This year's season includes a number of major museum shows that promise to be as beautiful as they are thought-provoking.
An important event locally will be the opening of The Contemporary Museum's new permanent exhibition space at 100 W. Centre St. The first show, starting Sept. 25, is "Impact: Revealing Sources for Contemporary Art," a major survey of the seminal artists of the last 30 years, including Andy Warhol, Louise Bourgeois, Vito Acconci, John Baldessari, Robert Gober, Hans Haacke, Ann Hamilton and Bruce Nauman.
People never seem to tire of impressionist shows, which is why the Baltimore Museum of Art will present in October "The Faces of Impressionism: Portraits From American Collections," an exhibit that focuses on pictures of people rather than landscapes by the great impressionist masters.
After the Walters Art Gallery's show of Georgian art was canceled last month, museum staffers quickly put together "Vive la France: French Treasures From the Middle Ages to Monet," an exhibition of French painting, sculpture and other objects. Also opening in October, this show ought to complement, rather than compete with, the BMA's.
In Washington, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is planning an ambitious exhibition of modern and contemporary art, "Regarding Beauty: A View of the Late 20th Century," beginning Oct. 7. The show examines what has happened to traditional notions of beauty over the course of this tumultuous century.
The Corcoran Gallery of Art also is planning a landmark exhibition, "To Conserve a Legacy: American Art From Historically Black Colleges and Universities." It opens Nov. 20.
Closer to home, local artist Joyce Scott is featured in a one-woman show at the BMA in January. Photographer Connie Imboden will be showing at Gomez Gallery starting Oct. 23, and the American Visionary Art Museum weighs in with another yearlong mega-show, "We Are Not Alone: Angels and Other Aliens," starting Oct. 2.
American Visionary Art Museum, 800 Key Highway, 410-244-1900
Oct. 2-Sept. 3: "We Are Not Alone: Angels and Other Aliens"
Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Drive, 410-396-7100
Sept. 1-Feb. 27: "Robes of Deliverance: Ritual Garments of the Buddhist Priests of Japan"
Oct. 10-Jan. 30: "Faces of Impressionism: Portraits From American Collections"
Jan. 23-May 21: "Joyce J. Scott: Kickin' It With the Old Masters"
March 12-July 16: "French Master Paintings From Baltimore"
March 12- May 28: "Nadar/Warhol: Paris/New York"
April 5-Sept. 10: "Chantilly: The Black Lace"
June 11-Sept. 24: "WPA Printmakers as Cultural Workers"
Contemporary Museum, 100 W. Centre St., 410-333-8600
Sept. 25-Jan. 3: "Impact: Revealing Sources for Contemporary Art"
Sept. 25-Jan. 3: "Video Impact," video exhibit
Jan. 15-April 15: "Snapshot," casual photos by artists
April 30-Aug. 20: "Making Sense"
Jewish Museum of Maryland, 15 Lloyd St., 410-732-6400
Through fall 2000: "Cornerstones of Community: Historic Synagogues of Maryland"
Oct. 24-Dec. 31: "Portraits and Patrons," photographs of New York artists
March-fall 2000: "Tchotchkes," family collectibles
Fall 2000: "Time Capsules," a century of Jewish history
Maryland Historical Society, 201 W. Monument St., 410-685-3750
Sept. 19-Feb. 20: "Wallis: Duchess of Windsor"
Nov. 18-Feb. 27: "Our Washington Is No More: Maryland Reveres George Washington 1799-1829"
April 15-Oct. 9: "Filming Maryland," Maryland history in film
Walters Art Gallery, 600 N. Charles St., 410-547-9000
Oct. 26-Jan. 16: "Vive la France: French Treasures From the Middle Ages to Monet"
March 7-May 28: "Gold of the Nomads: Scythian Treasures From Ancient Ukraine"
Baltimore Clayworks, 5706 Smith Ave., 410-578-1919
Sept. 4-25: "Animalia," works inspired by animals
Oct. 1-9: "It's About Time," clay clocks
Oct. 15-Nov. 13: "Sensuous Surfaces," clay artist Lana Wilson and others
Nov. 20-24: "Winterfest 1999," functional ceramics
Jan. 15-Feb. 26: "Sublime Servers," vessels and sculpture
March 4-April 1: Michael Simon and Silvie Granatelli
May 4-14: Clay jewelry exhibition and sale
May 18-28: Community Arts exhibition
July 29-Aug. 26: Jane Miller solo exhibition
C. Grimaldis Gallery, 523 N. Charles St., 410-539-1080
Sept. 1-Sept. 30: "Symbols/Objects: Stories and Facts Untold," works by Angelos Antonopoulos, Effie Halivopoulou and Yannis Ziogas
October: "New Works," by Bernhard Hildebrandt
November: Henry Coe, paintings; Maria Karametou, works
December: "Fin de Siecle"
Galerie Francoise et Ses Freres, 2360 W. Joppa Road, 410-337-2787
Sept. 9-30: Scott Thorp, paintings
Oct. 1-Nov. 3: Sonya Clark, fiber sculpture
Nov. 4-31: Phillipe Estlund and Cynthia Eguez, collaborative sculptures
December-January: "Millennium" show
Gomez Gallery, 3600 Clipper Mill Road, 410-662-9510
Sept. 4-Oct. 17: Deborah Donelson, paintings; Ted Aub, sculpture; Susan Page, photography
Oct. 23-Dec. 5: Connie Imboden, photographs; Luis Lara, paintings
Dec. 11-Jan 23: Chris Rainier, photographs; Juan Logan, mixed-media sculpture; Albert Schweitzer, paintings
Jan. 29-March 12: Nancy Scheinman, paintings; Franco Salmoiraghi, photography.
Maryland Art Place, 218 W. Saratoga St., 410-962-8565
Sept. 28-Nov. 14: "The Space Between: A Collaboration of Senses," 10 artists explore physical space between inorganic and organic things
Nov. 18-Jan. 2: "Sci-Art: Extensions of Being," group show
March 7-April 15: Critic's Picks
April 22-29: "Out of Order V," annual spring benefit
May 6-June 3: "The Anti-Museum," group show.
School 33 Art Center, 1427 Light St., 410-396-4641
Through Oct. 2: 1999 Studio Artist Biennial; Elizabeth Doherty, paintings, Megan Van Wagoner, installation
Oct. 23: Lotta Art, fall fund-raiser
Nov. 6-Dec. 10: Juried exhibition: group show of regional artists
Dec. 18-Jan 21: Keith Kruger, mixed media; David Little, drawings; Carolyn Jean, sculpture; Michael Baker, installation
Feb. 5-March 10: Irene Liotis, paintings; Tracy Jacobs, mixed-media works; Laure Drogoul, sculpture; Timothy Nohe, installation
March 18-April 20: Annual juried exhibition; Frederick Van Dyke and Cynthia Eguez, sculptures
April 29-30: Open studio tour
May 13-June 17: "Wallpaper," Peter Bruun, paintings; Allyn Massey, sculpture; Sandra Jones, installation
Corcoran Gallery, 500 17th St. N.W., 202-639-1700
Oct. 27-Feb. 28: "Annie Leibovitz: Women," photos by the decade's top celebrity photographer
Nov. 20-Jan. 31: "To Conserve a Legacy: American Art From Historically Black Colleges and Universities," 150 works of American masters, including Arthur Dove, Lois Mailou Jones, Jacob Lawrence, Georgia O'Keeffe, Alfred Stieglitz and others
Freer Gallery of Art/Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, 1050 Independence Ave. S.W., 202-357-2700
Oct. 17-Jan. 17: "Treasures From the Royal Tombs of Ur," royal life and death in the Sumerian city-state of Ur around 5,000 B.C.
April 30-Sept. 17: "Music in the Age of Confucius," instruments from the world's oldest musical ensemble
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 7th St. and Independence Ave. S.W., 202-357-2700
Oct. 7-Jan. 17: "Regarding Beauty: A View of the Late 20th Century"
April 19-June 18: "Dali's Optical Illusion," 55 paintings by the celebrated Spanish surrealist master
National Gallery of Art, 4th and Constitution Ave. N.W., 202-737-4215
Sept. 19-Jan. 2: "The Golden Age of Chinese Archaeology: Celebrated Discoveries From the People's Republic of China"
Sept. 26-Jan 9: "The Drawings of Annibale Carracci"
Dec. 6-Feb. 28: "Brassai: The Eye of Paris," photographs of Paris night life between the wars
April 16-Aug. 6: "Gerrit Dou," paintings by the Dutch master who was Rembrandt's first pupil
May 14-July 23: "Raphael and his Circle: Drawings From Windsor Castle," an overview of the short career of one of Western art's greatest painters
May 28-Aug. 20: "The Impressionists at Argenteuil," lyrical, dazzling paintings by the artists everyone has learned to love
Phillips Collection, 1600 21st St. N.W., 202-387-2151
Sept. 25-Jan. 23: "Renoir to Rothko: The Eye of Duncan Phillips," 350 works tracing the development of the great modernist collector