Two world-famous museums to exhibit art at the Venetian

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LAS VEGAS -- Two of the most famous museums in the world, the Guggenheim of New York and the Hermitage of St. Petersburg, Russia, have collaborated to show works from their collections in an exhibit space to be created at the Venetian.

The 7,660-square-foot structure, to be called the Hermitage-Guggenheim Museum, is scheduled to open in the spring.

The Hermitage-Guggenheim, designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, will be a contemporary area near the Venetian lobby.

A series of traveling exhibits will lead off with examples of impressionism, post-impressionism and early modernism, focusing on the turn of the 20th century, when conventional painting was eclipsed by the avant-garde movement in Paris.

Tracing modernism's early beginnings in late 19th century France, the exhibit will be introduced with Claude Monet's "Woman in the Garden, Sainte-Adresse" (1867).

A scene of urban leisure by Camille Pissaro and portraits by Pierre Auguste Renoir will represent the French avant-garde.

Post-impressionism will be depicted by Paul Gauguin's paintings of Tahiti's native inhabitants and Paul Cezanne's landscape, portraiture and still life.

Early 20th century modernism by colorists Pierre Matisse and Pierre Bonnard will be balanced by the radical cubism of Pablo Picasso.

Works by Marc Chagall, Andre Derain, Vasily Kandinsky, Franz Marc, Amedeo Modigliani, Francis Picabia, Henri Rousseau, Gino Servini, Louis Valtat and Kees Van Dongen also will be among the pieces on loan.

Thomas Kerns, director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, said the pairing of the Hermitage collection, whose works stop at the beginning of the 20th century, and the Guggenheim collection, which ranges from the late 19th century to the present, will create "a superb cultural narrative."

A separate 63,700-square-foot Guggenheim Las Vegas museum, also designed by Koolhaas, will open next summer next to the casino in what was once a parking lot.

The Guggenheim Las Vegas, envisioned as exhibition space rather than a museum, will be housed in a sparse, hangar-like structure with 70-foot ceilings. It will be accessible from the Venetian and not visible from the street.

The "Art of the Motorcycle," an exhibit elaborating on the machines as both a cultural icon and design achievement, will open the museum.

The exhibit will feature more than 120 motorcycles. Presented chronologically, it traces their evolution from the 1868 steam engine attached to a bicycle to the Buell Blast of 2000.

A tentative $15 admission charge has been set for both museums.

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