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A group of 22 long lost drawings by Edward Hopper, many of them final studies for the artists most iconic paintings, are going on view at Peter Findlay Gallery in the Fuller Building in Manhattan, May 3-31, 2005. The trove includes drawings for A Woman in the Sun (1960), the famous picture of a nude woman standing pensively in her bedroom that is in the collection of the Whitney Museum, and Room by the Sea (1951), a work in the Yale University Art Gallery collection that is one of the rare Hopper pictures of an interior without a figure. Prices for the "Capezzera Drawings, " as they have been named after their owner, Boston attorney Frank M. Capezzera, are in the $130,000-$250,000 range.

Edward Hopper died in 1967 and his wife, Jo Hopper, died eight months later, leaving the Hoppers Cape Cod home in Truro, Mass., to Mary Schiffenhaus, a neighbor and friend who helped care for Jo at the end of her life. Schiffenhaus found the 22 Hopper drawings in drawers and cupboards in the house, and subsequently gave them to Capezerra, a friend, in 1969. The gallery has published a thoroughly illustrated catalogue to mark the exhibition. For more info, see

You know its springtime when the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art throws its so-called "party of the year, " a benefit gala scheduled for tonight, May 2, 2005, and co-chaired by actress Nicole Kidman, Chanel design director Karl Lagerfeld and Vogue editor Anna Wintour. Pretext for the party is "Chanel, " May 5-Aug. 7, 2005, an exhibition of several dozen outfits by the pioneering modern designer Gabrielle "Coco " Chanel (1883-1971), famous for freeing women from the 19th-century corset and dressing them in practical clothes -- notably, big-buttoned suites in English schoolboy tweed, accessorized with lots of costume jewelry.

For the show, the Met has converted its temporary exhibition space on the first floor into a kind of dark and dreamy department store, dividing the gallery about 20 shop-window-like vitrines (eat your heart out, Guggenheim Museum). Interspersed with the classic Chanel designs are the more vulgar updates of her style done by Lagerfeld, who in 1983 was brought in from Chlöe to take over design duties (the show entirely omits any clothes from the 1971-83 "interregnum, " when the firm entered a more dowdy, old-lady period under designers like Yvonne Dudel, Jean Cazaubon and Philippe Guibourge).

The Met shop has stepped up for the occasion as well, offering some special merchandise. Among the items are a Chanel Icon Charm Bracelet, featuring charms in the forms of a quilted Chanel handbag, the classic CC monogram and the trademark No. 5 ($495); a silk mousseline Coco Chanel Scarf featuring a portrait of Chanel by Lagerfeld ($245); and a Coco Doll Costume Jewelry Wardrobe Suite, including a pin, pendant, earrings, cell phone charm and key ring ($175-$295).

The Lower Manhattan Cultural Councils annual benefit dinner is scheduled for May 5 at Ciprianis Downtown. Honorees are New York senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Charles Schumer, John and Dan Tishman of Tishman Construction, builders of the original World Trade Center, and the avant-garde musical group Sonic Youth. The evenings events include an auction of artworks by Vito Acconci, Louise Bourgeois, Jenny Holzer, Claes Oldenberg and many others, as well as a short film by the Neistat Brothers and several performances, including one by the Boys Choir of Harlem. "Downtown is less a place than a state of mind, " said LMCC president Tom Healy. Tickets to the dinner are already sold out, but you can still bid on some of the worksonline; for info, see

Ever since the "culture wars " of the 1980s and early 90s, the National Endowment for the Arts has been largely irrelevant to the contemporary art world, though it does still manage to pass along a limited amount of federal funds to some important arts organizations. NEA recently awarded a total of $61 million in arts grants, and several important museums received funds under the "American Masterpieces: Visual Arts Touring " category for worthwhile projects, including $120,000 to the Georgia OKeeffe Museum for "Georgia OKeeffe and the Women of the Stieglitz Circle " and $100,000 to the Phillips Collection for "Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series. "

But other grants on the list suggest that things NEA have sunk to a new low. For instance, in the "access to artistic excellence " category, grants include $25,000 for the Pier Walk sculpture show in Chicago, $20,000 to support a series of exhibitions in the waiting room of a Richmond public hospital, and $20,000 for the Craft Emergency Relief Fund website. And to think, NEA fellowships for visual artists were eliminated in part because the winners were said to have been insufficiently "national " in stature to deserve awards from a federal arts agency. For more of the sad details, see

The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., has organized a major survey of works by the abstract painter Sean Scully. Focusing on the series inspired by the artists trip to Mexico more than 20 years ago -- the compositions use a motif of horizontal and vertical "bricks " derived from ancient Mayan ruins -- "Sean Scully: Wall of Light " premieres at the Phillips, Oct. 22, 2005-Jan. 8, 2006, and subsequently travels to the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the Cincinnati Art Museum and the Metropolitan Museum. The show is organized by Stephen Bennett Phillips and features approximately 20 large-scale oil paintings and 40 watercolors, pastels and aquatints. The show is sponsored by UBS comes with a catalogue published by Rizzoli.

Art-loving real estate mogul Aby Rosen has added still another major artwork to his Lever House Art Collection, commissioning a huge maze constructed of 2,500,000 sheets of green paper from Brooklyn-based color-and-architecture-artist Peter Wegner. Lever Labyrinth, as it is titled, goes on view in the Lever House lobby, May 9-Sept. 4, 2005, before becoming part of the Lever House collection, which is curated by Richard Marshall.

New York dealer Venetia Kapernekas is back, now in partnership in a new gallery with Alexander Gray, boardmember of the Archipenko Foundation and former director of the San Francisco-based ArtCouncil. Gray Kapernekas Gallery opens with an exhibition of works by Kay Rosen, May 6-June 18, 2005, at the former Kapernekas gallery space at 526 West 26th Street in New Yorks Chelsea art district.

The winners of the 109th Rome Prize Competition, who receive a stipend and a study or studio at the American Academy in Rome for periods up to two years, have been announced by academy president Adele Chatfield-Taylor. Winners in the visual arts are Boyce Cummings, a painter from New York; Yun-Fei Ji, an artist from Brooklyn; Ward Shelley, another Brooklyn artist; and Carrie M. Weems, an artist from Syracuse, N.Y.

Sculptor Mark Di Suvero has received the 11th annual Heinz Award for the Arts and Humanities, a $250,000 prize from the Heinz Family Foundation. "The works of Mark Di Suvero have stopped us in our tracks, " said foundation head Teresa Heinz Kerry, "confronting us with audacious colors and shapes and mesmerizing us with subtle energy and intricate proportion. "

Andrea Zittel has been named the fifth winner of the annual $25,000 Lucelia Artist Award from the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The award panel -- Richard Artschwager, Klaus Biesenbach, Ann Goldstein, Paul Ha and Katy Siegel -- cited Zittels "utopian yet rigorously formal sensibility. "

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