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Add two more political art shows to the roster of exhibitions being mounted in New York in the face of the 2004 Republican National Convention, Aug. 30-Sept. 2, 2004 [for additional exhibitions, see Artnet News, Aug. 5, 2004].

At the cavernous Deitch Projects space at 26 Wooster Street is "Freedom Salon," Aug. 28-Sept. 4, 2004, an "open forum" featuring works by almost 40 artists, ranging from Ghada Amer, Devendra Banhart and AA Bronson to Dread Scott, Olav Westphalen and Krzsyztof Wodiczko. Organized by Whitney Museum curatorial assistants Apsara DiQuinzio and Tina Kukielski, the exhibition is billed as nonpartisan.

Over at A.I. R. Gallery at 511 West 25th Street in Chelsea is "The George W. Bush Coloring Book: A Group Show," Aug 28-Sept. 2, 2004, organized by artist Karen A. Ocker, author of a recently published, illustrated book of Bush malapropisms. Among the works on view are Paul Troyano's WMD Checker Set and Tree Table and a dress New York fashion designer Rosie Steven made from multiple pages of Ockers book.

After a two-year public review process, the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), née the American Craft Museum, has finally completed its purchase of Two Columbus Circle, the dilapidated Moorish-style white marble palace originally designed by Edward Durrel Stone as a home for the Huntington Hartford Gallery in 1964. Preservationists had fought MADs plans to completely overhaul the buildings facade -- architect Brad Cloepfil proposes a screen-like covering of glass and textured terracotta panels -- but earlier this week the Manhattan Borough Board, headed by Manhattan borough president C. Virginia Fields, gave the final okay for construction to proceed. Work begins in the first quarter of 2005; completion is slated for early 2007.

Celebrated architecture critic Paul Goldberger has been made dean of the Parsons School of Design, and one of the first shows to roll out under his aegis is "Tupperware Party: Past, Present, Future," Sept. 9- Nov. 1, 2004, a survey of 50 years of designs and memorabilia installed at the schools Aronson Galleries at 66 Fifth Ave. Organized by Columbus College of Art and Design curator Natalie Marsh, the show includes an incredible 500-plus Tupperware products, along with documentary photos, vintage ad images and other historic materials. Earl Tupper patented his sealable plastic food containers in 1949, but it was Brownie Wise, a divorced single mother who was his sales chief, who came up with the "Tupperware Party" marketing scheme, which made the firm a staple of American culture in the second half of the 20th century.

For you fans of British royalty, W magazine has revealed that the Metropolitan Museum has canceled a planned lecture by Princess Michael of Kent after she made front-page news in the New York tabloids for her allegedly rude remarks to a noisy table of diners at Da Silvano restaurant (she says the incident was a misunderstanding). The so-called princess, Marie-Christine von Reibnitz, was slated to appear at the museum on Oct. 20 to give a lecture on her new book, The Serpent and the Moon: Two Rivals for the Love of a Renaissance King (Touchstone, $29.95), a 16th-century love triangle involving King Henri II of France, his older mistress, Diane de Poitiers, and his queen, Catherine de Medici. "Its not going to happen," Met spokesman Harold Holzer told the magazine. Von Reibnitz has written two other historical books and lectures widely.

Crowds of food fiends are expected to pour into the new Museum of Modern Art when it opens to the public Nov. 20 -- but theyll be focused on the deluxe new restaurant on the museums first-floor terrace overlooking the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden. The Modern, as it is called, is the latest entry from celebrity restaurateur Danny Meyer, who also oversees 11 Madison Park, Union Square Caf, Blue Smoke and other Zagat-worthy eateries. Open seven days a week for lunch and dinner, the restaurant has a 104-seat dining room, a casual 122-seat dining room and bar, a 60-seat seasonal outdoor terrace and two private dining rooms. The chef is Gabriel Kreuther and the price of a meal is $100-plus. Meyers company, Union Square Hospitality Group, is also operating museum cafes on the second and fifth floors.

Long-time New York hands can remember back to the 1970s, when a hot spot for formalist abstraction was dealer Betty Cunninghams gallery upstairs from Fanellis bar on Prince Street in SoHo. Now, after two decades working first at Hirschl & Adler Modern and then at Robert Miller Gallery, Cunningham is back, reopening Betty Cunningham Gallery at 541 West 25th Street in Chelsea with an exhibition of new paintings by Rackstraw Downes, Sept. 23-Oct. 30, 2004. Next up at the gallery is a show of new work by Joan Snyder. The space, redesigned by Andrew Ong, is in a small, mid-19th-century building. For more info, call (212) 242-2772.

Miamis hot new exhibition space, Miami Art Central, has hired its first director -- Venezuela-born curator and professor Rina Carvajal. The space was founded in 2003 by Ella Cisneros and the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation, and debuted with several exhibitions organized by J.P. Morgan Chase art advisor Manuel Gonzalez.

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