On View

Pompeii and Herculaneum to Dennis Hopper

A wall painting of the baker Terentius Neo and his wife from objects buried in Pompeii.
A wall painting of the baker Terentius Neo and his wife from objects buried in Pompeii.

“Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum”

British Museum


Through Sept. 29


The eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD not only buried the city of Pompeii and town of Herculaneum. It also resulted in the most famous natural disaster of the ancient world — perhaps of all history. Certainly, few events have exerted such popular fascination for such a span of time. This exhibition features more than 250 objects. The emphasis is on the lives of average people. Among items on display are wall paintings, reliefs, mosaics, sculptures, and furniture (including a still-functioning crib). A number of them have not been previously shown outside of Italy. Great Russell Street, 011-44-20-7323-8299,

George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum

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Dedicated last month, this latest addition to the presidential library system boasts 14,000 square feet of exhibition space. Among items on display are a charred beam from the World Trade Center, the bullhorn the president used speaking at Ground Zero, and a replica of the Oval Office. 2943 SMU Blvd., 214-346-1557,

Exploratorium relocation

San Francisco

This famously interactive science museum moved last month from the Palace of Fine Arts to a 9-acre campus on the Embarcadero, on the city’s waterfront. The new location allows for the addition of a Bay Observatory to the list of exhibits and activities. Piers 15/17, Embarcadero at Green Street, 415-528-4360, www.exploratori

Rijksmuseum reopening



Last month, the greatest art museum in the Netherlands reopened after a 10-year, $500 million renovation. The centerpiece of the restoration is a 24,000-square-foot atrium created by merging and lowering two interior courtyards. Best of all is the art, of course: masterpieces such as Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch” and Vermeer’s “Milkmaid.” Museumstraat 1, 011-31-20-674-7000, www.rijksmuse

“Paul Klee: Angels”

Hamburg Kunsthalle

Through July 7

In its combination of the otherworldly and mystical, Paul Klee’s (1879-1940) art has a distinctly angelic quality. Sometimes it featured actual angels, as in the 80 paintings here, executed during the final three years of his life. Glockengießerwall, 011-49-40-428-131-200, www.hamburger

“Overdrive: LA Constructs the Future, 1940-1990”


J. Paul Getty Museum

Los Angeles

Through July 21

Los Angeles is city, suburb, and state of mind all rolled into one. This interdisciplinary look at a crucial half century in the megalopolis’s making includes drawings, photographs, models, films, and oral histories. 1200 Getty Center Drive, 310-440-7300,

“Manet: Return to Venice”

Palazzo Ducale


Through Aug. 13

The influence of Italian art on Edouard Manet’s painting is examined in this exhibition of approximately 80 paintings, drawings, and prints. They’re drawn from collections in more than a dozen countries. Piazza San Marco, 011-39-0-41 2747614,

“PUNK: Chaos to Couture”

Metropolitan Museum of Art

New York

May 9-Aug. 11

Punk style emerged simultaneously in the mid-1970s with punk music. This year’s Costume Institute show looks at a sense of anti-chic that went far beyond safety pins, leather, and torn jeans. 1000 5th Ave., 212-535-7710,

“Diaghilev and the Ballets Russes, 1909-1929”

National Gallery of Art

Washington, D.C.

May 12- Sept. 2

Serge Diaghilev’s fabled dance troupe was the most glittering nexus of the arts in the 20th century, bringing together dancers, artists, and composers on the order of George Balanchine, Vaslav Nijinsky, Pablo Picasso, and Igor Stravinsky. On display will be costumes, set designs, paintings, sculptures, photographs, and film clips. 4th Street and Constitution Avenue NW, 202-737-4215,


Mark Feeney can be reached at