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London's Tate museum is facing a strike from its curators and restorers, according to English press reports. The Institution of Professionals, Managers and Specialists, which represents about 44 museum professionals at the four Tate branches, seeks a pay increase; Tate management has offered a rise averaging 2.7 percent, with larger increases for lower-ranking workers. A half-day strike is planned for the debut of the fall art season in September, which presumably wouldn't close the museum but would force the relatively militant British museum-going public to cross a picket line.

At least one New York area museum is wasting no time in taking a retrospective look at the 2000-2001 art season in Manhattan. The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Ridgefield, Conn., opens "Best of the Season: Selected Highlights from the 2000-2001 Manhattan Gallery Season," Sept. 23-Dec. 30, 2001. The biennial survey, launched two years ago under new Aldrich director Harry Philbrick, is selected this year by Philbrick, Aldrich assistant director Richard Klein and curator Jessica Hough. A total of 22 artists made the curatorial cut: Polly Apfelbaum, Paul Brown, Edward Burtynsky, Jonathan Callan, R. Crumb, Verne Dawson, Steve DiBenedetto, Neil Farber, Tim Gardner, Terry Haggerty, Hilary Harkness, Jane Harris, Sabine Hornig, Brad Kahlhamer, Joyce Kozloff, Christian Marclay, Roy McMakin, Michael Rees, Andres Serrano, Charles Spurrier, William Willis and Yun-Fei Ji.

It just seems like the New York art world is closing up shop for the coming month of August. Opening tonight, July 27, 2001, is a graffiti installation by the 22-year-old New York University grad Damien Johnson at a new gallery at 13 Stanton Street on Manhattan's Lower East Side. The medium -- disreputable public calligraphy, shall we call it? -- seems fitting, somehow, since Damien is son to New York's leading gossip hound, Richard Johnson of the New York Post's Page Six.

Three more days to see "Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years," which closes at the Metropolitan Museum on Sunday, July 29, 2001. To handle the overflow crowds, the museum is staying open till 9 p.m. every night. "Even if you walk in at 8:59 p.m., you get to see the show," said a spokesperson. If you can't make it, at least you can visit the online version of the exhibition on the Met's website, which stays on view after the real-world show closes. The Met says that 535,000 people visited the show, and that some 45,000 copies of the catalogue have been sold (hardcover is $50 and paperback is $35).

Arty Hamptonites are looking forward to this weekend's benefit auction and garden dinner party for the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, held at the East Hampton home of Kimora Lee and Russell Simmons, Saturday, July 28, 2001. Among the honorees are artist Ross Bleckner and Studio Museum in Harlem director Lowery Stokes Sims. Donated art comes from Francesco Clemente, George Condo, Bryan Hunt, David LaChapelle, Brice Marden, William Wegman and others. Tickets are $1,000; for more info, contact Livet Reichard at (212) 344-8420.

Readers of Philadelphia Weekly were treated to a small fuss over the removal of the phrase "Jew blood" from descriptions in the wall labels accompanying some "Holocaust art" put on view in the lobby of the Philadelphia Inquirer building. Artist Neil Bernstein says that his sculptures, mixed-medium constructions with titles like Dauchau, Hitler's Den and Titus and the Destruction of Jerusalem 70. A.D., include some of his own blood. A spokesman for the newspaper changed the wall labels without his consent after unspecified complaints were made by building employees. The dispute stays in the teacup. "A dialogue has begun here, and to take the work down kills that," said Bernstein.

The American Folk Art Museum in New York has named 15 winners of its international quilt contest, called "Quilted Constructions: The Spirit of Design." The grand prize goes to Swedish Design Sampler #3 by Marta Amundson from Riverton, Wyo., a quilt that depicts 15 chairs from Stockholm based on computer-altered images of Amundson's original photos. Other prize recipients are Esterita Austin from Port Jefferson, N.Y., and Jenny Hearn from Benmore, South Africa. Quilts by all 15 finalists go on view at the museum galleries by Lincoln Center, Sept. 15, 2001-Jan. 13, 2002. The museum's new building opens on West 53rd Street on Dec. 11, 2001.