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Parents are cautioned as they enter the back gallery of the Metropolitan Museum's new exhibition, "The Dawn of Photography: French Daguerreotypes, 1839-1855," Sept. 23, 2003-Jan. 4, 2004. Among the stunning assembly of 175 portraits of painters, Scenes of the Seine and other early daguerreotypes are several 150-year-old nudes and a few historic pornographic images, including a daguerreotype of a pair of Sapphic lovers and the first known erotic daguerreotype of a black woman (both from the collection of the Getty Museum). What's more, an antique 3-D stereo viewer displays a Reclining Nude (ca. 1854) from the Met's own collection (acquired last year from Charles Isaacs and Carol Nigro) that didn't make it into the exhibition catalogue. This classic image, which is hand-tinted with green and orange wash, shows a young woman in striped stockings, lying back on a divan with her skirts hiked high, engaging in the familiar solitary pastime.

Also on hand is a remarkable daguerreotype of a painting by Jean-August-Dominique Ingres of his nude first wife posed as an odalisque. According to the art historians, the artist's second wife convinced him to destroy the painting of her predecessor, though not before he had made a daguerreotype of it that he secreted in his desk -- a picture only recently discovered by the curators at the Muse Ingres in Montauban, France.

Taiwan premier Yu Shyi-kun has provided the "east wind" that Taichung mayor Jason Hu was waiting for -- commitment that he plans to allocate $150 million from the national budget towards the $190 million cost of a branch of the Guggenheim Museum in Taichung City, according to a report in the Taipei Times. The Guggenheim recently said it would support the project if Taichung could pay for it. The design by deconstructivist architect Zaha Hadid, unveiled this summer, features moveable sections that pivot and raise up and down on rails.

An economic impact study concluded that a Guggenheim museum in Taichung would bring more than 1.2 million visitors to the city each year, create about 2,700 jobs and earn tax revenues of $9 million-$20 million -- though it would require annual subsidies of between $8 million and $12 million to operate. Taichung hopes to make the new Guggenheim part of a complex including an opera house by Jean Nouvel and a new city hall by Frank Gehry.

A cautionary tale for devotees of "art as investment" unfolds in November as the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum sells over 300 artworks collected by museum founder Larry Aldrich (1906-2001), who during the 1970s and '80s was an energetic patron of contemporary art. Among the artists whose works are hitting the auction block are Bill Bollinger, Csar, Porfirio di Donna, Grace Hartigan, Fernand Leger, Matta, Ree Morton, A.R. Penck and Larry Rivers. The sale, which is overseen by appraiser Bob Connelly, is slated to take place on Nov. 8, 2003, at the Showplace in Binghampton, N.Y., with previews on Oct. 25-26. For more info, see

Read it here, a wave of exhibitions of artworks by writers are hitting our museums and galleries. Down at the Marsh Art Gallery at the University of Richmond is "John Dos Passos and his World," Sept. 26-Dec. 7, 2003, a show of 40 watercolors and drawings by the author of Manhattan Transfer and U.S.A. The National Museum of Women in the Arts presents "Passionate Observer: Photographs by Eudora Welty," Oct. 27, 2003-Feb. 29, 2004, with over 50 black-and-white photographs from the 1930s by the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and short-story writer (the show is organized by the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson and circulated by International Arts & Artists, Inc.). And over in Brooklyn, Plus Ultra Gallery has opened "Arts and Letters," Sept. 19-Oct. 13, 2003, a show of drawings and paintings by contemporary novelists Jonathan Ames, Dave Eggers, Susan Minot and Will Self.

Elizabeth Dee Gallery on West 20th Street in New York's Chelsea art district is holding a silent art auction to benefit the Himalayan orphanage, CED Society, on Sept. 29, 2003, 5-8 pm. Located in Dehradun, India, CED Society was founded in 2000 by Lama Tenzin and two other Tibetan Buddhist monks. Among the artists who have donated works to the sale are Joanne Baldinger, Jeff Crane, Ann Craven, James Croak, Richard Foreman, Adam Fuss, Meghan Gerety, Alex Grey, James Hyde, Ellen Kahn, Josephine Meckesper, Tim Rollins, Eli Sudbrack and Gordon Terry.

The level of craft in Dale Chihuly's glass creations often seems to approach the elemental, so it's no surprise that the artist was commissioned to make a 19-foot-tall DNA Tower, symbolic of the double-helical molecule DNA, for the Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. The sculpture consists of approximately 1,000 spheres of blue, green, mauve and yellow glass and commemorates the school's 100th birthday and the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the DNA molecule by Indiana University alumnus James D. Watson and colleague Francis Crick. DNA Tower is slated to be unveiled on Sept. 30, 2003; for more info, call (317) 274-7722.

Add another stop to your Williamsburg gallery tour. Independent curator Monya Rowe has opened her namesake gallery at 242 S. 1st Street with a group show of works by Lamar Peterson, Suzanne Wright, Tina Gauthier and Kevin Kristy (to Oct. 12, 2003).