Critic's picks

A shrine and statue of Jingang from “The Emperor’s Private Paradise’’ at the Peabody Essex Museum. A shrine and statue of Jingang from “The Emperor’s Private Paradise’’ at the Peabody Essex Museum.
By Sebastian Smee
Globe Staff / September 12, 2010

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OUTSIDE, UPSTAIRS, DOWNSTAIRS: THE ADDISON ANEW One of the finest collections of American art reopens to the public after a two-year renovation. Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover. 978-749-4000,

THE EMPEROR’S PRIVATE PARADISE: TREASURES FROM THE FORBIDDEN CITY The contents of an 18th-century emperor’s private quarters deep within the Forbidden City in Beijing revealed to the public for the first time. Sept. 14 through Jan. 9. Peabody Essex Museum, Salem. 978-745-9500,

THE INDEPENDENT EYE: CONTEMPORARY BRITISH ART FROM THE COLLECTION OF SAMUEL AND GABRIELLE LURIE A selection from a well-known private collection of works by British artists who came to prominence in the 1960s. Sept. 16 through Jan. 2. Yale Center for British Art. 203-432-2800,

JOHN HABERLE: AMERICAN MASTER OF ILLUSION Sixteen paintings and drawings by this celebrated late-19th-century practitioner of trompe l’oeil, or “fool the eye,’’ paintings from the collection of the New Britain Museum of American Art. Sept. 18 through Dec. 12. Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Maine. 207-775-6148,

2010 JAMES AND AUDREY FOSTER PRIZE A display of nine contenders for this annual prize, which celebrates Boston-area artists. That’s up from four last year. Sept. 22 through Jan. 17. Institute of Contemporary Art. 617-478-3100,

EDOUARD MANET’S THE DEAD TOREADOR A single-painting exhibition, starring this fascinating work by one of France’s leading 19th-century Hispanophiles, borrowed from the National Gallery of Art. Opening Sept. 25. Worcester Art Museum, Worcester. 508-799-4406,

SCAASI: AMERICAN COUTURIER An overview of the career of one of America’s leading postwar fashion designers, Arnold Scaasi. The MFA recently acquired his archive. Sept. 25 through June 19. Museum of Fine Arts. 617-267-9300,

LYNDA BENGLIS A career survey of this inventive American artist, featuring wax paintings, poured latex and polyurethane foam sculptures, video, installations, fabric “knots,’’ and much more. Oct. 1 through Jan. 9. Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art, Providence. 401-454-6500,

KRISTIN BAKER: NEW PAINTINGS Baker, who was educated at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Tufts, and Yale, uses squeegees and scrapers and masking tape to make her bold paintings. Oct. 2 through March 27. Museum of Fine Arts. 617-267-9300,

WILLIAM KENTRIDGE: AMBIVALENT AFFINITIES AND PROJECTS Two exhibitions presenting an overview of the work of this acclaimed South African animator, draughtsman, sculptor, and set designer. Oct. 4 through Dec. 11. Sandra and David Bakalar Gallery, Massachusetts College of Art. 617-879-7333,

FRANK STELLA: IRREGULAR POLYGONS A rare presentation of 11 monumental compositions made by this important postwar artist at a turning point in his career, 1965-66, along with a later, related print series from 1974. Oct. 9 through March 13. Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth. 603-646-2808,

FRANCES STARK: THIS COULD BECOME A GIMICK [SIC] OR AN HONEST ARTICULATION OF THE WORKINGS OF THE MIND A survey of this Los Angeles-based artist and writer, featuring more than 40 drawings, videos, collages, and sculptures. Oct. 22 through Jan. 2. MIT List Visual Arts Center. 617-253-4680,

MICHAEL OATMAN: ALL UTOPIAS FELL A large-scale, long-term installation in three parts, based on an elaborate sci-fi fantasy. Opening Oct. 23. Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams. 413-662-2111,

HAROLD REDDICLIFFE: PAINTING FROM THREE DECADES A survey of the career of this Boston-based painter who subjects domestic and industrial machinery to extraordinary scrutiny. Nov. 18 through Jan. 16. Boston University Art Gallery 617-353-4672,

MARK BRADFORD Collaged paintings, videos, sculptures, and installations by this Los Angeles-based artist. Nov. 19 through March 13. Institute of Contemporary Art. 617-478-3100,

FRESH INK: TEN TAKES ON CHINESE TRADITION Contemporary Chinese ink painters respond to classical ink paintings in the Asian collection of the Museum of Fine Arts. Nov. 20 through Feb. 13. Museum of Fine Arts. 617-267-9300,

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