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What’s on at Europe’s Museums

Georgia O’Keefe’s suggestive blossoms cast a spell, England takes a look back at Gothic works of the late Middle Ages and the French offer two shows casting light on Algeria’s often overlooked cultural legacy.


A Zurich show features the totemic animal skulls and flower paintings of Georgia O'Keeffe.

Georgia O’Keeffe in Zurich

Kunsthaus Zurich

The Kunsthaus Zurich is showing paintings, drawings, watercolors and sculptures by American artist Georgia O’Keeffe. The majority of the 74 paintings in the exhibition are being shown in German-speaking countries for the first time ever. Most European audiences are primarily familiar with O’Keeffe’s oversized flower paintings and totem-like animal skeletons from posters, postcards and calendars or through the photography of Alfred Stieglitz. O’Keeffe’s original works have seldom been exhibited in Europe because few, if any, major museums here possess her art. O’Keeffe’s works unite influences from the European and Americans modernists and, in her later period, an interest in Native American culture.

"Georgia O’Keeffe" runs from Oct. 24 through Feb. 1, 2004. The museum is open Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m.-9 p.m., and Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Gothic art in London

The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England

An wide-ranging exhibit at London’s V&A Museum explores the Gothic art of the late medieval age. More than 300 objects from the Late Middle Age and early modern age are on display covering the period between 1400 and 1547. Among other objects the exhibition includes Henry V’s sword, shield and burial helmet, Margaret of York’s jeweled crown and the golden reliquary of the Order of the Holy Ghost. "Gothic" covers a lot of ground from this period, encompassing the lives of everyone from religious leaders to royalty to the common folk – all united by common experiences, like life in the city, religious life, death and thought.

Gothic: Art for England 1400-1547 runs from Oct. 9 to Jan. 18, 2004. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Wednesdays and the last Friday of the month, opening hours are extended until 10 p.m.

‘Pittura metafisica’ in Rome

Scuderie del Quirinale, Rome, Italy

Pittura metafisca is the term used to describe the art produced by the Italian art duo Giorgio de Chirico and Carlo Carrà between 1910 and 1920 and those who gathered around them. Their work incorporated magical-metaphysical compositions and blended real with imaginary worlds. A new exhibition at Rome’s Scuderie del Quirinale displays 114 master works from metaphysicians like Chirico, Morandi, Carrà and Savinio as well as the surrealists Ernst, Magritte, Tanguy, Mirò, Giacometti and Dalí. The works, some of which have never been exhibited before in Italy, originated from the collection at the Guggenheim Museum in New York.

"Metafisica" runs through Jan. 6, 2004. The exhibition is open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Two views of Algeria in Paris

L’Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, France.

Algeria’s turbulent and bloody past during the 1950s had the effect of suppressing the country’s culture and history to the point that, even today, very little is known about it in the outside world. With two new exhibitions in Paris, L’Institut du Monde Arabe has done much to remedy the situation. Algeria’s cultural treasures – from prehistory to ancient times all the way up to the country’s occupation by the French in 1830 is documented in "Algerian Heritage: Art and History," which features 300 artifacts, most from the country’s national collection. A second exhibition, "From Delacroix to Renoir," shows Algeria as seen through artists’ eyes, with dozens of photos from life in the cities and the Sahara.

"Algerian Heritage: Art and History," runs through Jan. 25, 2004, and "From Delacroix to Renoir – The Algeria of Painters," runs through Jan. 18, 2004. The institute is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.