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New York City is always a design-lover's haven, but the next few days are a real bonanza. The Modernism: A Century of Art & Design fair, organized by Sanford L. Smith, is currently on view at the Seventh Regiment Armory at Park Avenue and 67th Street, Nov. 14-17, 2002. Word is that the show, now 17 years old and replicated in many other cities, is especially good this year. Among the things to look for: a spectacular Gio Ponte wall unit in wood and plastic with back lighting ($65,000) at the booth of L.A. dealer Peter Loughrey and the fabulous rugs from the 1940s made by an all-female Swedish co-op at Antik. More than 70 other dealers are on hand. Admission is $15, which includes a copy of the catalogue.

Down in West Chelsea, Phillips, de Pury & Luxembourg has opened the presale exhibition for its auction of 20th- and 21st-century design art, on view at 450 West 15th Street (the auction itself commences at 2 p.m. on Nov. 19 at the Phillips auction house). Especially choice lots range from a ca. 1952 dining table of African wood and Bordeaux lacquered steel by Jan Prouvé from the Air France Headquarters in the Congo ($90,000-$120,000) to a ca. 1939 Frank Lloyd Wright cypress wood chair from the Auld Brass Plantation (est. $7,000-$9,000).

Speaking of Prouvé, while you're in Chelsea, check out Vitra's new three-level design showroom at 29 Ninth Avenue. In the lower gallery is a display of Vitra's re-editioned Jean Prouvé furniture collection. The small round oak-top Guéridon table (1949-50) is $1,165, while a Standard chair (1934) is $495. Later on, local artists are expected to be invited to use the gallery space.

Time to visit a pair of important new art fairs before you head home for Thanksgiving? The Connoisseur's Antiques Fair, sponsored by the Art & Antique Dealers League of America and organized by Caskey & Lees, goes on view Nov. 22-24, 2002, at the Gramercy Park Armory at Lexington Avenue at 26th Street. Among the more than 50 exhibitors are many from New York (Blumka Gallery, E & J. Frankel, Godel & Co., Hyde Park Antiques, Royal Athena Galleries, Salander-O'Reilly, Spanierman Gallery) as well as a good selection from other states. The opening night gala on Nov. 21 benefits St. Vincent's Hospital; tickets start at $100. Call (212) 604-2670 for more info.

And there's lots of buzz, too, about Sanford L. Smith's new Art of the 20th Century show, originally organized for last year but postponed due to 9/11. Arguably New York's major fall art show, the exposition opens at the Seventh Regiment Armory, Nov. 21-24, 2002, with 62 exhibitors from North America and Europe. The exhibitor list goes from top-of-the-line to some younger dealers, ranging from Rachel Adler, Babcock Galleries and Maxwell Davidson to Gary Snyder Fine Art, Tasende Gallery and Galerie Thomas. The preview on Nov. 20 benefits the Citizens Committee for New York City, call (212) 989-0909.

Call it the Mideast in the Midwest. More than 300 jeweled items from the al-Sabah Collection in the Kuwait National Museum go on view at the Saint Louis Art Museum, Nov. 29, 2002-Apr. 20, 2003. Treasure in the exhibition, "Jeweled Arts of India in the Age of the Mughals," include a late-16th-century horse-head-shaped dagger hilt set with rubies, emeralds and agate, a ruby-studded firebird pendant and a gold turban pin studded with emeralds and diamonds. Organized by Manuel Keene of the al-Sabah collection with the assistance of Salam Kaoukji, the show has already appeared at the British Museum, the Metropolitan Museum and the Cleveland Museum; its subsequent stops are at the Houston MFA and the Saint Louis Art Museum. The al-Sabah Collection features 7,000 Islamic works assembled over the last 25 years by Sheikh Nasser and Sheikha Hussah al-Sabah of Kuwait.

Set your calendar for the unveiling of deconstructivist architect Zaha Hadid's long-awaited new museum in Cincinatti, Ohio -- the new Lois and Richard Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art, slated to open May 31, 2003. The inaugural show, "Somewhere Better than this Place: Alternative Social Experience in the Spaces of Contemporary Art," features 50 works (including many special commissions) by 39 artists, including Vanessa Beecroft, Yinka Shonibare, Glenn Ligon, Nikki S. Lee and Patty Chang. The show is organized by senior CAC curator Thom Collins.

Chicago's Terra Museum of American Art is offering free admission until June 30, 2003, to celebrate its 15th anniversary. Currently on view is "A Place on the Avenue: Terra Museum of American Art Celebrates 15 Years in Chicago," tracing the evolution of the Terra Foundation for the Arts. Last year the museum was been scarred by a board battle over a proposal to move the faltering institution to Washington, D.C.; after a painful battle in the press and the courts, a board overhaul in September seems to have left the museum in Windy City for now.

Veteran London art dealer Bernard Jacobson has opened a second space at 19 Clifford Street in London, a few doors down from his main gallery space. The new 1,500 square foot facility features prints, drawings and affordable multiples, and also has a special section devoted to art books and magazines.