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Things to do this week in NYC Mar 6-Mar 13: Museums

Some of the world's most impressive museums and exhibits are in New York?including the Whitney, the Guggenheim, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and (of course) the Metropolitan Museum of Art. One of the great things to do in NYC is to visit these spectacular collections. Whether you're a native New Yorker or here on vacation, NYC's museums have something new and interesting to offer everybody! Here is a list of what's going on this week at museums throughout New York City.

Skin Fruit: Selections from the Dakis Joannou Collection Curated by Jeff Koons - Impossible Possibilities: Playful Sculptures - New Museum of Contemporary Art
March 06, 2010 -

Discover several sculptures included in this exhibition, and, inspired by works such as Jeff Koons's One Ball Total Equilibrium Tank (1985) or Robert Gober's Pitched Crib (1987), create a flip book telling a story that will give new life to these works of art. 10am-noon. Free. Tickets are given on a first-come, first-served basis.

Thomas Chambers (1808-1869): American Marine and Landscape Painter - American Folk Art Museum
Through March 07, 2010 -

Obscure in his own lifetime, Thomas Chambers found fame in the twentieth century with the discovery of The "Constitution" and the "Guerriere," a rare signed painting of his that unlocked the identity of the artist behind a singularly flamboyant group of mid-nineteenth-century American marine and landscape paintings. Chambers's expressive style and bold decorative sensibility appealed to avant-garde taste, and he was hailed as a spunky native original, "America's first modern." Although almost nothing was known about his life, his work rapidly earned a place in the growing collections and anthologies of American folk art. As more of Chambers's work came to light, a spare life story was constructed from census records, city directories, and a handful of dated paintings that document a career in the United States between 1832 and 1865. Widely recognized but little studied in the last fifty years, the artist receives here the first survey of his work since his modern debut in New York in 1942.

Thomas Chambers (1808-1869): American Marine and Landscape Painter - American Folk Art Museum
Through March 07, 2010 -

Obscure in his own lifetime, Thomas Chambers found fame in the twentieth century with the discovery of The "Constitution" and the "Guerriere," a rare signed painting of his that unlocked the identity of the artist behind a singularly flamboyant group of mid-nineteenth-century American marine and landscape paintings. Chambers's expressive style and bold decorative sensibility appealed to avant-garde taste, and he was hailed as a spunky native original, "America's first modern." Although almost nothing was known about his life, his work rapidly earned a place in the growing collections and anthologies of American folk art. As more of Chambers's work came to light, a spare life story was constructed from census records, city directories, and a handful of dated paintings that document a career in the United States between 1832 and 1865. Widely recognized but little studied in the last fifty years, the artist receives here the first survey of his work since his modern debut in New York in 1942.

Legacy: The Preservation of Wilderness in New York City Parks - Museum of the City of New York
Through March 07, 2010 -

Legacy: The Preservation of Wilderness in New York City Parks presents the work of photographer Joel Meyerowitz, who has spent more than three years recording wild places in New York City's parks. Located in all five boroughs, these escapes to the woodlands, streams, waterfronts, marshes, and beaches are among the city's greatest assets, yet they are hidden in plain sight. These wild areas, which have been left or returned to their natural state through the city's "Forever Wild" initiative, include the craggy highlands of Manhattan, the sea-facing marshes of Brooklyn, the rocky, Maine-like coastline of the Bronx, and the nearly impenetrable forests of Queens and Staten Island. Through his photographs, Meyerowitz transports the viewer into the heart of a lush wilderness, while portraying pockets of nature as an inextricable part of city life today.

Museum of the American Gangster - Preview - Museum of the American Gangster
March 07, 2010 -

Located in a former speakeasy, the Museum of the American Gangster's goal is to objectively present the role that crime has played in shaping the politics, culture, myth and lore of New York City -- and beyond. Mission: The Museum of the American Gangster (MOAG) presents an opportunity to visit the hidden, inside world of the American Gangster through artifacts and stories told by those involved. It is a common ground for gangsters, their families, law enforcement, and those who lived the stories from every angle to put the story back in history. This museum is a place for the casual visitor to view life in the American Underworld, and come away with questions as well as answers, and a place where serious enthusiasts and scholars can find original source documents and artifacts to learn more about this often hidden part of American history. A visit to the Museum of the American Gangster will leave one wondering how a balance will ever be struck between American individualism and societal control. The Museum Space: The MOAG boasts 800 sq feet of gallery space, an authentic speakeasy, a maze of hidden rooms in the basement left over from Prohibition (which are all part of the exhibit), and dedicated research facilities where visitors can access original source documents, articles and more. Frank Sinatra was a singing waiter in our restaurant as a youth, and our gallery space served as living quarters for Leon Trotsky in 1917. The 160-seat, professional Off-Broadway theater on site premiered You're A Good Man Charlie Brown in 1967 and is the site of Lord Buckley's final performance before his death in 1960. (And that is just the tip of the iceberg.) Beyond the photos and artifacts, MOAG will offers workshops, walking tours, live performances, historic reenactments, lectures, movies and presentations throughout the year. Behind the Scenes: The MOAG was realized through the vision of Eric Ferrara and Lorcan Otway, with the help of dozens of criminal historians, authors, scholars, journalists and the descendants and estates of pivotal crime figures in history. Eric Ferrara is the founder and director of the Lower East Side History Project, a non-profit research and education organization, and also the founder of the East Village Visitors Center. Ferrara is the official historian of the E.4th Street Cultural District (the only official cultural district in Manhattan), an educator at Brooklyn College, and a published author. His newest book, A Guide to Gangsters, Murderers and Weirdos of New York City's Lower East Side (The History Press) has sold out at major retailers nationally and is entering its second edition. Ferrara sits on a number of local boards, including the Tenement Museum's Immigrant Program Advisory Committee and is a consultant to various movie/tv/media outlets, journalists, authors and universities worldwide. Above all, Ferrara is a fourth-generation, native New York/Lower East Sider; his family immigrated from Sicily to Little Italy in 1888. Lorcan Otway is the second generation to manage Theatre 80, a historical off-broadway theatre housed in a former Jazz club and speakeasy. He has worked in the family's theatre business since he helped build the theatre with his father, at the age of ten. He has worked as a photojournalist and with marginalized cultural isolate communities, such as the Romany people, on issues of political asylum and political inclusion. He has a Juris Doctor degree from New York University School of Law.

Wales Week New York: Dylan Thomas - Morgan Library & Museum
Through March 07, 2010 -

Rare Dylan Thomas letters and photos including drafts of an untitled poem beginning "Too proud to die, Broken and Blind he died," which Thomas sent to the recipient the day before he died. Admission to The Morgan is $12 for adults; free on Friday from 7pm to 9pm. The Morgan is also celebrating Wales Week by offering Welsh afternoon tea each day including Welsh cakes, Welsh Rarebit and Glengettie Tea in the Morgan Cafe.

Tino Sehgal - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Through March 10, 2010 -

Organized as part of the Guggenheim's 50th-anniversary celebrations, this exhibition comprises a mise-en-scene that will occupy the entire Frank Lloyd Wright-designed rotunda. One facet of the artist's practice, quasi-sculptural choreographed movement, will transform the ground floor of the rotunda into an arena for spectatorship. On the spiraling ramp, another aspect -- direct verbal interaction between museum visitors and trained participants -- will predominate.

A Woman's Wit: Jane Austen's Life and Legacy - Morgan Library & Museum
Through March 14, 2010 -

This exhibition explores the life, work, and legacy of Jane Austen (1775-1817), regarded as one of the greatest English novelists. Offering a close-up portrait of the iconic British author, whose popularity has surged over the last two decades with numerous motion picture and television adaptations of her work, the show provides tangible intimacy with Austen through the presentation of more than 100 works, including her manuscripts, personal letters, and related materials, many of which the Morgan has not exhibited in over a quarter century.

Leonardo da Vinci's Workshop - Discovery - Times Square Exposition
Through March 14, 2010 -

Explore Leonardo da Vinci's 500 year old inventions from his actual notebooks as they are brought to life in in this world-premiere exhibit. Discover how his visions for an airplane, automobile and bridge would have worked – long before they became the modern world's reality. Plus, uncover the translations and hidden meanings behind the mastermind's paintings, sketches and notebooks through innovative digital technology.

Imperial Privilege: Vienna Porcelain of Du Paquier, 1718–44 - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Through March 21, 2010 -

The second porcelain factory in Europe able to make true porcelain in the manner of the Chinese was established in Vienna in 1718. Founded by Claudius Innocentius Du Paquier, the small porcelain enterprise developed a highly distinctive style that remained Baroque in inspiration throughout the history of the factory, which was taken over by the State in 1744. Du Paquier produced a range of tablewares, decorative vases, and small-scale sculpture that found great popularity with the Hapsburg court and the Austrian nobility. This exhibition will chart the history of the development of the Du Paquier factory, setting its production within the historic and cultural context of Vienna in the first half of the eighteenth century. The porcelain to be featured will be drawn from both the Metropolitan Museum and the premier private collection of this material.

Lincoln and New York - New-York Historical Society
Through March 25, 2010 -

New York's role as the Union's prime provider of manpower, treasure, media coverage, image-making, and protest, some of it racist -- the 1863 Draft Riots and the robust effort to unseat Lincoln in 1864 -- are traced alongside Lincoln's concurrent growth as a leader, writer, symbol of Union and freedom, and ultimately as national martyr. Through all, from political parades to funeral processions, New York played a surprisingly central role in the Lincoln story -- and Lincoln became a leading player in the life of New York. This exhibition commemorates the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial.

FDR's Brain Trust and the Beginning of the New Deal - New-York Historical Society
Through March 25, 2010 -

In his search for a new national message during the 1932 presidential primary, FDR gathered around him a number of political, economic and legal scholars. The core of this group were Columbia University professors, who knew and trusted each other, and were willing to take risks and work long unpaid hours, to promote a candidate that they believed could turn around a nation in crisis. This exhibition will focus on the three key members of the Brain Trust, Raymond Moley, Rexford Tugwell, and Adolph Berle, and two of the New Deal cabinet members with whom they worked to bring about FDR's radical changes, Frances Perkins and Harry Hopkins. Using contemporary photographs, cartoons, broadsides, articles and newsreels, this exhibition will be supplemented by audio reminisces from the collection of the Columbia University Oral History Research Office.

Anish Kapoor: Memory - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Through March 28, 2010 -

Memory (2008), a new commissioned Cor-Ten steel sculptural installation by Anish Kapoor made its debut at Deutsche Guggenheim in November 2008. The exhibition, part of the Guggenheim's 50th-anniversary celebrations, presents New York audiences with a site-specific adaption of the work, conceived originally for both exhibition locations.

The Life & Legacy of Lieutenant Petrosino - New York City Police Museum
Through March 31, 2010 -

Visit the Police Museum's newest installation celebrating one of the most famous officers in the history of the NYPD. Lieutenant Petrosino arrived in New York as a young boy in 1872 and grew to become a pioneer in the fight against organized crime until his murder in 1909 in Sicily. He remains the only New York City Police Officer to be killed in the line of duty while overseas. The original photographs, documents and artifacts within this collection, loaned by Lieutenant Petrosino's family, have waited 100 years to make their first-ever public debut.

Slash: Paper Under The Knife - Museum of Arts & Design
Through April 04, 2010 -

Slash: Paper Under the Knife takes the pulse of the international art world's renewed interest in paper as a creative medium and source of artistic inspiration, examining the remarkably diverse use of paper in a range of art forms. Slash is the third exhibition in MAD's Materials and Process series, which examines the renaissance of traditional handcraft materials and techniques in contemporary art and design. The exhibition surveys unusual paper treatments, including works that are burned, torn, cut by lasers, and shredded. A section of the exhibition will focus on artists who modify books to transform them into sculpture, while another will highlight the use of cut paper for film and video animations.

Design USA: Contemporary Innovation - Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum
Through April 04, 2010 -

Design USA celebrates the accomplishments of the winners honored during the first ten years of the prestigious National Design Awards. The exhibition features outstanding contemporary achievements in American architecture, landscape design, interior design, product design, communication design, corporate design, interaction design, and fashion. Developed in collaboration with the renowned firm 2x4, Design USA focuses on innovation through the lens of technology, material, method, craft and transformation.

Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Through April 11, 2010 -

A diverse selection of European and American works on paper spanning the sixteenth to the twenty-first centuries. A group of early Italian engravings will be shown, including two masterpieces attributed to the great Renaissance artist Andrea Mantegna (1431-1506): Bacchanal with Silenus (ca. 1475) and Risen Christ between Saints Andrew and Longinus (ca. 1472). A section is also devoted to Italian painters from the seventeenth century who experimented with the medium of etching in new and exciting ways. Highlights include Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione's (1609-1664) atmospheric portrayal of the ancient philosopher Diogenes on his quest for an honest man (Diogenes with the Lantern, ca. 1645-1647) and Jason and the Dragon (ca. 1664), one of the last and most dramatic etchings by Salvator Rosa (1615-1673).

Monet's Water Lilies - Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Through April 12, 2010 -

The Museum of Modern Art presents an installation that will, for the first time since the Museum's reopening in 2004, feature the full group of Claude Monet's late paintings in the collection. These include a mural-sized triptych (Water Lilies, 1914–26) and a single-panel painting of the water lilies in the Japanese-style pond that Monet cultivated on his property in Giverny, France (Water Lilies, 1914–26), as well as The Japanese Footbridge (c. 1920–22) and Agapanthus (1914–26), depicting the majestic plants in the pond's vicinity. These paintings have long held a special status with the Museum's audiences and, much like MoMA's Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden, they provide a modern oasis in the center of midtown Manhattan. These works will be complemented by two loans of closely related paintings.

The Drawings of Bronzino - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Through April 18, 2010 -

This exhibition is the first ever dedicated to Agnolo Bronzino (1503–1572), presenting nearly all the known drawings by, or attributed to, the leading Italian Mannerist artist, who was active primarily in Florence. A painter, draftsman, academician, and enormously witty poet, Bronzino became famous as the court artist to the Duke Cosimo I de' Medici and his beautiful wife, the Duchess Eleonora di Toledo. This monographic exhibition will contain approximately 60 drawings from European and North-American collections, many of which have never before been on public view.

Tim Burton - Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Through April 26, 2010 -

This major career retrospective on Tim Burton (American, b. 1958), consisting of a gallery exhibition and a film series, considers Burton's career as a director, producer, writer, and concept artist for live-action and animated films, along with his work as a fiction writer, photographer and illustrator. Following the current of his visual imagination from early childhood drawings through his mature work, the exhibition presents artwork generated during the conception and production of his films, and highlights a number of unrealized projects and never-before-seen pieces, as well as student art, his earliest non-professional films, and examples of his work as a storyteller and graphic artist for non-film projects.

Ernesto Neto: Navedenga - Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Through April 26, 2010 -

Since the late 1990s, Brazilian artist Ernesto Neto (b. 1964) has created interactive, immersive sculptural environments using translucent, stretchable fabric. Navedenga (1998), acquired for the Museum's collection in 2007 and on view for the first time in the galleries, is one of the earliest pieces from this evolving body of work. With its taut contours, rounded appendages, and soft, pliant surface, the installation resembles both the intimate spaces of a body and a fantastical spacecraft; its title, a neologism coined by the artist, recalls the Portuguese word for ship, nave. The artist embedded aromatic cloves within the structure, and visitors are invited inside its hollow chamber to engage their visual, tactile, and olfactory senses. Male and female; internal and external; weight and ethereality -- Navedenga encompasses a profusion of symbiotic oppositions.

Contemplating the Void: Interventions in the Guggenheim Museum - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Through April 28, 2010 -

For the building's 50th anniversary, the Guggenheim invited scores of artists to leave practicality or even reality behind in conjuring their proposals for the space. In this exhibition of ideal projects, certain themes emerge, including the return to nature in its primordial state, the desire to climb the building, the interplay of light and space, the interest in diaphanous effects as a counterpoint to the concrete structure, and the impact of sound on the environment. Conceived as both a commemoration and a self-reflexive folly, Contemplating the Void confirms how truly catalytic the architecture of the Guggenheim can be.

Paris and the Avant-Garde: Modern Masters from the Guggenheim Collection - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Through May 12, 2010 -

During the first decades of the twentieth century, numerous painters and sculptors migrated to Paris, which had become the international nexus for vanguard art. Bringing with them their diverse customs, these artists absorbed and contributed to the latest creative developments, often fusing novel formal elements with aspects from their respective local traditions. Although these artists did not adhere to a fixed style typical of a school, they were united in their defiance of academicism. Paris and the Avant-Garde: Modern Masters from the Guggenheim Collectio features some thirty paintings from the Guggenheim Collection by such artists as Georges Braque, Marc Chagall, Robert Delaunay, Albert Gleizes, Juan Gris, Pablo Picasso, Fernand Leger, Joan Miro, and Yves Tanguy, among others, as well as showcase a significant group of sculpture by Constantin Brancusi and Alexander Calder.

Surface Tension: Contemporary Photographs from the Collection - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Through May 16, 2010 -

Photographs are often perceived as transparent windows onto a three-dimensional world. Yet photographs also have their own material presence as physical objects. Contemporary artists who exploit this apparent contradiction between photograph as window and photograph as object are featured in Surface Tension. This exhibition presents 30 works that play with the inherent tension between the flatness of the photograph and the often lifelike illusion of depth. Surface Tension highlights the ways in which artists use photographic and multi-media techniques to direct our attention to the physical surface of the photograph. Among the works featured are photographs that have been purposely scratched, burned, or painted on, as well as photograms made by placing objects directly on top of a sheet of photographic paper. The exhibition is drawn entirely from the permanent collection and features several recent acquisitions and other contemporary photographs never before shown at the Museum.

Charles Addams's New York - Museum of the City of New York
Through May 16, 2010 -

An exhibition of original artworks by the legendary New Yorker cartoonist that capture Addams's quintessentially idiosyncratic and slyly subversive view of the city, depicting his signature macabre characters, twisted situations, and distorted reimaginings of the cityscape. The works in the exhibition include watercolors, preliminary pencil sketches, completed cartoons, and examples of published work from the cover of the New Yorker.

William Kentridge: Five Themes - Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Through May 17, 2010 -

This large-scale exhibition surveys nearly three decades of work by William Kentridge (b. 1955, South Africa), a remarkably versatile artist whose work combines the political with the poetic. Dealing with subjects as sobering as apartheid, colonialism, and totalitarianism, his work is often imbued with dreamy, lyrical undertones or comedic bits of self-deprecation that render his powerful messages both alluring and ambivalent.

The Mourners: Medieval Tomb Sculptures from the Court of Burgundy - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Through May 23, 2010 -

The renovation of the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Dijon provides an opportunity for the unprecedented loan of the alabaster mourner figures from the tomb of John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, and his wife, Margaret of Bavaria. Each of the statuettes is approximately sixteen inches high. They were carved by Jean de La Huerta and Antoine Le Moiturier between 1443–1456 for the ducal tomb originally in the church of Champmol, and they follow the precedent of the mourner figures carved by Claus Sluter and colleagues for the tomb of Duke Philip the Bold (1342–1404). The tombs are celebrated as among the most sumptuous and innovative of the late Middle Ages. The primary innovation was the space given to the figures of the grieving mourners on the base of the tomb, who seem to pass through the real arcades of a cloister.

2010 Whitney Biennial - Whitney Museum of American Art
Through May 30, 2010 -

This year marks the seventy-fifth edition of the Whitney's signature exhibition. While Biennials are always affected by the cultural, political, and social moment, this exhibition "simply titled 2010" embodies a cross section of contemporary art production rather than a specific theme.

5,000 Years of Japanese Art: Treasures from the Packard Collection - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Through June 06, 2010 -

This exhibition celebrates the thirty-fifth anniversary of the acquisition of the Packard Collection, showcasing its particular strengths in archaeological artifacts, Buddhist iconographic scrolls, ceramics, screen paintings of the Momoyama and Edo periods (sixteenth through nineteenth centuries), and sculptures of the Heian and Kamakura periods (ninth through fourteenth centuries).

Contemporary Aboriginal Painting from Australia - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Through June 13, 2010 -

This installation features fourteen bold and colorful paintings created by contemporary Aboriginal Australian artists. Drawn from a private collection in the U. S., the installation provides an introduction to Aboriginal painting, which has become Australia's most celebrated contemporary art movement and has attained prominence within the international art world. The works on view -- all of which have never before been on public display -- were created primarily over the past decade by artists from the central desert, where the contemporary painting movement began, and from adjoining regions, to which the movement spread. On view are paintings by prominent artists, including some of the founders of the contemporary movement, as well as emerging figures. This is the first presentation of contemporary Australian Aboriginal painting to be held at the Metropolitan Museum.

The Art of Illumination: The Limbourg Brothers and the Belles Heures of Jean de France, Duc de Berry - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Through June 13, 2010 -

The Belles Heures (1405-1408/9) of Jean de Berry, a treasure of The Cloisters collection, is one of the most celebrated and lavishly illustrated manuscripts in this country. Because it is currently unbound, it is possible to exhibit all of its illuminated pages as individual leaves, a unique opportunity never to be repeated. The exhibition will elucidate the manuscript, its artists -- the young Franco-Netherlandish Limbourg Brothers -- and its patron, Jean de France, duc de Berry. A select group of precious objects from the same early fifteenth-century courtly milieu will place the manuscript in the context of the patronage of Jean de Berry and his royal family, the Valois.

Shape Lab - Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Through June 14, 2010 -

Make discoveries about shape and art in MoMA's newest interactive space. In Shape Lab, families can experiment, build, draw, read, and create with a variety of kid-friendly materials and activities. Open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday, 10:30am-5pm; Friday, 10:30am-6:30pm.

Malevich in Focus: 1912-1922 - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Through June 30, 2010 -

This intimate presentation of six paintings spans a ten-year period and illustrates Malevich's path toward a truly original mode of artistic expression. Moreover, the works share a unique history: each was included in the retrospective exhibition of Malevich's work in Poland and Germany in 1927 and the works have not been exhibited together since that time.

The New Typography - Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Through July 12, 2010 -

In the 1920s and 1930s, the so-called New Typography movement brought graphics and information design to the forefront of the artistic avant-garde in Central Europe. Rejecting traditional arrangement of type in symmetrical columns, modernist designers organized the printed page or poster as a blank field in which blocks of type and illustration (frequently photomontage) could be arranged in harmonious, strikingly asymmetrical compositions. Taking his lead from currents in Soviet Russia and at the Weimar Bauhaus, the designer Jan Tschichold codified the movement with accessible guidelines in his landmark book Die Neue Typographie (1928). Almost overnight, typographers and printers adapted this way of working for a huge range of printed matter, from business cards and brochures to magazines, books, and advertisements. This installation of posters and numerous small-scale works is drawn from MoMA's rich collection of Soviet Russian, German, Dutch, and Czechoslovakian graphics. They represent material from Tschichold's own collection, which supported his teaching and publication from around 1927 to 1937.

Mastering the Art of Chinese Painting: Xie Zhiliu (1910-1997) - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Through July 25, 2010 -

This exhibition includes a selection of around one hundred works drawn from a recent gift of more than three hundred paintings, sketches and studies, poetry manuscripts, and artist's seals done by or for Xie Zhiliu (1910-1997), one of modern China's leading traditional artists and connoisseurs. Together, these studies illustrate how Chinese artists historically have learned both from earlier masterpieces as well as from nature, and provide unique insights into the artistic process.

Traveling the Silk Road: Ancient Pathway to the Modern World - American Museum of Natural History
Through August 15, 2010 -

This intriguing exhibition brings to life one of the greatest trading routes in human history, showcasing the goods, cultures, and technologies from four representative cities: Xi'an, China's Tang Dynasty capital; Turfan, a verdant oasis and trading outpost; Samarkand, home of prosperous merchants who thrived on the caravan trade; and Baghdad, a fertile hub of commerce and scholarship that became the intellectual center of the era.

Hilla Rebay: Art Educator - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Through August 22, 2010 -

Hilla Rebay: Art Educator features some of the artist's remarkably progressive efforts to provide a variety of audiences -- from youth and teachers to artists and museum visitors -- with opportunities to learn about nonobjective art, or art without representational links to the material world.

Lizards & Snakes: Alive! - American Museum of Natural History
Through September 02, 2010 -

Featuring more than 60 live lizards and snakes from five continents in exquisitely prepared habitats. In addition to the live animals, the exhibit uses interactive stations, significant fossils, and an award-winning video to acquaint visitors with the world of the Squamata, the group that includes lizards and snakes. Open daily. $16; children 2-12, $9.

Approaching Abstraction - American Folk Art Museum
Through September 06, 2010 -

It is commonly assumed that contemporary self-taught artists work solely in a representational style, eager to engage in storytelling and personal memory. But while the narrative tradition often is a primary impulse, a significant number exhibit a tendency to be seduced by material, technique, color, form, line, and texture, creating artwork that omits or obscures representation. "Approaching Abstraction" highlights the work of more than forty of these artists and includes European art brut masters, such as Aloise Corbaz, Rafael Lonne, and Adolf Wolfli; self-taught artists from the American South, such as Thornton Dial Sr., Bessie Harvey, J.B. Murry, and Purvis Young; and lesser-known artists, such as Johnny Culver, Hiroyuki Doi, and Melvin Way. This first exploration into nonobjective expression within this field is selected entirely from the museum's permanent collection.

Haunted: Contemporary Photography/Video/Performance - Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Through September 06, 2010 -

This exhibition examines myriad ways photographic imagery is incorporated into recent practice and in the process underscores the unique power of reproductive media while documenting a widespread contemporary obsession, both collective and individual, with accessing the past.

The Modern Myth: Drawing Mythologies in Modern Times - Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Through September 06, 2010 -

Throughout history, mythologies have provided explanations for humankind's existential surroundings through collective beliefs and shared verbal and visual narratives. Representational visual artists have long looked to ancient mythologies as a thematic repertoire, a tradition both preserved and evolved by modern and contemporary artists who continue to address and reinterpret mythological references in their works. This exhibition addresses the artistic traces of these motifs in modern art, as well as the practice of modern myth-making, through a nonlinear, thematic representation of works, following a rough chronology from 1797 to 2008. Among the artists represented are Matthew Barney, Joseph Beuys, Paul Cézanne, Enrique Chagoya, Salvador Dalí, Marcel Duchamp, Willem de Kooning, Juan Downey, Marlene Dumas, Max Ernst, Adolph Gottlieb, Arshile Gorky, Wifredo Lam, Matta, Ana Mendieta, Robert Motherwell, Pablo Picasso, Richard Prince, Jackson Pollock, Odilon Redon, Mark Rothko, Jim Shaw, and Andy Warhol.

Sounding the Pacific: Musical Instruments of Oceania - Metropolitan Museum of Art
Through September 07, 2010 -

This exhibition -- the first in an art museum to be devoted exclusively to Oceanic musical instruments -- explores the rich diversity of musical instruments created and used in the Pacific Islands. Drawn primarily from the Met's collections, the exhibition features more than 60 instruments from small personal types such as panpipes and courting whistles to larger forms played at performances heard by the entire community, such as the exquisitely carved temple drums of the Austral Islands or the imposing sacred slit gongs of New Guinea.

Up Close: Henry Darger and the Coloring Book - American Folk Art Museum
Through September 13, 2010 -

Henry Darger (1892-1973) adopted countless images from popular-media sources, such as newspapers, magazines, comics, and cartoons, but no single source influenced him as steadily as the coloring book. This intimate exhibition features nine examples culled from the museum's extensive Henry Darger Study Archive, illustrating the primary role the coloring book played for this important twentieth-century artist.

Body Parts: Ancient Egyptian Fragments and Amulets - Brooklyn Museum
Through October 02, 2010 - Brooklyn

Body Parts features thirty-five objects that represent individual body parts in ancient Egyptian art from the Brooklyn Museum's collection, many of which will be displayed for the first time. While traditional exhibitions of ancient art focus on reconstructing damaged works, this exhibition uses fragmentary objects to illuminate the very realistic depiction of individual body parts in canonical Egyptian sculpture. The ancient Egyptians carefully depicted each part of the human body, respecting the significance of every detail. When viewed individually these sculptures and fragments reveal ancient notions of the body, as well as details of workmanship, frequently unnoticed in more complete sculptures.

Collecting Biennials - Whitney Museum of American Art
Through November 28, 2010 -

As a prelude, counterpoint, and coda to the Biennial, the Museum's fifth floor is devoted to artists in the Whitney's collection whose works were shown in Biennials over the past eight decades. Collecting Biennials is installed as a kind of historical survey within the Biennial, underscoring the importance of previous Biennial exhibitions in the Museum's history and the formation of its collection.

A Song for the Horse Nation - National Museum of the American Indian
Through July 07, 2011 -

A Song for the Horse Nation presents the epic story of the horse's influence on American Indian tribes from the 1600s to the present. Drawing upon a treasure-trove of stunning historical objects -- including ledger drawings, hoof ornaments, beaded bags, hide robes, paintings, and other objects -- and new pieces by contemporary Native artists, the exhibition reveals how horses shaped the social, economic, cultural, and spiritual foundations of American Indian life, particularly on the Great Plains.

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