatlantic Avant Garde: American Artists in Paris, 1918-1939" at the Tacoma Museum of Art through March 28.

Washington -- Car buffs won't want to miss the newly renovated hall at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History. The hall's tribute to transit, "America on the Move," features many vintage autos.

International
Budapest, Hungary -- Works from 33 collections highlight the "Monet and Friends" exhibition at the Budapest Museum of Fine Arts through March 15. In addition to 25 paintings by Claude Monet, works by other impressionists, including Renoir, Manet and Sisley, are featured.

Cambridge, England -- Dance aficionados might enjoy a visit to this British university city Jan. 28 to 31, when a three-day festival, British Dance Edition 2004, features 30 of Britain's finest dance companies.

Glasgow, Scotland -- This city is the setting for the world's largest winter festival of Celtic music, "Celtic Connections," through Feb. 1.

Kiruna, Sweden -- Few theatergoers can say they've seen Shakespeare's plays performed in a theater sculpted of ice. But that's exactly what they do in this Swedish town, where the Ice Globe Theatre will present "Macbeth" through April 3. The venue, which also presents movies and music events, is a frosty replica of the bard's Globe Theatre.

Quebec City -- Artists have been drawn to France for hundreds of years. "From Millet to Matisse" at the Musee National Des Beaux-Arts du Quebec Jan. 29 to May 4 includes works by artists who worked in France during the 19th and 20th centuries.

Wellington, New Zealand -- If you're looking for a summer vacation during the winter, set your sites on Wellington, where what is believed to be the Southern Hemisphere's largest cultural event is held Feb. 27 to March 21. The New Zealand International Arts Festival includes everything from ballet to opera, with jazz, theater and pop included in the mix.

While you're enjoying New Zealand's summer, you might want to take a trip to its south island, where Napier, a city renowned for its art-deco architecture, is located. Napier highlights that architecture with its Brebner Print Art Deco weekend Feb. 19 to 22.

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 www.travelartspartnership.com.

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