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Arts: museums, literature

October 07, 2004|By Annie Linskey

Public art talk

Public sculpture and architecture can be difficult to swallow. Parisians initially turned up their noses at the Eiffel Tower. And, well, Baltimoreans have had a mixed reaction to its latest public piece: Male/Female in front of Penn Station.

We can't say whether Jonathan Borofsky's sculpture will be revered or reviled down the road, but, tonight, the Maryland Historical Society will explain how it got here. They are sponsoring a panel discussion starting at 7 p.m. that will focus on how and why public sculpture is commissioned, with an emphasis on Male/Female. The discussion is free.

The Maryland Historical Society is at 201 W. Monument St. Call 410-685-3750 for more information or visit

Art in the round

There's activity at the American Visionary Art Museum. In addition to its new show Holy H2O: Fluid Universe, the museum is holding Art in the Round, a one-day exhibit and auction of 80 works by artists with developmental disabilities.

Pieces include glasswork, oil and watercolor paintings, sculpture and ceramics. The event runs 6:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m. Tuesday and costs $30. Hors d'oeuvres, cocktails and desserts will be served. Proceeds benefit art programs and training for artists with developmental disabilities. The artists will receive 60 percent of the profits from sales.

The American Visionary Art Museum is at 800 Key Highway. For more information about the event, visit www. or call 410-296-2272.

Japanese art

Beginning on Saturday, the Walters Art Museum will show a set of manuscripts dating from 17th-19th-century Japan. The show, called Gathering Jewels, features 25 picture books from Baltimore resident Lionel Katzoff's private collection.

The images on the pages were created by pressing carved wood blocks on thin sheets of paper. The resulting pictures have strong, clean lines. Some of the pages are in color, which would have required the artist to press the image on to the page multiple times with different color inks.

The books show waterfalls, landscapes, fables and even instruction for painting. Although the workmanship is fine, these would have been owned by middle-class Japanese.

The Walters Art Museum is at 600 N. Charles St. It is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesdays-Sundays and 10 a.m.-10 p.m. on second Fridays. The show will be up through Jan. 16. Call 410-547-9000.

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