June 26-July 6
It's called the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal, yet with more than 500 shows -- 350 of them free and outdoors -- the event on the heart of downtown also dips into blues, rock, and world music with established and emerging artists. Among the ticketed concerts are Ray Charles, Wayne Shorter, Al DiMeola, Arturo Sandoval, Blind Boys of Alabama, Jay McShann, Lee Konitz, Joe Zawinul, Abdullah Ibrahim, Dave Holland, Gary Burton, Norah Jones, Joshua Redman, Medeski, Martin & Wood, Bad Plus, Charlie Hunter, Jason Moran, Roy Hargrove, Elvis Costello, Wilco, Ben Harper, Cesaria Evora, Oumou Sangare, Orchestra Baobab, and Daniel Lanois. The lineup for the free, outdoor performances on multiple stages is announced next month. In and around Ste-Catherine, President-Kennedy, Bleury and St-Urbain streets. 888-515-0515. www.montrealjazzfest.com.
May 15-Aug. 24
Guy Cogeval, director of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and Vuillard scholar, spent six years researching and organizing "Douard Vuillard: Post-Impressionist Master," the largest retrospective of the French artist's work. Cogeval, the exhibit's chief curator, considers Vuillard (1868-1940) an important player in the artistic evolution of Impressionism into 20th-century modernism. For the international show's second stop, Cogeval adds numerous photographs and drawings by the artist and features personal objects, such as academic studies, Japanese prints from Vuillard's own collection, letters from relatives, and significant portraits of the artist by his friends Pierre Bonnard and Felix Vallotton. The selection of 100 photographs from 1,700 includes many that have never been shown in public. After Montreal, the exhibit travels to Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais in Paris and the Royal Academy of Art in London. 1380 Sherbrooke St. West. 514-285-1600. www.mmfa.qc.ca.
Genesee Depot, Wis.
Ten Chimneys opens
The estate of Broadway theater legends Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne is a unique property that was saved from the wrecking ball by a group of citizens who appreciated its special place in American history. After marrying in 1922, the couple began building Ten Chimneys and used it as their summer retreat where over time they decorated and furnished the 18-room mansion with hand-painted murals, cut-out wallpapers, and personal memorabilia and collections. They nurtured the creative arts with summer guests from the literary, art, and theater worlds. They counted among their regular visitors Helen Hayes, Katharine Hepburn, Noel Coward, and Laurence Olivier. After the Lunts retired in 1960, they lived at Ten Chimneys, where Lunt died in 1977 at 84 and Fontanne in 1983 at 96. With everything as it was in their day, the house opens on their 81st wedding anniversary. Reservations are required in order to see the main house, eight-room cottage, and studio on the two-hour guided tour. The Program Center, 60-acre grounds, and adjacent Lunt Nature Reserve are open to the public without reservations. As part of its mission to support theater, the arts, and arts education, the Ten Chimneys Foundation sponsors retreats, conferences, and master classes. The estate is about 30 miles west of Milwaukee. Program Center, Depot Road. www.tenchimneys.org.262-968-4161.
Hall of Ocean
The American Museum of Natural History's famous Hall of Ocean Life that reopens after a $25 million, 18-month renovation catches the best of 21st-century knowledge and technology. Since the last updating of the 70-year-old hall in the 1960s, scientists and explorers know a great deal more about the deep blue sea even though only about 5 percent of the world's oceans have been explored. For example, the accurate makeover of the 94-foot blue whale, originally hung in 1969, gives the mammal a sleeker appearance, a trimmed tail, normal eyes, and blowhole. Suspended high above the floor, the exhibit uses special effects to create the illusion of the whale's natural habitat. As part of the updating of the 29,000-square-foot hall, the museum added video projections, interactive computer stations, and eight new ocean ecosystem displays. Among the displays and marine dioramas are 750 sea creatures, of which 600 are newly fabricated models that range in size from tiny green bubble algae to a 14-foot-long whale shark. The wing also has a new name -- the Irma and Paul Milstein Family Hall of Ocean -- in recognition of the Milstein contribution to the renovation. Central Park West and 79th Street. 212-769-5100.www.amnh.org.
The 11th annual statewide event is bigger than ever with a record 228 craftspeople and artists, of which 40 percent are first-time participants, according to Martha Fitch, director of the Vermont Crafts Council. The council produces a map and directions to the studios, some of which are off the beaten path. Many of the sites form natural clusters, making it easy to visit six or seven studios each day where glassblowers, potters, fiber artists, furniture makers, painters, and jewelry and metal designers answer questions and sell their creations. For the first time, northwest Vermont is represented by about a dozen artists, among them weaver Carol Crawford, woodturning artist Al Stirt, and photographer Pam Fischer. Among other first-timers are clay sculptor John Brickels (Essex Junction), fiber artist Bethany Barry (Leicester); jewelry designer Jen Soderbergh (Manchester); metalsmith Karen Krieger (Springfield); and sculptor-painter Denis Versweyveld (Vergennes). Locations throughout state. 802-223-3380. www.vermontcrafts.com for printable maps and list of participants.
May 17-Oct. 26
It's a new season as the popular folk arts and Americana museum opens the entire complex of 38 exhibition spaces and premieres "Art of the Needle: 100 Masterpiece Quilts from the Shelburne Museum." In order to accommodate the quilts -- almost triple what has been displayed in the past, including 20 that have never been shown -- the museum reconfigured two galleries. Among the 100 quilts chosen from the museum's renowned collection of 400 are the oldest (1780) and the most recent acquisition (1952). In addition to the permanent historic buildings and encyclopedic collections, the museum has three other temporary exhibits this year: "19th Century American Paintings" (opens May 17); "Red, White, and Blue: American Patriotic Images" (July 4); and "From Goodnight Moon to Art Dog: The World of Clement, Edith, and Thacher Hurd." Open since 1952, the museum reflects the eclectic and important collecting tastes of the late Electra Havemeyer Webb. Route 7. 802-985-3346. www.shelburnemuseum.org.
`Wing Ding' Weekend
The Ohio River town has always been a center for the arts, a fact the 122-year-old Cincinnati Art Museum wants to show off with the $10 million renovation for "The Cincinnati Wing: The Story of Art in the Queen City." The 15 reconfigured and newly designed galleries are the permanent home of more than 300 objects from CAM's unrivaled collections of 19th- and 20th-century painting, sculpture, furniture, metalwork, and ceramics by artists born or trained in Cincinnati. The debut weekend, "Wing Ding: A Community Festival," also initiates free admission, thanks to a $2.3 million donation by the Lois and Richard Rosenthal Foundation. Eden Park. 513-721-ARTS, www.cincinnatiartmuseum.org.877-472-4CAM.
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