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It seems that more exhibitions than ever are coming over from Russia to American museums. "Marc Chagall: Early Works from Russian Collections" opens at the Jewish Museum, Apr. 29-Oct. 14, 2001, with 56 works selected by curator Susan Tumarkin Goodman largely from the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow and the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg. The show features several paintings from Chagall's lyrical lovers' cycle that picture the handsome young artist and the lovely Bella Rosefeld, who would become his wife.

"Treasures from the Hermitage Museum, Russia: Rubens and his Age" opens at the Art Gallery of Ontario, May 5-Aug. 17, 2001, with more than 150 works by Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyck, Jacob Jordaens and others in the first show specifically selected from the Hermitage for a Canadian audience. The exhibition, which is sponsored by Goldman Sachs Canada, is the first of three. Forthcoming is a show of works by Gauguin, Cezanne, Matisse and Picasso, and one of fine and decorative arts from the Tsarist period.

The Indianapolis Museum of Art is premiering "Gifts to the Tsars, 1500-1700: Treasures from the Kremlin," Sept. 23, 2001-Jan. 13, 2002, featuring more than 100 precious objects, examples of arms and armor and other gifts to the Russian rulers dating from the time of Ivan the Terrible through Peter the Great. The museum has received $565,000 from the Lilly Endowment to develop citywide programming related to the show, which is organized with the State Historical-Cultural Museum Preserve in Moscow.

And last but not least, the Guggenheim Museum reports that a three-day summit meeting was convened in St. Petersburg last month to plan the tri-lateral cooperation between the Gugg, the State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and the Kunsthistorisches Museums in Vienna. Among the possible shows discussed were a touring exhibition of works collected by the institutions' founding patrons and a selection of Robert Mapplethorpe photos matched with Russian Mannerist works. The Guggenheim-Hermitage Museum at the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas is scheduled to open in September 2001.

"Michelangelo: Drawings and Other Treasures from the Casa Buonarroti, Florence" opens at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, June 23-Sept. 2, 2001. The show features 24 drawings by Michelangelo, including sketches and studies for the Sistine Chapel ceiling and architectural studies for the San Lorenzo complex in Florence. Also included are a sonnet in the artist's own hand beside a caricature of himself painting the Sistine ceiling, tiny drawings of food that allowed an illiterate assistant to prepare his meals, a life-size bronze bust of the artist by his pupil, Daniele da Volterra, and a wax model of a river god. The show is organized by Casa Buonarroti director Pina Ragionieri and guest-curated by Syracuse University art historian Gary M. Radke; it is underwritten in Atlanta by Northwestern Mutual Financial Network. The show subsequently travels to the Toledo (Ohio) Museum of Art, Sept. 21-Nov. 25, 2001.

The Museum of American Folk Art has received it's largest gift ever, a collection of over 400 works assembled by Ralph Esmarian, chairman of the museum's board of trustees. The Esmarian Collection, arguably the preeminent folk art collection in private hands, includes Girl in Red Dress with Cat and Dog by Ammi Phillips and the iconic Statue of Liberty weathervane as well as paintings, sculptures, watercolors, carvings, pottery, fraktur, textiles, samplers, scrimshaw and furniture. The entire collection goes on public view for the first time when the museum opens its new $22-million Tod Williams and Billie Tsien-designed building at 45 West 53rd Street in December 2001.

The second annual Madison Avenue Where Fashion Meets Art festival launches on May 3 with art shows at more than 60 Madison Avenue boutiques, from Agnes B (1063 Madison) and Baccarat (625 Madison) to Valentino (747 Madison) and Zigzag Jewelry (963 Madison), where a series of silent auctions will benefit the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Each boutique is exhibiting art works that relate to a designer or special collection; over 40 Madison Avenue galleries are participating.

Brian and Anna Haughton's International Art + Design Fair 1900-2001 opens to the public Sept. 29-Oct. 2, 2001, at the Seventh Regiment Armory at Park Avenue at 67th Street. This year the fair's gala opening benefits the Museum of Modern Art; the special exhibition is vintage glass from the Orrefors Museum in Sweden. The show was formerly called the International 20th Century Arts Fair.

The Forum Gallery, established in New York in 1961 and exhibiting works by artists ranging from Odd Nerdrum and Gregory Gillespie to Jules Pascin and Chaim Gross, is branching out to Los Angeles. The new location at 8069 Beverly Boulevard (at Crescent Heights) opens May 18 with a group show of gallery artists, including Nerdrum, Christian Vincent, William Beckman, Robert Cottinghham and Steven Assael. Director of the gallery is Niccolo Brooker, who has been associate director of the New York space. In July, Forum L.A. presents "Popcorn Palaces: The Art Deco Movie Theatre Paintings of Davis Cone." For info contact (323) 954-7510.

Plus Ultra, a new gallery located at 235 South 1st Street in the Williamsburg district of Brooklyn, opens May 4, 2001, with "Skank," a show featuring works by 11 artists about sex and politics. Plus Ultra is a collaboration between artist Joshua Stern and independent curator Ed Winkleman. For more info contact (718) 387-3844.

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Marc Chagall: Early Works from Russian Collections

Treasures from the Hermitage Museum, Russia: Rubens and his Age

Michelangelo's Drawings

Rineke Dijkstra exhibiton catalogue

Popcorn Palaces: The Art Deco Movie Theatre Paintings of Davis Cone