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Jan. 4, 2007 

Thomas Eakinsí The Gross Clinic (1875) makes its first appearance at its new home (part-time at least) when it goes on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, starting at 4 pm tomorrow, Jan. 5, 2006, where it is expected to remain till early spring 2007. After that, the work moves to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. The painting is to be rotated between the two institutions, remaining on view for a number of years at a time at each venue. The iconic work was jointly purchased by the two museums for $68 million -- the deal actually closes on Jan. 31 -- from Thomas Jefferson University after a frantic fundraising appeal. Large contributions came from the Annenberg Foundation ($10 million), H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest ($3 million), Joseph Neubauer ($3 million) and the Pew Charitable Trusts ($3 million). A total of $30 million has been raised so far from more than 2,000 contributions. To make a tax-deductible contribution to the cause, see

The adventurous Chelsea alternative space White Box has scheduled an unusual "drawing duel" between Conceptual artists William Anastasi and Lucio Pozzi for this Sunday, Jan. 7, 2007, 11 am-7 pm. Dubbed "Blind Date," the contest puts the two artists, wearing blindfolds, across from each other at a table, supplied with stacks of paper, pencils and inks. Assistants are to be on hand to remove finished drawings and post them on the wall. Anastasi has made blind drawings since 1963, including a series done on the subway, and Pozzi has also experimented with drawing with eyes closed.

The first major retrospective of Nabis painter Maurice Denis to appear in North America debuts in Montreal next month. The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts presents "Maurice Denis: Earthly Paradise," with about 100 paintings, decorative works, works on paper and never-before-exhibited photographs by the artist. The show is co-organized with the Musťe díOrsay and the Museo díArte Moderna e Contemporanea di Trento e Rovereto.

The Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University in Waltham, Mass., is presenting a major survey of works by the Swiss pop conceptualist John Armleder (b. 1948). "John Armleder: Everything Is Not Enough," Apr. 26-July 29, 2007, is the first comprehensive exhibition of the artistís work in the U.S. The show is organized by Rose chief curator Raphaela Plato, and is accompanied by a catalogue produced in collaboration with the Kunstverein Hannover in Germany.

In the near term, the Rose opens "Paper Trail," Jan. 25-Apr. 1, 2006, the first in a series of shows in which an individual artist is combining his or her own work with works selected from the museum collection. In charge of the first installment is New York artist Margaret Evangeline, who is celebrated for painting-like works made by shooting guns at mirrored steel panels.

The Museum of Modern Art has sold the vacant lot to the west of its current facility for $125 million to Hines, a Houston-based developer, according to a report in the New York Times. Plans call for a new building that would include ca. 50,000 square feet of additional gallery space for the museum, to be linked to the existing structure on the museumís second, fourth and fifth floors. The museumís cost of the new construction is estimated at $60 million, with $65 million earmarked for MoMAís $650 million endowment. The museum acquired the lot in 1996 as part of a larger parcel -- now site of the museum expansion -- in a $50-million transaction.

, which plans to spin off its Kraft Foods division from its Philip Morris tobacco divisions later this year, is likely to cut its arts funding once its corporate breakup takes place, according to a story by Jason Edward Kaufman in the Art Newspaper. Altria has been a big supporter of the Whitney Museum, providing more than $500,000 annually for exhibitions, and also underwriting the 2006 Whitney Biennial to the tune of $500,000. Other art museums receiving six-figure grants from Altria have included El Museo del Barrio, the National Gallery of Art, the Menil Collection, the New Museum and the Museum of African Art.

The art collection of the legendary conductor Arturo Toscanini goes on view at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center, Jan. 16-Mar. 31, 2006. "Maestroís Secret Music: The Artwork Collected by Arturo Toscanini," arranged to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the New York Philharmonic conductorís death, showcases 60 works by Vittore Grubicy de Dragon, Gaetano Previati, Giovanni Fattori, Giovanni Segantini and Umberto Boccioni, as well as American artists George Inness and Alfred East. The show is organized by Renato Miracco and has the blessing of Toscanini grandson Walfredo Toscanini.

Marlborough Gallery in New York is presenting a memorial exhibition of 33 paintings and works on paper by Chen Yifei, the Shanghai-based realist painter turned film director who died last year at age 59 after suffering a gastric hemorrhage. Titled "A Tribute to Chen Yifei (1946-2005)," Jan. 9-Feb. 3, 2006, the show is accompanied by an illustrated catalogue with an essay by Nick Wadley.

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