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Critic's picks

'Chihuly: Through the Looking Glass.' "Chihuly: Through the Looking Glass." (Museum of Fine Arts)
By Sebastian Smee
Globe Staff / April 10, 2011

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PULP FICTION PAINTINGS: SELECTIONS FROM THE ROBERT LESSER COLLECTION Made as covers for pulp fiction from the 1930s and ’40s, 37 paintings show muscular heroes, seductive heroines, and mean-looking bad guys. Through June 11. Robert Lehman Art Center, Brooks School, North Andover. 978-725-6232, www.lehmanartcenter.com

CHIHULY: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS An exhibition of colorful glass sculptures and installations by America’s best-known glass artist. Through Aug. 7. Museum of Fine Arts. 617-267-9300, www.mfa.org

GLOBAL PATTERNS: DRESS AND TEXTILES IN AFRICA A visually dazzling overview of the many traditions of African textile design, illustrating innovative use of different materials and the impact of international trade. April 13 through Jan. 8. Museum of Fine Arts. 617-267-9300, www.mfa.org

THE YANKEE AT THE SEDER: Original paintings by illustrator Adam Gustavson, created for the book “The Yankee at the Seder,’’ written by Elka Weber and set during the Civil War. Through June 6. Danforth Museum of Art, Framingham. 508-620-0050. www.danforthmuseum.org

THE RECORD: CONTEMPORARY ART AND VINYL An exhibition about the two-way interplay between vinyl records and contemporary art. Organized by the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. April 15 through Sept. 5. Institute of Contemporary Art. 617-478-3100, www.icaboston.org

IN BLOOM: MOUNTAIN LAUREL AND THE LYME ART COLONY Enjoy family activities and picturesque scenery while taking in this exhibition celebrating spring at this museum, dubbed “the home of American Impressionism.’’ May 6 through June 26. Florence Griswold Museum, Lyme, Conn. 860-434-5542, florencegriswold.org

LEISURE, PLEASURE, AND THE DEBUT OF THE MODERN FRENCH WOMAN An entertaining and illuminating look at the role of women in (primarily) 19th-century France, through works on paper by Degas, Morisot, Tissot, Gauguin, Debucourt, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Cassatt. May 14 through Sept. 11. Worcester Art Museum, Worcester. 508-799-4406, www.worcesterart.org

BEHIND THE LENS, UNDER THE BIG TOP: THE CIRCUS PHOTOGRAPHY OF ELLIOT FENANDER Images taken in and around several American circuses in the late 1960s, during a time of social upheaval. The exhibit, drawn from a recent donation of 1,500 of Fenander’s negatives, complements the museum’s own collection of circus ephemera. May 15 through Oct. 30. Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, Vt. 802-985-3346, shelburnemuseum.org

PAPERWORK IN 3D Some 23 contemporary artists convert paper into a diverse array of inventive and technically audacious art. May 15 through Oct. 30. Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, Vt. 802-985-3346, shelburnemuseum.org

ANDY GOLDSWORTHY: SNOW An exhibition based around a proposal for a sculpture, “Snow House’’ is by this beloved artist who works with natural materials installed in the open air. May 29 through Dec. 31. deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln. 781-259-8355, www.decordova.org